Home > Diet & Fitness > All About Eating Organic

All About Eating Organic

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 22 Aug 2016 | comments*Discuss
 
Organic Food Eating Definitions

Organic foods are hard to define, but the general public tends to consider foods which are produced without the help of synthetic chemicals to be organic. Recognising organic foods when you are out shopping can be difficult, but once you understand the basic standards and accrediting bodies your search should be made easier. Understanding the health benefits of eating organic, and how organic products differs from fairtrade products, should also help you make easier choices in the future.

Definition of Organic Foods

In the UK the word “organic” is a legally recognised term, which means that products described as organic must meet established guidelines to be labelled that way. There are a few different standards that a food can meet when it comes to organic labelling, however, so you must understand the definitions to know what you are really purchasing. The three main standards related to defining organic foods include:
  • If at least 95% of ingredients are organic then the word may be used in the product title.
  • If 70% - 90% of ingredients are organic then the word may be listed in ingredients.
  • If less than 70% of ingredients are organic then the word may not be used at all.

Organic Accrediting Bodies

Another way to be sure you are buying and consuming organic foods is to look at the accrediting body who is certifying organic status. These bodies are all recognised to define foods as organic, so if you are confused about a label then have a look at who is giving you the information. In the UK a variety of accrediting bodies exist, including:
  • DEFRA - The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
  • OF&G - Organic Farmers & Growers.
  • OFF - Organic Food Federation.
  • Organic Trust Ltd.
  • BDAA - Bio-Dynamic Agriculture Association (Demeter)

Health Benefits of Eating Organic

Current research has revealed no great difference in nutrition or health benefits from eating organic food versus food produced in another way. This means that studies are unable to confirm if there is more or less nutrition/nutrients (vitamins, minerals, etc) in organic foods as compared to other foods. Research has proven though that different levels of chemicals may exist in foods which are produced organically and those which are not. It is assumed that more chemicals are present in foods which use chemicals to in fertilizers or to force ripeness in time for harvesting. How these chemicals could affect your health, or how pesticides used in food production could affect your health, is not yet conclusive.

Organic Versus Fairtrade

While organic foods are certified based on how they are agriculturally produced, fair trade foods and products are those which conform to international fairtrade standards. These standards have more to do with the economic production of the foods and products, including working with economically disadvantaged producers who may not have a fair chance in the traditional economic systems. Foods which carry the Fairtrade Mark have been sourced from producers in developing countries as certified by the Fairtrade Foundation.

Though most people recognise eating organic as avoiding foods which are produced with synthetic chemicals there are many differences amongst organic foods. Understanding different definitions of “organic”, recognising the many different certifying bodies of organic foods, knowing more about the health benefits of eating organic and the differences between organic and fairtrade products should help you make more informed purchases in the future.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • TeenIssues
    Re: All about Abortion
    Jonie - Your Question:I had unprotected sex just after I finished my period about 2 weeks ago and I am currently having severe belly cramps and…
    17 August 2018
  • Jonie
    Re: All about Abortion
    I had unprotected sex just after I finished my period about 2 weeks ago and I am currently having severe belly cramps and my belly hurts if you…
    17 August 2018
  • TeenIssues
    Re: All about Abortion
    Ward1996 - Your Question:My 14 year old sister might be pregnant and I'm providing a pregnancy test for her. If she is pregnant could I take…
    17 August 2018
  • Ward1996
    Re: All about Abortion
    My 14 year old sister might be pregnant and I'm providing a pregnancy test for her. If she is pregnant could I take her for an abortion if…
    16 August 2018
  • suzie
    Re: All about Abortion
    Hey im 15 and i had unprotected sex last month and i am late for my period i know that the boy finished down my leg but i’m not sure if it went…
    16 August 2018
  • TeenIssues
    Re: All about Abortion
    Lily - Your Question:Hi I’m 14, I had unprotected sex twice this summer. I am really worried that I’m pregnant and haven’t taken the morning…
    13 August 2018
  • Lily
    Re: All about Abortion
    Hi I’m 14, I had unprotected sex twice this summer. I am really worried that I’m pregnant and haven’t taken the morning after pill. What should…
    10 August 2018
  • rhea
    Re: Questionnaire: Are You Addicted to Social Networking Sites?
    please provide the author name of this questionnaire
    10 August 2018
  • TeenIssues
    Re: All about Abortion
    Jadey010 - Your Question:Hi. So I'm 17. And I've been pregnant before when I was 15, but suffered from a miscarriage. I think I may be pregnant…
    9 August 2018
  • Jadey010
    Re: All about Abortion
    Hi. So I'm 17. And I've been pregnant before when i was 15, but suffered from a miscarriage. I think i may be pregnant again. What are the…
    7 August 2018