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What is the organic food ?

web_1Foods claiming to be organic must be free of artificial food additives, and are often processed with fewer artificial methods, materials and conditions, such as chemical ripening, food irradiation, and genetically modified ingredients.

How many percentages of organic ingredients have to be in food to call it ‘organic' ?

As the word is defined in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), organic foods are those grown without the use of pesticides, oil - or sewage-based fertilizers, antibiotics, synthetic hormones, genetic engineering or irradiation.
A food can claim to be organic if it contains 95 percent organic ingredients.
Foods with 70 percent to 95 percent organic ingredients can claim to be "made with organic ingredients".

What is the difference between bio- organic and eco food ?

There is no difference between bio- and eco- because it is linked to the use of products that have the same properties. The only difference seems to be that they are used differently in different countries.
Terms biological, bio- prevail in Roman and Germanic languages. There they coexist with ecological adjective, which is most common in Scandinavia. In English-speaking countries the term organic is mostly used. As stated in the Code of the United States, the term organic marks credible certified organic products, while the so-called synonym all-natural is completely legally unregulated expression.
Is it allowed to use pesticides in organic food?
Pesticides are allowed as long as they are not synthetic.

Where to find certified institution in my country ?

web_2To be certified organic, products must be grown and manufactured in a manner that adheres to standards set by the country they are sold in:

Australia: Australian Organic Standard and NASAA Organic Standard,

Canada: Canada Gazette, Government of Canada,

European Union: EU-Eco-regulation,

Sweden: KRAV,

United Kingdom: Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA),

Norway: Debio Organic certification,

India: NPOP, (National Program for Organic Production),

Japan: JAS Standards,

United States: National Organic Program (NOP) Standards.

Why organic food is less damaging for the environment?

Several surveys and studies have attempted to examine and compare conventional and organic systems of farming. The general consensus across these surveys is that organic farming is less damaging for the following reasons:

  • Organic farms do not consume or release synthetic pesticides into the environment - some of which have the potential to harm soil, water and local terrestrial and aquatic wildlife.
  • Organic farms are better than conventional farms at sustaining diverse ecosystems, i.e., populations of plants and insects, as well as animals.
  • When calculated either per unit area or per unit of yield, organic farms use less energy and produce less waste, e.g., waste such as packaging materials for chemicals.

Is organic production more energy efficient?

The general analysis is that organic production methods are usually more energy efficient because they do not use chemically synthesized nitrogen.

What is the biggest advantage of organic food for your health?

Organically grown foods consistently have about one-third as many residues as conventionally grown foods.web_3

PAN UK (formerly the Pesticide Trust) cites studies that have shown:

  • 93% of non-organic oranges analysed contained pesticide residues
  • 78% of apples analysed contained pesticide residues
  • 43% of all fruit and vegetables analysed had detectable levels of pesticides
  • 50% of lettuce contained residues from 7 or more chemical
  • 71% of cereal bars with residues
  • 83% of oily fish showed pesticide residues

Does organic food have more nutrition and better taste than normal food?

There are many opinions about it. Some of the surveys says that there is no difference while some claim that consumers find organic food more tasty. Consumers opt to buy organic food because it tastes better, so claims a recent survey from the UK's organic body the Soil Association, putting increasing pressure on the food makers to perfect their formulations.

What else characterise organic and traditional food?

Organic food contains higher levels of nutritionally desirable compounds (e.g., vitamins/antioxidants and poly-unsaturated fatty acids such as omega-3 and CLA); normal food contains lower levels of nutritionally undesirable compounds such as heavy metals, mycotoxins, pesticide residues and glyco-alkaloids in a range of crops and/or milk; a lower risk of faecal Salmonella shedding in pigs.

Why organic food is more expensive than traditional food?

Organic products typically cost 10 to 40% more than similar conventionally produced products.
Prices may be higher because organic products are produced on a smaller scale, and may need to be milled or processed separately. Furthermore, there is an increase in shipping costs from more centralized production in otherwise regional markets. In the case of dairy and eggs, the animal's requirements such as the number of animals that can be raised per acre, or the breed of animal and its feed conversion ratio affects the costs.

How big is organic food market?

While organic food accounts for 1-2% of total food sales worldwide, the organic food market is growing rapidly, far ahead of the rest of the food industry, in both developed and developing nations. World organic food sales jumped from US $23 billion in 2002 to $52 billion in 2008.The world organic market has been growing by 20% a year since the early 1990s, with future growth estimates ranging from 10%-50% annually depending on the country.

How does organic food market look on our continent?

In the European Union (EU25) 3.9% of the total utilized agricultural area is used for organic production. The countries with the highest proportion of organic land are Austria (11%) and Italy (8.4), followed by Czech Republic and Greece (both 7.2%). The lowest figures are shown for Malta (0.1%), Poland (0.6%) and Ireland (0.8%)
How does the organic food market look in our countries?
Austria: 11.6% of all farmers produced organically in 2007. The government has created incentives to increase the figure to 20% by 2010. 4.9% of all food products sold in Austrian supermarkets (including discount stores) in 2006 were organic. 8000 different organic products were available in the same year.

Italy: Since 2000 use of some organic food is compulsory in Italian schools and hospitals. Since 2005 all school lunches in Emilia Romagna must be organic by law.
Poland: In 2005 168,000 ha of land was under organic management. 7 percent of Polish consumers buy food that was produced according to the EU-Eco-regulation. The value of the organic market is estimated at 50 million Euros (2006).

UK: Organic food sales increased from just over £100 million in 1993/94 to £1.21 billion in 2004 (an 11% increase on 2003).

Where to find organic food shop?web_4

List of bioorganic shops in Prague: Expat - Organic Food Prague

Useful links and sources:
Organic Europe
Organic Farming - European Comission
Food navigator
Organic Info Net
Wikipedia - Organic Food



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