Are there benefits to buying organic?
There are numerous reasons but the main two for me are the health benefits of organic products and to stop the unnecessary destruction of wildlife.
A 2009 study by the Soil Association stated that that the decline of our Bee population may be due to the use of a group of pesticides called neonicotinoids which as it happens, is the most widely use insecticides. Neonicotinoids are absorbed by plants and remain in the plant for several months and residue can be blown off as dust and then kill any wildlife like Bees, Butterflies, sparrows or Hedgerows that feed from any plant that it lands on.
Sur & Stork 2003 studies say that only 1.6 to 20% of the active ingredients is absorbed by the growing crop, when neonicotinoids are used as a seed dressing and Goulsons says that the bulk of the ingredients (around 90%) enter the soil.
What’s even more disturbing is that early studies say that neonicotinoids can remain in the soil for up to 19 years after use, some are even washed out into ponds and rivers. Although the use of these pesticides has been suspended for two years, they have not been banned, so what price will we pay for are health and our wildlife?
- Organic products are manufactures without the use of harmful chemicals and animals are reared without the use of antibiotics and drugs
- Organic farming is kinder on wide life and the waterways and contributes to the natural environment. It also uses around 30-50% less energy than non-organic farming methods.
- Organic food produce is better for your health as it is richer in nutrients [source: soil association].
- Organic produce is said to contain on average 50% more vitamin C and nutrients than intensively farmed produce.
- Organic food is strictly regulated by standards in EU law and the use of antibiotics are prohibited in animal food
Remember the expression – You are what you eat
- What you put on your skin is absorbed so using beauty products that are truly organic makes sense.
Unfortunately there are some companies that label their products organic when there may be only a tiny amount of organic ingredients mixed with other non-organic products or worse still mixed with harmful chemicals, see Mail Online article By Fiona Macrae ‘organic’ beauty products laced with ‘cancer-causing’ chemicals found in anti-freeze and floor cleaner (Published: 3 June 2013).
To guide consumers the Soil Association runs a voluntary certification scheme which allows manufactures to use their symbol on their products providing that it meets the necessary criteria. To check the product meets the standards lookout for the COSMOS or Soil Association symbol on the product (remember this it is voluntary to apply for this symbol and not compulsory). The symbol will not be given to any product if its organic ingredients are less than 70% and a products organic ingredients must be over 95% organic to use the word “organic” in its name see soil associations Guild to organic beauty labelling.
Organic Clothing helps us all
- Organic cotton crops come from farms were no insecticides or pesticides have been used thus minimising exposure to toxins to us, the farmers and the cotton handlers. (Cotton fibers can be used in things other than clothing, such as stationery and home furnishings and cotton seeds can be used in animal feed).
- Less water used and no water pollution or negative environment effects on wildlife.
- Up to 8% of children under the age of three and 4% of UK adults” suffer from allergies (Source NHS UK)
- Organic products are kind on sensitive skin
Ref .Environmental risks posed by neonicotinoid insecticides by Dave Goulson, Neonicotinoids Sur & Stork 2003
As you will read from the above there are indeed many benefits from buying or growing organic.