The Benefits of Organic Food

The organic market has boomed in recent years, as people become more aware of climate change & the importance of eating and living sustainably.

There are many reasons why people choose to buy organic & we’re going to explore some of them in this blog. As well as discussing what ‘organic’ really means and whether it’s worth the extra cost.

What is Organic Food?

Organic food is grown & produced naturally without the use of commercial pesticides, herbicides and fertilisers. Instead of working against nature, organic farming is synergistic with it and therefore has considerably less of an environmental impact than standard food production.

Standard agricultural practices have a hugely detrimental impact on the environment. It is common for farms to use nitrogen-based fertilisers, that cause the release of nitrous oxide into the atmosphere. Nitrous oxide warms the atmosphere 300 times more quickly than carbon dioxide – making it a very dangerous contributor to global warming & the greenhouse effect.

By contrast, organic farmers instead employ techniques such as crop cycling & rotation that helps keeps the soil fertile, increases nutrient bioavailability and prevent spread of disease. Whilst also reducing carbon footprint.

Although organic farming may sound a little bit like leaving nature to do its thing, it is certainly much more than that. Less reliance on machinery means more manpower is required to uphold the rigorous testing processes that organic farmers have to pass & maintain to gain organic certification through the Soil Association.

This partly explains why organic produce is more expensive, as it’s more labour intensive for farmers and their workforce to produce the same crop yield compared to those using standard agricultural practices.

Organic farming

Is Organic Food More Nutritious?

Phytonutrients and antioxidants are found in plant-based foods (particularly fruit & vegetables). They are natural chemicals or compounds produced by plants to help attract pollinators or protect themselves against pests and UV exposure.

For example, a potent antioxidant called anthocyanin, which is a pigment found in the skin of purple fruit/vegetables – this pigment has lots of benefits for humans, but also helps the plant to attract pollinators and to reproduce.

In standard farming, plants are sprayed with fertiliser, pesticides and herbicides that make it less necessary for the plants to produce these compounds. They are essentially mollycoddled and as a result, have shown to have a lower antioxidant/phytonutrient content compared to organic produce. This is because organic plants have to fend for themselves.

But it’s not just phytonutrients, studies have indicated that organic fruit, vegetables and wholegrains are richer in essential vitamins and minerals due to the increased nutrient status of the soil that it was grown in.

organic fruit and vegetables nutrients

Sometimes less is more!

Another benefit to eating organic (where possible) is reduced exposure to chemicals and pollutants. Fruit, vegetables and grains are often treated with synthetic fumigants and ripening agents when they’re being transported. These chemicals, along with pesticides, fungicides and herbicides that are sprayed on crops are toxic to humans & accumulate over time in the body. Even thorough washing can sometimes not be enough to remove these chemicals entirely & repeated exposure can lead to health problems.

Of course, only buying organic produce is expensive – so the dirty dozen & clean fifteen is a good indicator which to prioritise. We also recommend getting a natural fruit & vegetable wash to help get rid of stubborn chemicals – we love Attitude which you can find here.

dirty dozen & clean fifteen chart

Credit ewg.org

How is organic farming better for the planet?

Organic farming is more energy efficient and therefore reduces non-renewable energy sources that are contributing to the greenhouse effect. Organic also means less chemicals – in fact nearly 90% of organic farmers use no pesticides at all. That means it works synergistically with nature to support healthier soil, better crop yield and minimal harm to plant and animal life.

Due to its energy efficiency, organic farming has a considerably smaller carbon footprint, helps conserves water and supports local farmers.

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Tiba’s Take on Organic

What you choose to eat will change the world, for better or worse. And it might just be the most important decision you make today, or any day.

When starting Tiba, we felt it was important not only to champion plants but also to support organic farming processes.

All sounds a bit serious, doesn’t it? But it’s absolutely true – everything we eat has an impact on our health and the health of the planet.

Our tempeh is 100% certified organic, which means there are no pesticides used in the farming of any of our ingredients. Making it better for you & better for the planet.

Where to get started…

So many good reasons to buy organic (where budget allows)! But where is the best place to shop for the best quality organic produce?

If you’re London Based, we love Planet Organic – everything in store is certified organic and they the most incredible selection. Including Tiba Tempeh of course!

If you’re not in London, don’t fret! Ocado delivers nationwide and also has an incredible range of organic goodies to try.

Or if you’re just in the market for tempeh, you can our range & buy online here.

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