2016-10-18-10-00-06We often hear how organic food is better for us, and the planet, but less often why. Here are some handy facts, courtesy of the Soil Association, about organic food and farming that will put you in the picture.
It’s Nutritionally Different.
Research published in the British Journal of Nutrition has found significant nutritional differences between organic and non-organic farming. For instance:

 

  • organic milk and meats contain around 50% more omega-3 fatty acids than non-organic.
  • organic meat had lower concentrations of two saturated fats
  • organic milk and dairy contains slightly higher concentrations of iron, Vitamin E and some carotenoids
  • organically produced crops (cereals, fruit and vegetables) contain up to 68% more antioxidants than non-organic.
  • organic fruit and veg contain lower concentrations of pesticides and the toxic heavy metal cadmium.
free range geeseHigher levels of animal welfare. 
Organically raised animals must:
  • Have access to pasture (when weather and ground conditions permit).
  • Are truly free range.
  • Have plenty of space – thereby reducing stress and disease.
  • Be fed a natural-as-possible diet which is free from genetically modified organisms. (Over a million tonnes of GM crops are imported each year to feed the majority of non-organic livestock. This practice is banned under organic standards.)
  • longhorn beefHave the freedom to graze and forage naturally on organic pasture where only natural fertilisers are used and pesticides are severely restricted.
  • Not routinely be given antibiotics. Farm animals now account for almost two-thirds of all antibiotics used in the EU. These are passed to us through the food chain.
It means more wildlife.
Bees and other pollinators have lost much of their natural habitat in just 60 years, including 98 per cent of wildflower meadows.
  • 75% of UK butterfly species have declined in the past decade and eight of our 25 bumblebee species are threatened. Two have already become extinct.
  • 31,000 tonnes of manufactured chemicals are used each year in the UK to kill weeds, insects and other pests. There is growing scientific evidence that certain harmful pesticides  play a key part in the decline of honeybees and other pollinators worldwide.
  • Organic farmers maintain and look after areas such as banks, ponds and grassland, as well as habitat links, such as hedges and field margins.
  • Hedgerows, important for hedgehogs and other small mammals, tend to be bigger and more diverse on organic farms than on non-organic farms.
  • Organic farmers don’t cut their hedges between March and August to allow wildlife to thrive within them during the growing and breeding season.
linscombe-farm2It’s better for the planet.
  • Intensive agriculture causes soil erosion, chemical run-off into water systems and can mean some weeds and insects become resistant to herbicides and pesticides.
  • Organic farming does not rely on synthetic or petroleum-based pesticides or fertilizers, using instead complimentary planting to encourage the right environment and fauna to keep down pests, and enriching the soil with manure and other natural fertilizers.
  • It significantly reduces water and soil contamination.
  • Wildlife can thrive.
  • Agriculture plays a big part in climate change and is responsible for around 14% of total green-house gas (GHG) emissions worldwide. A widespread adoption of organic farming practices in the UK could offset at least 23% of UK agriculture’s current official GHG emissions. This is because healthy soils are a major store of carbon, containing three times as much carbon as the atmosphere and five times as much as forests!
  • Switching to organic farming could save 64 million tonnes of carbon over 20 years across all UK cultivated land – the equivalent of taking nearly a million family cars off the road!
Hoeing
Linscombe Farm have been certified as organic by the Soil Association for over 18 years.

Organic farming and food production is not easy and takes real commitment and attention to detail. It is backed up by rigorous, independent inspection and certification.

Taunton Farmers Market supports the production of organic food. As small-scale farmers, they are better able to embrace organic practices over large mass-production farms. Shopping with us promotes healthier eating, a better environment and better animal welfare.
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s