Drug testing

Reasons to Eat Organic Food

Your health

Organically grown fruit and vegetables are not covered in a cocktail of chemicals ? even after washing, a conventionally grown apple may have 20 chemicals on its skin.

Conventionally grown fruit and vegetables contain more water and less vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants than organically grown produce.

Even processed organic food is better for you as manufacturers are banned from using many of the most harmful additives such as hydrogenated fat, MSG and artificial flavourings and colourings.

Taste

Organic food simply tastes so much better than "normal" food. Carrots that actually taste of carrots, apples that go zing in your mouth and really chickeny chicken. Why not see for yourself at the Organic Food Fair ? see opposite for more details.

GM foods

You can be safe knowing that you won't be eating genetically modified (GM) food. Intensively farmed animals are often fed on GM soya and much of the world's production of cotton and rice are now GM. You can register your protest by buying organic produce.

Cost

While organic food may cost slightly more on the supermarket shelves, the true cost of conventional food is much higher. The BSE crisis cost nearly ?4 billion and we support the conventional farming industry through our taxes. The Soil Association say that it costs ?120 million a year to remove chemicals from drinking water, most of which are pesticides used in farming.

The countryside

Intensive farming methods can lead to soil erosion, the destruction of ancient hedgerows and the extinction or near-extinction of hundreds of our natural animals, birds and plants.

The Soil Association believes that organic farming is the best way to reverse the decline in wildlife by:

Crop rotation so the soil is kept fertile and avoid the use of chemical fertilisers

Mixed farming where different crops are planted together

Encouraging natural predators so there is no need to use pesticides

Animal welfare

The Soil Association insists on stringent animal welfare standards. Animals must have access to fields and are fed mainly on clover and herb rich grass, just as they would in the wild. They are given comfortable bedding and more space when they are housed and are often treated with herbal or homeopathic drugs when ill.

And it's not just food

Recent years have seen a huge growth in the number of organic clothing and toiletries ranges available. Once hard to come by and very expensive, companies such as Green Baby and The Natural Nursery are making organic baby clothes, nappies and toiletries accessible to all.

Many of the same arguments apply: the cotton industry accounts for 25% of the world's insecticide use and it takes around 150 grams of hazardous chemical pesticides to grow enough cotton to make one t-shirt!

Arabella Greatorex is the owner of http://www.naturalnursery.co.uk, an online store selling organic and fairly traded products for families including organic clothing and bedding, fairly traded toys, natural toiletries, cloth and eco-disposable nappies and soft shoes.

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