Thursday, 13 September 2012

To buy organic or not to buy organic. That is the question

You know the scenario. Standing in the supermarket, halfway down the meat aisle looking at two seemingly identical chickens. On your left the chicken is wrapped in plastic (truth be told probably looking ever-so-slightly anaemic) with no discernable credentials, maybe a "Farmed in UK (or insert other country in here)" Aside for that little else than stating it is indeed a chicken and should be kept refridgerated.

On your right however you have a second chicken. This one looks a little perkier or at least less grey and dull than the previous chicken. The packaging on this chicken is much the same with an exception of an organic symbol.

The main difference however is the price tag. Yes, the non-organic chicken is cheaper.
So, it would seem financially savvy to choose the non-organic chicken on your left.
I am certain the amount of people choosing the non-organic chicken have increased since the articles recently saying that organic is not healthier for you than non-organic foods.

The articles certainly do have gripping headings. Fast catchy statements may get people reading the articles but they may not be telling the whole story.

Most coverage on this story explains that scientist expected the vitamin and mineral content in the produce to be higher than in the non-organic counterparts but this was shown not to be the case. Instead the vitamin content was found to be much the same in both options. However, I wasn't aware that this was why organic was desired? I wasn't under the impression that organic produce magically contains more vitamin or minerals than non-organic. I thought it was more due to what's not in the produce. Be it pesticides, antibiotics, antibiotic-resistant bacteria, other chemical sprays or added or injected ingredients.

Also, I know people who are very much into organic say this all the time but organic really does taste better. The organic chicken I buy from Abel and Cole (especially the chicken thighs - seriously, fry a couple of these babies in a generous spoonful of coconut oil, cut into strips and serve on a simple salad and that's all the taste I need! Heaven!)

I do however understand, as most of these articles highlight, that organic foods do still contain some chemicals. Unfortunately nowadays I think added chemicals in whatever form are incredibly difficult to avoid when almost everyone is using them. I will still choose the organic. Lower levels of harmful chemicals is better than nothing don't you think? And of course, the higher price allocated to organic products is offputting but when it comes to health that's too important to gamble on.

So which would I/ do I choose? Given the option I personally will always choose organic.
To me it tastes better, I like to get as close to real food as possible in this day and age, this includes not having any chemical side orders with my dose of my naturally vitamin packed vegetables. This also ties in to better animal welfare and better/ kinder farming methods.

What do you think? Which chicken would you choose? Do you buy organic or non-organic produce (meat/ vegtables/ fruit /nuts/ eggs)? Does the financial gain outweigh the health claims?

A few references;

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