Why don't more people eat organic
Organic is better - right?
The trend with organic products continues. Because more and more people want to act responsibly not only for their own diet, but also for the environment. Those who buy organic products support the goal of organic farming to create closed cycles between animals, humans and plants. Organic farming must meet the following criteria:
- No use of genetic engineering
- No chemical-synthetic fertilizers
- Animal Welfare
Switching to organic nutrition is easier than ever today, because the range of organic products leaves little to be desired. There is wholemeal flour and white flour, light and dark pasta, organic strawberries and organic asparagus, natural juices, meat, sausage, fish and poultry from animal welfare. Dishes for the quick kitchen like pizza, tortellini and frozen french fries are available in organic quality as well as delicatessen specialties, wines, beer and spirits. Those with a sweet tooth also get their money's worth: sweet treats sweetened with sugar or honey, as well as rusks and wholemeal biscuits are already available in many supermarkets. But: Even organic sugar does not protect against tooth decay and makes you just as fat as "normal" sugar!
Many people consider organic food for the first time when the next generation is announced. Children are more sensitive to pollutants than adults, which is why parents often look for alternatives to conventional foods. And then discover for yourself that organic vegetables, fruits and meat taste better and are worth their price.
Benefits of organic products
- Less nitrate content
- Less residues of chemical-synthetic pesticides
- Possibly more valuable ingredients - this is currently still being researched
- Usually better taste
- Protection of the environment
Why are organic products expensive?
As a rule, particularly good quality has its price. This also applies to organic food. There are several reasons why consumers have to pay more than twice as much for organically produced food as they do for conventional products.
The cultivation is more complex
Organic farmers protect the environment by doing without chemical-synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. This means that mass-produced goods cannot be produced, and the harvests are less abundant. The cultivation methods are also more labor-intensive, which is reflected in the price.
Special recipes, high quality additives
Specifications on the processing methods permitted for organically produced foods and the prohibition of many additives and auxiliary materials make it necessary to develop special recipes and use high-quality ingredients.
Smaller specialty shops instead of large discounters
Small specialty stores that calculate according to different criteria than discounters are still an important pillar for the trade in organic food. In the meantime, however, many retail chains also have organic products in their range. Diversity and service in the health food store contrast with large purchase quantities and a good logistics structure in the supermarket.
An honest price comparison would also have to include the costs that are not on the receipt for supposedly cheaper foods: such as ecological follow-up costs, for which the general public must ultimately pay. Hardly any consumer who is happy about cheap food from discounters asks himself, for example, who pays for the high energy consumption in the production, processing and transport of conventional food.
If it says organic, there is also organic inside
Until a few years ago products could still be arbitrarily called "organic" or "eco", today these are legally protected terms.
Only foods that are produced in accordance with recognized ecological guidelines may be labeled with "organic" or "eco". Producers and processors undertake to comply with statutory regulations and association guidelines. Organic food from Germany and the member states of the European Union (EU) must meet the requirements of the EU organic regulation. Anyone who produces or processes organic products must have controls carried out in their company. Unannounced random checks offer additional security for the consumer. The controls are tailored to the respective operating mode and product group.
The EC organic regulation stipulates the following criteria, among others, which are subject to state controls:
- Area-bound, species-appropriate animal husbandry
- Varied crop rotations
- Feeding the animals with organically produced feed
- No antibiotics and performance enhancers
- No irradiation of food
- No genetic engineering
- No chemical-synthetic pesticides
- No mineral fertilizers
How do I recognize organic products?
Since 1993 the words "Bio" and "Öko" have been protected by the EU Organic Regulation. The code number or the name of the responsible organic inspection body must be stated on the packaging of the food. It monitors compliance with EU regulations for organic cultivation.
However, different logos and seals are easier to recognize, which signal to the customer: "This pack contains organic." Since July 1, 2010, pre-packaged organic food that has been produced in an EU member state must be labeled with the European organic logo. However, a two-year transition period also allowed marketing without the logo. However, labeling has been mandatory since July 2012.
In addition to the green "Europablatt", the German organic seal continues to exist. It can continue to be used - together with the European organic label.
Organic farming associations
In Germany there are also various cultivation associations, each of which awards its own cultivation seal. This seal means that the food also meets the stricter guidelines of this association.
Further information on the individual cultivation associations can be found on the respective websites:
- Bioland e. V.
- Biokreis e. V.
- Biopark e. V.
- Demeter Federation
- Ecoland e. V.
- Ecovin e. V.
- Gäa - Association of Organic Farming e. V.
- Naturland e. V.
Small organic goods customer
Not all organic products are equally good, and a shriveled organic carrot doesn't necessarily contain more vitamins than a crunchy, conventionally grown carrot. But more goes into the assessment of organic products than the obvious criteria such as freshness and appetite. What is the fundamental difference in quality between organically produced food and conventionally produced products?
The quality of many conventional baked goods leaves a lot to be desired. Aside from calories, white bread contains only a few vitamins and minerals. Experts also fear that the synthetically produced auxiliaries often used in dough preparation could be partly responsible for the growing number of allergies. Organic bakers make bread, rolls and cakes with ingredients that are as natural as possible. That is why they mainly offer whole grain products. They use organic yeast or tartaric acid baking powder as an aid, for example.
vegetables and fruit
Those who pay attention to organic quality in vegetables and fruit do not have to worry about pollution, for example from chemical fertilizers and pesticides or high nitrate values. Not only the rearing of organic vegetables, but also the seeds are subject to strict controls. Environmentally friendly cultivation methods and sufficient time to grow and mature are the secret of the intense taste of organic vegetables and fruits.
Cheese and milk
What is special about organic cheese is above all the quality of the milk as a raw material. Because the type of feed - fresh grass or the farm's own feed such as hay or silage - and the species-appropriate keeping of the animals are also noticeable in the aroma of the dairy products. In addition, organic cheese is not a quickly manufactured standard product, but has naturally matured for a long time. In accordance with the EU organic regulation, no auxiliary substances or additives are used. In addition, many small cheese dairies attach particular importance to traditional craftsmanship and thus ensure variety and regional specialties.
meat and sausage
Organic meat is becoming increasingly popular - although it is considerably more expensive than meat from conventional farms. Animals on an organic farm are kept in a species-appropriate manner. They have enough space to move around, they are fed according to their needs and according to their level of development. Therefore, they gain weight more slowly and need to be fattened longer. But that is good for the taste, because the species-appropriate feeding and the muscle activity of the animals increase the proportion of intramuscular fat. These are small veins of fat that run through the muscle meat, give it a typical marbling and make it tender and juicy. Short transport routes to the slaughterhouse save the animals stress and thus prevent the stress hormone adrenaline from being transferred to the meat.
If you want organic fish on your table, you have come to the right place with ecological pond management, because there is no such thing as "wild organic fish". Wild fish are exposed to severe environmental pollution and stalking by fishing fleets. The guidelines for organic aquaculture in Germany define the framework for near-natural pond systems such as species-appropriate stocking density and a high diversity of animals and plants. Vegetable feed must come from organic production, the fish must neither be given chemical-synthetic feed additives nor be treated preventively with drugs or hormones.
vinegar and oil
The production of high-quality edible oil and vinegar in organic quality still follows the rules of traditional craftsmanship today. When it comes to vinegar, natural fermented vinegars made from wine and fruit without chemical additives such as sulfur and without pasteurization are at the top of the quality scale. Natural, native oil from the kernels and seeds of organically grown plants is obtained by purely mechanical pressing without additives or heat. The result: the oil impresses with its typical color, its characteristic aroma and the valuable ingredients.
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