Organic agriculture is a carefully designed system of food production which operates internationally to written standards. It aims to grow the best food possible by understanding and working with natural processes. Good health – of the soil, plants, animals and people – is the objective. So soil fertility is preserved and enhanced by the use of composts, green manures and crop rotations rather than by fossil-based soluble fertilisers which take large amounts of energy to produce and which can damage soil micro-organisms as well as polluting drinking water supplies.
Animal welfare is a key part of organics, so antibiotics are restricted, hormone growth promoters are banned and animals are kept in less crowded conditions. Genetically modified foods are not allowed anywhere in organic systems.
Organic agriculture is better for wildlife because it avoids the pollution of toxic insecticides and it produces less carbon dioxide, the main global warming gas.
Not surprisingly, many people find that food grown organically tastes better. It avoids the pesticide residues that are often present in non-organic food and on average, it contains higher levels of vitamin C and essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron and chromium as well as cancer-fighting antioxidants.
Conventional food processing uses hundreds of additives and ‘processing aids’, some of which are not even mentioned on product labels. But organic food allows only a handful of additives: the only ones used by The Village Bakery are baking powders in some cakes.
All in all, choosing organic food means opting for health – your own and that of all parts of the biosphere in which we live and on which we depend. If you care about where your food comes from and what it does for you, organic is the natural choice.