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#OrganicSeptember is upon us

September 14, 2012

Do you buy organic skincare, veg and prepared baby food for your baby? Did you know that more than 50% of baby food on the supermarket shelves is organic?
It’s week two of Organic September, so we invited Lee Holdstock from the Soil Association to shed some light on this week’s fascinating press coverage.

Lee writes:

“There have been some interesting stories in the British Press this week, debating the health benefits of organic food. For example, Marco Pierre White has had a good old rant in the Daily Mail:  “If the smug organic mob get their way, millions of families will never again be able to afford roast chicken for Sunday lunch”.  Apparently Marco is “celebrating the results of a new US study” which The Mail reports “shows no safety or nutritional benefits to organic food”.

Sadly, this is not the only headline broadly dismissing the health benefits of organic food in this the second week of Organic September.

Marco’s celebration might be a little premature, as it seems that consumers are starting to get beyond the sensational headlines and beginning to see the contradictions. “The problem isn’t with the study” explains US nutritionist and Huffington Post blogger, Dr Jonny Bowden, “but with the bottom-line conclusion the media would like you to draw from it: Save your money, there’s no difference between organic and non-organic food”.

Bowden goes on to point out that the authors admit finding more compounds known as phenols (which are believed to have cancer-fighting properties) in organic produce along with significantly fewer pesticide residues. They also found that organic meat contained considerably lower levels of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and organic milk was higher in omega-3 fatty acids than its conventional counterpart pint.

No healthier then?  Just imagine what long term health impact studies, or research which considers more than just vitamin content might find. As Bowden asks, “what about flavanols, catechins, polyphenols, isoflavones? What about the 4,000 members of the flavonoid family?”

Anyway,  even if like The Telegraph’s Harry Wallop, you’re happy to give baby “an extra dollop of pesticide-sprayed carrots”, there are some other  issues  to consider beyond your  baby’s nutrition and exposure to pesticides, pollutants, chemicals, carcinogens, and hormones, antibiotics and steroids.  Organic continues to be a no-brainer for consumers who care about things like animal welfare and leaving the planet in a better state for their kids. It’s produced by innovative farmers who avoid high energy chemical input in their quest to harness natural process to their advantage.

The Daily Mail have interestingly followed up today with a piece on mum Nicola Clark and her outrage at the Pierre White article. Nicola says she does buy organic, but not because she’s “following a trend, or has more money than sense”, but does  so because she believes in “protecting the welfare of animals and the environment”. Good for you Nicola, we say.

The media may remain eager to suggest that conscientious parents are naive victims of an elaborate marketing scam, but  UK consumers are keeping the faith.  The fact remains that more than 50% of baby food on the supermarket shelves is organic, which speaks volumes about parents continuing to want the very best for their families and continuing to make common sense purchasing decisions, despite a bit of cynical journalism.  Now if you’re not going to use that party-popper Marco PW, pass it  over, as there’s still two weeks of  Organic September left to go.”


Lee Holdstock works in trade relations at the Soil Association, specialising in organic grocery and textile products. You can read more about #OrganicSeptember here and follow him on twitter as @HoldLee

And you may have spotted our prize draw on our facebook page, you have a chance to get your hands on your own organic loveliness, as we are giving away a super soft Second Skin GOTs certified organic cotton bra & brief set, in the colour of your choice. Click here to enter, and don’t forget to pop over to our facebook page to like us, and tell us your own thoughts on the organic debate. The more the merrier! #OrganicSeptember

One Comment leave one →
  1. Kirsty English permalink
    September 17, 2012 8:50 am

    Hi, Great piece, for me I’ll always buy organic meat but I’m afraid I go for cheaper options when it comes to fruit and veg. Organic skincare is always quite appealing and nicely packaged. Would love to go organic all the way but can’t afford it!!

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