Why Choose Organic?

October 27, 2022 at 11:05 AM

Organic Food is High in Nutrition

Organic food has been shown to be higher in nutrients than conventionally grown food, in particular anti-oxidants and phytochemicals which are useful in fighting disease. [1] Higher omega-3 fatty acids (which are healthier for your heart) are found in organic meats, dairy and eggs.[2]

Organic food is good for your

Organic food does not contain a cocktail of chemicals, many of which are toxic to humans and particularly children and those with compromised immunity.  It is grown without the use of synthetic pesticides.  A test on fruit and vegetables by the Consumer organisation in 2020 found 16 pesticide residues including 9 that are banned in the EU.  None of the organic products had pesticide residues.[3]

Organic food is climate action

Organic farms usually have a lower carbon footprint and don't leach nitrates into the atmosphere.  Soils in Aotearoa are naturally high in carbon but intensive farming practices are depleting the carbon in our soils.  90% of our agricultural emissions come from livestock.  We don't have scientific data in Aotearoa on how much carbon can be put back into our soils by farming organically, but studies in the US have shown that organic practices can boost  soil organic carbon by an average of 18%, and increase microbial biomass carbon by an average of 30%.

Organically farmed soils are also better equipped to deal with climate extremes such as floods and drought because they are able to hold and retain more water.[4]

Organic farms avoid the use of synthetic nitrogen.  Between 1990 and 2018 there was a 700% increase in the use of synthetic nitrogen fertilisers in industrial farming in Aotearoa.  These have degraded the soil, leached into groundwater causing many of our waterways to be unswimmable, and increased the release of nitrous oxide – a greenhouse gas 298 times more powerful than carbon[5] -  into the atmosphere. 

Choosing organics is climate action.

Organic food is GE Free and Chemical free

Organic farming is free from genetically engineered ingredients and opposes their introduction into open environments. This provides a positive point of difference in products from Aotearoa.

Organic food builds community

Organic principles take into consideration the welfare of animals and create a safer working environment for people growing and handling our food.  Organic farmers do not rely on chemicals to kill insects, and drugs to keep animals well. Acceptable conditions for animals and respect for their behavioural needs are important components of organic farming. There is often a strong emphasis on local food and support for local communities.

Organic food has great flavour

Organic food is often said by our older generation to taste like "food used to" - home grown and full of flavour. Modern food has been grown more and more to look good for consumer appeal, but unfortunately this has been at the expense of flavour. Organic farmers prioritise flavour above appearance and this is why it may sometimes be a funny shape or appear less appetising than usual - but it simply tastes great!



[1] Higher antioxidant and lower cadmium concentrations and lower incidence of pesticide residues in organically grown crops: a systematic literature review and meta-analyses - PubMed (nih.gov)

Organic foods contain higher levels of certain nutrients, lower levels of pesticides, and may provide health benefits for the consumer - PubMed (nih.gov)

[2] Composition differences between organic and conventional meat: a systematic literature review and meta-analysis - PubMed (nih.gov)

[3] https://www.consumer.org.nz/articles/pesticides-in-fruit-and-vege

[4] https://rodaleinstitute.org/science/farming-systems-trial/

[5] NZAGRC: The gases - methane, nitrous oxide - and carbon storage