Why Organic?

bee resting on cow parsley flower

It's much more than a hipster trend. Here are a few good reasons why supporting organic farming is a good thing: 

  • Organic farms are havens for wildlife. On average plant, insect and bird life is 50% more abundant on organic farms, with around 75% more wild bees.
  • Organic farmland stores more carbon and organic soils are around 25% more effective at storing carbon in the long-term. If Europe's farmland all followed organic principles then agricultural emissions could drop by 40-50% by 2050.
  • Organically produced crops and cereals were found to have up to 68%  more antioxidants than non-organic.
  • Organic farmers must enhance the fertility of their soil naturally and are not allowed to use synthetic nitrogen fertilisers. These fertilisers are responsible for an increase in nitrous oxide in the atmosphere, a greenhouse gas which is 300 times more potent than carbon dioxide.
  • In 2017 more than a quarter of the bread tested by Defra was found to contain residues of more than one pesticide or herbicide. One of the most concerning herbicides is called Glyphosate, also known as "Roundup". This has been identified as a probable carcinogen by the World Health Organisation, but between 1990 and 2016 its use on British cereals increased over 10 fold. Organic farmers are banned from using it and are severely restricted as to the amount and type of herbicides, fungicides and pesticides that they can use.
  • Organic farmers are not allowed to use GM (genetically modified) products. 

Or, to say it like Joni:

Hey farmer farmer
Put away that DDT now
Give me spots on my apples
But leave me the birds and the bees

Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got
Till it's gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot 

Sources: The Soil Association, Sustain: Real Bread Campaign, the legend that is Joni Mitchell: "Big Yellow Taxi".

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