Finding Organic Food Online: An Easy Way to Stay Healthy
Eating organic is easier than ever before. Most supermarkets sell a range of organic products and you can even order organic food online. Many fruit and vegetable suppliers offer a home delivery service and will bring a box of organic, seasonal vegetables to your doorstep. Organic milk and organic cheese are widely available.
Most people are aware of the health benefits of eating foods that are produced without chemical pesticides and are made without artificial additives, but eating organic meat and dairy products also helps animal welfare and protects the environment.
Organic Farming and Animal Welfare
healthy eating vegetablesOrganic farms have strict regulations about animal welfare. Animals have more space to move around than on non-organic farms and they are allowed to be outside as much as possible. A farm that is certified organic must follow regulations about the size of the cubicles the animals are kept in when inside, and the comfort of their surroundings (for example clean bedding).
The animals are fed natural food, and their feed does not contain genetically modified products or foods that are derived from other animals. Organic farmers do not feed their cows too much protein to encourage them to produce more milk (a practice that is acceptable on non-organic farms) and the animals are not fed growth hormones or unnecessary antibiotics. Farmers may sometimes use herbal medicines or use homeopathic treatments, and antibiotics or vaccinations are used only when they are absolutely necessary.
How Organic Farms Benefit the Environment
Organic farmers use natural pesticides instead of the chemical ones that are commonly used in farming. Some pesticides can be harmful to the environment and the wildlife around the farm, and there has been concern about the amount of pesticide residues and other harmful chemicals that ends up in food. Traces of chemical insecticides can also end up in the water that eventually ends up as drinking water.
Organic farms also encourage biodiversity. This means that instead of intensely farming just one crop or a limited amount of crops, an organic farm grows several different types of crops and rotates them. The field is allowed to recover between the different crops, a method that creates a healthy and balanced soil. Many farmers also use certain plants that enrich the soil and put nutrients back into the earth: red clover is one of these beneficial plants. Because less harmful pesticides are used, there is also more wildlife on organic than non-organic farms, including birds and butterflies.
Where to Get Organic Food Online
If you live in Britain you have a really wide range of choices. Ocado and Waitrose have a reasonable selection of organic products mixed in with all of their other groceries. They are pricy but the range is good. There are also cheaper options from Tesco and Sainsbury’s. If you want a dedicated organic store then look for an organic delivery box. We use Abel and Cole and have for some years. They are probably the best known out there. Their boxes are great and they have a really good assortment. You can also choose your likes and dislikes on the website so if you hate cabbage, for instance, then they will know never to send you any. There are many so try another if the one you with isn’t any good.
Some other organic veg-box companies:
- Riverford Organic which started in Devon but now delivers nearly 50% boxes a week
- Earth Natural Foods – does deliveries in North West London
- Vegbox2U has deliveries in Bristol and North Somerset
You can also find a more complete list of Veg-Box schemes at vegbox-recipes.co.uk, which has a search function that can find local delivery companies.
Organic Boxes in the United States
Because the US is so big it is hard to give recommendations on what might be good in your area. In New York City you could try the Organic Fruit and Veggie Club or Urban Or