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NOW CLOSED Talk to Organic UK about about buying organic food and win a Neal's Yard 'pamper hamper' worth £100 plus 10 runner up prizes

(321 Posts)
KatieBMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 14-May-12 11:18:46

As part of the new "Organic, Naturally Different Campaign" the folks at Organic UK would like to know Mumsnetters' opinions on buying organic food for your family. Here's what Organic UK says: "The campaign wants to encourage all of us to think again about the benefits of organic, and support organic producers. We all want good, natural food and that's exactly what organic is all about."

So if you buy organic food, please tell us what you buy and why? Does buying organic only matter to you for certain items and not others? Or is anything and everything you buy organic? Why is buying organic food important to you?

If you don't buy (or don't always buy) organic food, why is this? What prevents you from buying organic? Is there anything that could persuade you to purchase organic food?

Also, are you 100% sure on what organic produce is and how it is classified? Or are you not too sure?

Everyone who adds their comments to this list will be entered into a prize draw where one winner will receive a Neal's Yard 'pamper hamper' worth £100 and 10 runners up will each win one copy of the Discover Organic cookbook (worth £14.99).

Full T&Cs can be found here.

Thanks and good luck with the prize draw!


nipitinthebud Wed 06-Jun-12 11:53:02

I get an organic fruit and veg box from Riverford sometimes. I think the produce is excellent quality, I like the variety and being 'forced' to try new recipes regularly. And actually for the volumes and quality I think the price is pretty hard to beat for organic or in some cases non-organic (only for a mixed veg box, not singly bought items). Taste wise....meh, I don't notice a difference particularly.

I actively avoid the organic in the supermarkets as the selection is small, the produce looks a bit grotty like its been hanging around a while (even Waitrose) and you get less product for your money in general.

I don't tend to buy organic anything else unless its a product I want - the organic label isn't really a draw for me. (Although...saying that I'm not too keen on meat products pumped with salt and hormones etc but the price of organic for these is just too much at the moment. If it was a bit more expensive I'd switch, but its vastly more expensive)

I'm not 100% convinced by organic in general. I haven't done too much research on it though. But I don't think GM crops etc are the work of the devil. And organic fruit and veg is treated with 'chemicals' in so far as anything is a chemical - crops may be treated with copper sulphate and other heavy metal compounds to ask as pesticides/fungicides. Its still not like farming back in the good old days really - because we're all after such a lot more bulk production.

I don't know the full story about organic though and am open to being educated about the benefits of organic over non-organic. I feel there's quite a lot of non-scientific, biased information out there which makes it difficult to make an informed choice. Lower prices and better quality of veg in supermarkets would be helpful.

I think I partially understand the classification of organic - something about the fields having to have been free of non-organic chemical treatment crops for several years - and having to have a certain distance between non-organic/organic fields? For cattle its something like not fed on non-organic feed.

pinkorkid Wed 06-Jun-12 13:47:29

We often buy organic milk and sometimes veg if on special offer or not much more expensive than standard. We used to buy everything organic when oldest child was a toddler but can't afford it any more.

PinkCanary Wed 06-Jun-12 17:04:57

I'd love to buy organic and am pretty clued up about the classifications but I simply cannot afford to. However I am making a conciencious effort to grow my own fruit and veg this year. :-)

Occasionally we go to a local farm shop but some items are more than double the price.

Gethsemane Thu 07-Jun-12 14:41:36

I would definitely buy organic if I could afford it. It seems unreasonably expensive. I agree with the principles - that some of the products used on our food are likely to be bad for our health (indeed historically some have been banned due to their effects on neurological health), however in practice buying organic is prohibitively expensive.
Where I can I buy organic - particularly on foods that are concentrated down from large volumes or processed - so that items that can't be washed (e.g. tomato ketchup). In this way I hope to limit my exposure to nasties....

DazR Sat 09-Jun-12 15:07:15

I would also buy organic if I could justify the increase in price. Would particularly be interested in buying FRESH organic foodstuffs. I am worried about the amount of pesticides and chemicals used in the production of fresh fruit and vegetables.

Perhaps if there was a supermarket campaign whereby organic products were similarly priced as regular products for a month and therefore people could experiment (without price increase) and realise the benefits of buying organic.

I can see immediately in the fruit and veg isles the organic and ordinary products - I am not so sure about other products and what makes these products organic.

KenNEddieKennedy Sat 09-Jun-12 15:24:31

I always buy organic milk and carrots, (Waitrose Duchy milk is non homogenised so has more cream at the top, just to add to someone's comment further upthread)- I read somewhere in the dim and distant past carrots absorb more pesticides so it's just stuck with me.

Other foods? Nah. I have never thought organic tasted better really.

littledid Sat 09-Jun-12 18:51:31

I try to buy organic food, especially things my children will eat. This usually means organic vegetables, fruit and animal products (milk, eggs, meat). I am really single minded about this when weaning as I feel that it is the most important time to be making sure their tiny bodies are not filled with unnatural chemicals. After all, we all want to give our children the best start possible, don't we (plus I suffer from chronic 'mummy guilt' so wouldn't forgive myself if there was yet another scare involving some foodstuff or other!). I have to admit we have been more relaxed about it as they have got older, so whilst we still but organic animal products, we will also eat non-organic fruit and veg. This is partly to do with our economic situation-I find it hard to justify spending beyond our (very strict) weekly budget on organic food when the money saved could go towards ingredients for a whole meal.
I understand you can buy organic clothes but I am a bit unsure as to what this means and what the benefits are.
I do have organic shampoo, which I was talked into getting by my hairdresser and find it inferior quality.
So it would seem that our main motivation behind buying organic is nutrition, taste and health rather than for moral and ethical reasons.

egbok Sat 09-Jun-12 20:38:14

we always buy organic as we are concerned about the long term health risks of pesticide residue as well as the overall environmental impact of pesticides. It used to be difficult to find organic food easily, but now its sufficiently mainstream that we can be 100% organic. We get a lot of food through the Riverford organic scheme which is good value, and our food bill is probably not as big as it could be as we are vegetarian and meat is expensive.

Roseland1 Sat 09-Jun-12 21:55:36

I grow or buy organic whenever I can because I believe it's better for your health and better for our wildlife. Anything grown unnaturally / with chemicals is sure to have an adverse impact in some way?

EllenParsons Sun 10-Jun-12 00:19:47

I buy organic veg if the price difference between organic and "normal" is not too high. If the organic product is about twice the price then I don't buy it, because I want to keep my grocery bills down. The reason why I prefer to get organic if possible is because I think it is fresher and healthier and ideally I would like to avoid pesticides etc on my veg.

Tortington Sun 10-Jun-12 00:24:24

it all comes down to price - i'll pay a little extra for some stuff - like sausages or eggs but it just wouldn't be economically viable to do a full shop this way.

i get meat from butchers - no idea where that is sourced

get veg from grocers - no idea if its organic

kookenhaken Sun 10-Jun-12 02:14:43

We buy organic eggs as it guarantees they are truly free range and therefore from happy chickens.
We buy organic milk...I don't drink it but I think it's got to better for the cows and hubby. The same for meat. I used to buy organic veg boxes but it became very expensive veg soup every week. I'm less concerned about veg now but will sometimes buy organic veg. I don't look at the price until I'm shocked at checkout!
I like to buy organic toiletries especially for baby.

HipHopOpotomus Mon 11-Jun-12 11:26:01

I always buy organic milk & I am very thankful that our local Tesco Metro pretty much always has it in stock.

I often buy organic if on offer and if the price difference isn't huge. I will not pay double for organic - I can't do that. I will buy organic fruit and vege and occasionally meat too (if on offer). I do usually buy free range though.

AvocadoAndFitch Mon 11-Jun-12 13:38:33

I occasionally buy Organic. When I do it tends to be meat, eggs and milk

Cost is the main thing. I'm a little bit obsessive about cost per 100g/kg/100ml and compare that and decide rather than go for "deals". A little bit extra I don't mind but when its double I wounldn't buy it.

Yes I'm fully aware of what Organic means. I wish red tractor and other organizations would make things more transparent.

ColinFirthsGirth Mon 11-Jun-12 18:41:32

I buy as much organic food as I can. We live on a fairly low amount of money but we are vegetarian so we don't have to buy any meat or fish which helps. I would like to be able to buy even more. I have an allotment plot and grow my vegetables and fruit as organic.

I do know a fair bit about organic classification and certification as my husband works for a organic certification company. I therefore know it is not a marketing ploy of a con. I believe there are health, environmental and taste benefits as well as some animal welfare benefits.

I think some of the general public do not fully understand what organic means or have misconceptions - for example some people seem to think that the Soil Association is the only certification body, when there are actually a number in the UK. These include Organic Farmers and Growers and the Organic Food Federation - all of which are valid.

carrotsandcelery - Dairy cows are given the correct treatment in organic farming. Animal welfare should is always expected to come before the organic part. This means that the cow's milk can not be classed as organic whilst they are on anti-biotics etc but once this has left the body/milk they can go back into the organic system again.

newfashionedmum Mon 11-Jun-12 19:13:28

Our food bill is bigger than all of our other outgoings, including our mortgage. We buy only organic where possible, for health and animal welfare reasons and for environmental reasons. We are lucky to have an organic grocers nearby so organic food is seasonal and locally produced, so a relatively low carbon impact. Fruit and veg are affordable, it's organic meat and dairy which push the food bill up so much.
The exception is fish where we avoid organic because that means its been farmed and is therefore probably less healthy. Also wine because organic wine is very expensive and often tastes a bit rough, and olives because i'm told by my grocer, who sells both dtypes, that they are virtually organic whether labelled as such or not.
We also buy organic non food items eg tampons, tissues, again for health reasons and to reduce environmental impact.
I believe organic food to be lower in toxins including xenoestrogens and antibiotics which have been implicated in long term health problems, and also higher in beneficial plant compounds, essential fatty acids and other micronutrients.

Frontpaw Mon 11-Jun-12 19:19:54

So if you buy organic food, please tell us what you buy and why?
Lettuce - I heard a framer on the radio yeard ago saying that he wouldn't eat non organic (yuk)
Meat/chicken/fish - better colour, flavour and animal care
Fruits - don't like the idea of sprays
We don't really know what harm chemicals can do to people. Some of the stuff is far better quality and seems to iffer a wider variety of things like apples (so ye olde english varieties)
The farmers seem to take good care of the countryside too

Does buying organic only matter to you for certain items and not others? Or is anything and everything you buy organic? I try to buy - some things are not available to just far too expensive so I shop around or take non organic.

Why is buying organic food important to you? We don't spend a fortune on eating out, drinking or holidays - so we spend more on eating good food at home.

mrsbunnyw Mon 11-Jun-12 19:49:32

Occasionally I buy organic food at a farmer's market when I come across one, and my parents grow a lot of organic fruit and veg in their garden so we 'help' by eating that. I like the variation and non-uniformity (which is a word!) of organic veg - I am not sure it is like that because of the lack of chemicals though. In the supermarket I mostly buy the regular versions though. I have read and seen research which suggests that the chemicals on non-organic food wash off easily so I wash them and in view of that, I can't justify spending the extra money on a regular basis.

ProdigalMNer Tue 12-Jun-12 00:12:44

Please tell us what you buy and why?

I buy organic vegetables weekly (but wonder why as I live in the sticks and local farmers spray the fields around me with alarming regularity.)
I wish I could afford to buy more organic produce/ products across the board, the price is definitely a prohibiting factor in my ability to purchase more organic products.

Does buying organic only matter to you for certain items and not others?

Finances being what they are, I prioritise with vegetables given that we eat so many of them. I worry about the pesticides etc .

Why is buying organic food important to you?

I would rather feed my family with products which have been grown in as natural environment as possible without worrying about the health risks (some of which may yet be unknown) of the additives and residual pesticides associated with non-organic pesticides). There are plenty of worries associated with raising a family, eliminating that one would be nice.

If it was possible to afford more I would definitely 'go' as organic as possible. I would definitely prefer to buy free-range organic meat for the meat-eaters of the family but the cost of this is shock shock , although I completely understand why. I currently compromise with free-range non-organic.

In terms of classification I look for soil association certification but in all honesty I haven't verified the reliability of this <<gullible fool emoticon>>

sc2987 Tue 12-Jun-12 00:47:57

I buy everything certified organic that can be (e.g. not non-agricultural products) or else wildcrafted/foraged/allotment grown/home grown/unsprayed.

It's part of my veganism as I wish to avoid pesticides as they are designed to kill animals. I am aware certified organic produce can use certain pesticides, but a limited number, and most are for fungal infections not animals, and they have to have permission from the certifying authority and a plan for avoiding them in future. So better than conventional produce.

I understand that in the UK only foods certified by authorities such as the SA or OF&G etc can be legally labelled organic. My personal definition extends to unsprayed items as well though.

KatieBMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 13-Jun-12 10:21:13

Thanks to everyone who has taken part in this discussion thanks

Congratulations to tumbleweedblowing, you've won a Neal's Yard 'pamper hamper' worth £100!

The following Mumsnetters have also won a copy of the Discover Organic cookbook (worth £14.99):

I'll PM you to get your details.

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