Please note that many of these articles were originally written for the old GB Wildlife site in between 2008 – 2010 and organisations may have changed since then.

 

Eco-Living – Organic Goodness

At The Green Parent magazine we are working on our annual organic special edition of the magazine and with all the research we are doing in the office I wanted to share some of the key reasons why to choose organic for the benefit of your health, the health of the planet and our children’s future.

Organic Orchard

Organic Orchard

So here are ten reasons to go organic:

1) You can trust the food. Certified organic food is grown to strict national standards, which are routinely checked. See www.soilassociation.org.

2) You are avoiding or significantly reducing your family’s exposure to harmful pesticides and other man-made chemical residues. Organic food is grown without the artificial chemicals such as fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides, drugs and antibiotics used in intensive farming. In 2001 alone, 26 million kilogrammes of pesticides were sold in the UK and most of this was sprayed onto Britain’s fields. Infants are more at risk from residues due to their high food intake compared to their body size and their fragile, undeveloped organs and body systems. There is increasing scientific evidence that many diseases in later life stem from exposure to toxins and poor quality food in childhood.

3) You will enjoy food more as organic food tastes fresher and more flavourful.

4) You are supporting sustainable farming, which recycles natural resources rather than depleting them. Unlike intensive farming, which strips the soil of nutrients and applies artificial ones, organic production builds the health and fertility of the soil.

5) You are reducing the pollution caused by intensive farming, which contaminates groundwater, rivers, streams and lakes with the over-use of nitrates, pesticides and drugs used to treat farmed fish.

6) You and your family are helping to protect and encourage wildlife such as insects, birds and bats and the wildflowers and trees that they depend on. These habitats have been progressively destroyed and polluted and several UK species are already extinct or have been endangered as a result.

7) You are contributing to your children’s ongoing good health by building a strong immune system, which will help to protect them against serious illness. The food that you eat will have more vitamins and minerals compared with non-organic foods. Chemically treated food is forced to grow faster and bigger with artificial fertilizers, and nutrients are often lost in the process.

8) You are helping to protect the ozone layer and save energy. Chemicals that are sprayed on crops damage the ozone layer and contribute to global warming and require large amounts of non-renewable energy to produce.

9) You experience the organic feel-good factor. Shopping trips are guilt free, especially if you walk to your local shops or organise a delivery, which means one journey replaces lots of individual trips.

10) Food is fun. Organic food is best eaten fresh so it means getting into the kitchen, preferably with your children to prepare family meals that can be enjoyed together.

Melissa Corkhill editor of The Green Parent magazine and author of two books on green living will be writing monthly articles for GBWildlife.co.uk She lives in rural Sussex surrounded by woodland and wildlife and is passionate about environmental issues.

The Green Parent magazine makes is an excellent, interesting subscription magazine and makes a lovely gift. You'll find lots of information and inspiration here, whether you want to read articles on natural parenting or try out guilt-free shopping. This gorgeous magazine covers all aspects of family life from birth to alternative education, eco house and garden to nutrition.