Why it is worth to focus on organic food
Probably everyone will answer yes to the question whether you want to eat healthily. Interestingly, many people think that they know the principles of healthy eating, even though at first glance both the calorific value of food and the products used leave a lot to be desired.
Of course, the awareness of Poles in terms of a healthy diet, organic food and the importance of the above for health is constantly growing. Nevertheless, it is worth working hard on the knowledge on this subject, as well as significantly increasing the share of organic products in our everyday life.
Healthy eating – the right choice
Nowadays, ecology in food production is definitely in the foreground. It turned out that the not too long period of “improving” nature, the use of artificial fertilizers, plant protection products and feeds (e.g. with GMO seeds, antibiotics, growth stimulators), brought us more evil than good.
And if we add to this the production with the use of artificial flavouring, colouring, flavouring and preservatives – we get food which is “accused of” allergies, more and more civilization diseases (including cancer). It might seem that we all know why we should eat properly, that there is no need to convince anyone to eat healthy, organic food.
Not without reason we say that you are what you eat. For health, for the best quality of life, we should make conscious choices and focus on a balanced diet, but also based on good, proven products. Meanwhile, the majority of the population quite carelessly reaches for highly processed products, without certificates, focusing on price, quantity instead of quality.
It is all the more worth quoting the most important facts in favour of eco-food and really healthy food.
Dry facts, figures and scientific research – such arguments certainly need to be known. Already several years ago, a study was conducted in the USA (American nutrition expert Virginia Worthington from Johns Hopkins University), which unambiguously demonstrates the superiority of organic food over conventional products.
On the basis of the analysis of 41 research projects, it was proved, for example, that an organic product contains on average:
- 27% more vitamin C,
- 21% more iron,
- 29.3% more magnesium,
- 13.6% more phosphorus,
- 15.1% less harmful nitrites.
The Swiss scientific institute FiBL (Forschungsinstitutfürbiologischen Landbau) has gathered as many as 90 arguments for choosing organic food and a healthy diet based on it.
Of course, we know some of them very well, and there are some that we may not have taken into account so far. It is worth remembering that organic products are more valuable and that, for example, we have not taken into account the fact that they are more valuable:
- Organic fruit and vegetables contain more antioxidants, including the strongest resveratrol, while antioxidants prevent cell aging,
- GoldenDelicious apples have been shown to have 32% more phosphorus, 19% more antioxidants and 9% more fibre in their ecological version,
- Organic potatoes have a higher vitamin C content than conventional potatoes,
- statistically, leafy vegetables (lettuce) contain from 10 to 40% less nitrite,
- statistically, conventional foods contain between 550 and 700 times more chemical pesticides,
- organic farming consumes 50% less energy, emits less greenhouse gases and binds more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Healthy food is a broad concept
So we already know why it is worth choosing a healthy food store. It is all the more important to know about the products to buy, because, as the next wise saying goes, not everything that shines gold. For example, let’s consider whether the label with the inscription “Healthy Food” guarantees us the purchase of a really valuable and, what is particularly important, ecological product. Fortunately, this issue has been clearly defined for years now by the relevant regulations, which we will try to present.
Above all, however promising the slogan ‘healthy food’ is not synonymous with organic farming, cultivation and production processes. In fact, most producers can be tempted to write this on their products, because any product that is authorised must be safe for consumers.
The use of ingredients from conventional, mass cultivation and acceptable, approved preservatives and colours do not exclude food from the market. It is possible to discuss whether it is healthy, but it is certainly not organic food.
Organic food – definitions, principles, formal requirements
Those who are in favour of genuinely healthy food should know that this is a matter governed by the relevant regulations, and that products that are organic must be certified, labelled and labelled accordingly.
The rules of organic food production can be found in Council Regulation (EEC) 2092/91 on organic production and labelling of products. Most of the information relevant for the consumer includes labels for products that we buy today, e.g. in an organic shop or at eco stands in supermarkets. At first glance, we can already see the Community logo ‘Organic farming’. Let’s find out what else should be included on the label, such as
- the name and number of the authorised certification body to which the producer is subject,
- the name and address of the manufacturer and, if different, of the owner or seller of the product,
- the name of the product,
- the lot identification mark,
- the words ‘Organic farming – EC control system’.
Only such a labelled product can be considered as organic food, i.e. as such:
- contains at least 95% of organically produced ingredients,
- be supervised during the production and preparation process in accordance with the adopted guidelines,
- is sold either directly by the manufacturer or in closed, sealed and labelled packages.
Let us remember that in the case of bio food, both the raw materials used and the production process itself are important. It is, after all, about maintaining high biological quality and possibly unchanged composition of vitamins, carbohydrates, proteins and minerals.
Therefore, organic food is produced using mechanical, physical, fermentation and thermal methods. On the other hand, any supportive additives (dyes, emulsifiers, stabilisers, preservatives, antioxidants, coating substances, etc.) are absolutely unacceptable.
Prices of organic food
When shopping in an organic food store, we immediately notice that product prices are much higher than those of conventional products. Therefore, let’s consider whether it’s a reaction of suppliers to a specific “fashion for healthy eating” or whether it’s the most economical way to do so.
In the EU countries, organic food is also more expensive in an online or stationary shop – statistically by about 20-30%. On the Polish market, this difference is still greater, but the growing demand and the growing number of producers bring us closer to the European indicators. It is worth knowing that these are not so called “ceiling prices”.
Let us remember that organic farms, which supply raw materials necessary for the production of healthy food, must meet certain criteria:
- organic production must not disturb and burden the environment,
- the holding should be as self-sufficient as possible,
- production must contribute to rural development and agriculture.
There is therefore no question of the use of pesticides or growth regulators. The cleanliness of groundwater and soil is taken care of, as well as limiting the use of machines. The costs of such production are much higher and the yields are lower. Similarly, in animal husbandry there is also a focus on natural fodder and natural growth and development.
Fortunately, more and more consumers are aware of the fact that when choosing an organic shop we choose health, and also prophylactically – for the future.
According to statistics, the principles of healthy eating and organic food in Poland are most often chosen by people over 30 years of age, with salaries at the level of the national average, taking care of health, supporters of environmental protection, elderly people, breastfeeding mothers, mothers of small children (it is worth noting the rich assortment of healthy food for children), educated people.