Organic food is no longer limited to specialist shops or bought solely by fussy foodie consumers.
Eight out of ten households bought organic products in 2011, according to the Soil Association.
Although more accessible to shoppers, doubt and confusion still exist as to what the organic labelling really means and what benefits it actually entails.
Organic UK Food shed some light on what the term 'organic' means:
• The food is simply more natural. The products are more natural in both flavour and composition as organic farming bans the use of GM crops and ingredients, hydrogenated fats and artificial pesticides amongst other nasties.
• It's produced under higher welfare standards. Animals are given plenty of space and natural light to grow naturally and thrive on a free-range existence.
• Better taste is guaranteed. The naturally healthy and fertile soil that farmers endeavour to maintain gives rise to flavoursome produce that tastes 'like it used to'!
• It's more environmentally friendly. Farmers make an effort to work with nature to feed soil and control pests rather than relying on chemicals.
So, which products are worth paying that little bit extra for?
The Soil Association's Josh Stride says to start buying organic versions of the things you use the most and specifies his top picks.
Five organic products worth buying
This is one of the most researched organic foods with significant findings in its favour. Organic milk and dairy products contain more beneficial nutrients than non-organic simply because organic cows eat more grass.
Buying organic meat eliminates the risk of exposure to potentially harmful hormones and antibiotic residues. The improved flavour is another perk.
Fruit and veg
Research has found that over 40% of all non-organic fruit and vegetables tested contained pesticides – specific ones to avoid for their high levels of nasties are oranges, grapes and pears.
A staple for most of the population, 90% of non-organic bread was found to contain pesticides. Organic alternatives are widely available and won't bust your budget.
Often intensively produced, conventionally grown tea plants are treated with high levels of pesticides which can wind their way into people's morning cuppa.
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