When we shop for food, we are often overwhelmed with choice – brand name or generic, fresh or frozen, organic or not organic. Standing in front of the shelves with dramatic headlines running through our heads, it’s easy to get guilt-tripped into spending more on organic products – but is it always necessary? And is it always the “best” option?
Decoding the label
In order for food to be labelled as organic, it must be grown without synthetic pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, or genetically modified organisms. Organic meat must come from animals fed with 100% organic feed and raised without growth promoters or hormones. While organic food is arguably better for human health, and for the planet, there is no real monitoring system in place to track whether or not products are truly organic. And since organic products often bear a hefty mark-up (a 2016 study found that, on average, UK consumers paid an 89% premium over non-organic goods), buying all-organic is not a feasible option for everyone.