Is Eating Organic Really Better for you?
We think so! It’s Organic September, and whilst every month of the year is Organic for us at Equinox, we are diving into why this is so important for us, you and the planet! Certified by the Soil Association and also a proud B-Corp, we are committed to improving the health of people and the […]
We think so! It’s Organic September, and whilst every month of the year is Organic for us at Equinox, we are diving into why this is so important for us, you and the planet! Certified by the Soil Association and also a proud B-Corp, we are committed to improving the health of people and the planet – we can’t really separate the two,, can we? So, let’s dive in and connect the dots.
Is an organic diet better for you and the environment?
As an increasing number of us become more environmentally and health conscious, we want more of the good stuff and less of the bad. It is no surprise organics is one the fastest growing areas in the food industry, reaching a record value in 2021. With so much choice and controversial information out there, it can get confusing as to whether eating organic is better for you and if buying organic really is better for the environment? As a business founded on the principles of organic health and sustainability, we truly believe that organic is better – for both you and the planet – here’s why.
- What’s the difference between organic and non-organic food?
- Can we trust organic food?
- Is eating organic healthier?
- What are the benefits of organic food?
- Is buying organic better for the environment?
- What are the pros and cons of organic food?
- Our commitment to organic
What’s the difference between organic and non-organic food?
Organic food has been grown, raised, and produced without the use of pesticides, chemical fertilisers, growth stimulants, antibiotics, and pesticides. It must also be free of any artificial food additives and GMO. Non-organic food has been farmed or produced using a wide array of manufactured fertilisers and pesticides, and may contain artificial additives that can be harmful to both humans and the environment.
Can we trust organic food?
Certified organic companies undergo rigorous independent inspection to ensure they adhere to a strict set of regulations. In the UK, the main regulating body is the Soil Association, so when you see their symbol on a package (like our bottles and cans!) you can be assured that the product you are buying has been inspected from ‘tractor to trolley’ and comes from trusted, high-quality sources.
Which is better: organic or natural? Are they the same? Whilst many organic foods are natural, natural foods are not necessarily organic. Natural foods are unprocessed and free from artificial additives and preservatives, but unless they are certified organic, they may contain high levels of pesticides.
Is eating organic healthier?
Did you know that almost 320 pesticides are routinely used in non-organic farming? Even when non-organic foods are washed, or cooked, harmful pesticide residue can remain. Eating organic is not only a great way to help avoid these toxins, but research has also found it to be more nutritionally beneficial, and many will argue, tastier too!
What are the benefits of organic food?
Organic Food Benefits
- Studies have shown organic produce has up to 40% higher levels of nutrients including vitamin C, zinc, and Iron.
- Organic food has up to 60% more key antioxidants.
- Organic food helps to support immunity and reduce allergies.
- Organic food reduces your exposure to artificial chemicals, added hormones, toxic metals and antibiotic-resistant bacteria which can be carcinogenic and endocrine disruptors.
- Organic food has better taste due to diverse soil, higher nutrient levels, and the absence of pesticide residue.
- Organic meat and milk contain around 50% more omega 3 fatty acids, (without increasing calories and unhealthy fats). Omega-3s are essential for supporting brain, heart and eye health, immune function, can help fight depression and anxiety, as well as many other essential functions of the body.
Increasingly, scientists believe that no level of pesticide exposure is safe for humans. Many pesticides, even trace amounts, are endocrine disruptors, which can affect everything from the thyroid gland to fertility. Additionally, long term pesticide exposure has been linked to cancers, asthma, ADHD, depression and anxiety and neurodegenerative disease.
Multiple pesticides are now found in our food, soil and water, creating what is known as the ‘cocktail effect.’ Growing evidence suggests pesticides become more harmful when combined and safety levels are currently set for one pesticide at a time, not the effects of all of them together. UK government testing found that 25% of all non-organic food contains pesticide cocktails and some foods have found to contain 14 different pesticides in a single item.
The only cocktails (or mocktails!) we want you drinking are those that tantalise your taste buds and contribute to good health. Check out our kombucha cocktail recipes here.
Whilst there is still much to learn and discover, simply put, organic food has more of the good stuff and omits the bad stuff. * So, the more organic you can put in your body, the better!
Is buying organic better for the environment?
Organic farming is designed to work with nature, enhance soil biodiversity and respect the earth’s water and air. It is the most sustainable way of farming, benefiting the planet and people. If you are wondering how organic food is better for the environment, here are a few points.
13 ways organic farming is better for the environment:
- Lowers emissions
- Uses less energy
- Helps reduce greenhouse gasses
- Lowers the risk of pollution to soil and waterways
- Reduces pollution
- Reduces fossil fuel emissions
- Conserves water
- Reduces soil erosion
- Increases soil fertility
- Is better for wildlife and local communities
- Creates healthier soils that store around 25% more carbon
- Protects plant, insect, and bird life, which on average is 50% more abundant on organic farms.
- Has the highest animal welfare standards
Research suggests that if all UK farming was organic, pesticide use would drop by 98%, which would have a significant impact on the health of our environment and communities.
Are there negatives of organic food?
Whilst we stand by organic food being better for our health and the planet, we recognise the challenges of organic farming and the barriers to organic food being accessible to all.
Higher Cost: Due to the more labour-intensive farming methods and smaller scalability, organic food often costs more than non-organic food. In an ideal world, organic food wouldn’t have to be more expensive, and organisations like the Soil Association are working hard to gain subsidies.
Here are some suggestions to make eating organic more affordable:
- Shop seasonally
- Shop on sale and freeze items
- Grow your own herbs and vegetables
- Prioritise which organic foods to buy. Check out the Environmental Watch Group’s ‘Dirty Dozen’ and ‘Clean 15’ guides to help minimise exposure to pesticides on fresh produce and stretch your budget further.
The Soil Association has also put together a great guide on shopping organic on a budget.
Shelf Life: Since organic food does not contain preservatives, it may not last as long. It is recommended to keep produce in the fridge to keep it fresher and buy smaller amounts to prevent food from going off.
Availability: A full range of organic products may not be available at your local shop, but every day this is increasing and there are several organic food delivery services available nationally now such as Abel and Cole.
What are the pros and cons of organic food?
As a certified organic company, we believe the positive impact of organic food heavily outweighs the disadvantages. We also acknowledge there is still a lot to be done for organic produce to be more accessible to all.
Advantages of organic food
Disadvantages of organic food
Higher quality produce
|Can be more expensive
Higher in antioxidants
Limited shelf life
Higher nutritional content
Limited choice of products
Fewer ‘convenience’ foods are organic
Reduces the use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides
Less water pollution
Rigorous farming methods
Reduces disruption to wildlife
More difficult to scale organic farming
Less soil pollution
Improved quality of life for livestock
Reduces fossil fuel consumption
Reduces pest resistance
Our commitment to organic
We believe in a world where business is used as a force for social and environmental change and where people understand that their choices directly contribute to their own health and that of our ecosystems. In fact, this is our vision, which drives everything we do. Being organic and contributing to a more sustainable world is at the heart of our existence.
If that sounds exciting, kick back with an organic booch and check out our Equinox Impact Report. The care, craftsmanship and high standards that go into creating our delicious kombuchas mean that not only are you getting the very best in taste and quality, but you are also bettering your health and doing the planet good.
*Some studies have found low levels of pesticide residue on organic foods due to systemic use of pesticides in the ecosystems and waterways and over spray from nearby farms.