Organic Foods


What does it mean when we refer to some foods as organic? And what are the benefits?

In everyday conversation, "Organic food" usually refers to all "naturally produced" food, or the product of organic farming. As a legal term, it means 'certified organic'.

Organic foods, like food in general, can be grouped into two categories, fresh and processed, based on production methods, availability and consumer perception.

Fresh food is seasonal and highly perishable. Fresh vegetables and fruit is the most available type of organic food, and closely associated with organic farming. It is often purchased directly from the growers, at farmers' markets and from specialty food stores, unprocessed animal products - organic meat, eggs, and dairy - are less common. Prices are significantly higher than for conventional food, and availability is lower. They are still premium priced items.

For fresh food, "organic" usually means :

  • produced without synthetic chemicals
  • GM free
  • (often, but not necessarily) locally grown

Processed food accounts for most of the items in a supermarket. Some of it is organic, and organic prices are often high. In spite of this, organic processed products are now primarily purchased from supermarkets. The majority of processed organics comes from large food conglomerates, as producing and marketing products like canned goods, frozen vegetables, prepared dishes and other convenience foods is beyond the scope of the original small organic producers.

For processed organic food, the general definition is :


  • contains only (or at least a certain specified percentage of) organic ingredients
  • contains no artificial food additives
  • processed without artificial methods, materials and conditions

Useful Websites

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  • Food Fever
    FoodFever is a UK guide to restaurants and takeaways, pubs and bars, hotels and guest houses, local food shopping, farm shops, organic food and online food shopping.
  • Body & Soul Organic Food Shop
    Supplier of organic food and free of genetically modified (GM) material
  • Simon Wright: Organic Food Consultant
    Designed to help you if you are considering introducing organic food into your manufacturing processes
  • Fresh Food Co
    Delivers organic vegetables direct to your door, anywhere in mainland UK, winners in 1995's Organic Food Awards
  • HDRA - Organic gardening
    Europe's largest organic membership organisation, dedicated to researching and promoting organic gardening, farming and food
  • The Jumble Room Cafe
    Organic restaurant in Grasmere in the heart of The Lake District, run by it's local owners Andy and Chrissy Hill it is warm, cosy and personal, offering great food, organic wine, local beers and a wel
  • Add Your Website Here

Further Reading

  • Organic Gardening & Weeds

    If you are into organic gardening you'll know that to kill weeds, you have to look to alternatives - otherwise you won't be organic much longer! Check out our simple guide for some sound tips.
  • Processed Food More Nutritious Than Fresh Foods?

    Can processed foods ever be more nutritious than fresh foods like vegetables and fruit? Find out more on what we're talking about now.
  • Genetically Modified Foods Explained

    Find out more about Genetically modified foods (aka GM Foods) with the help of our simple list. Let the guides look after you.
  • A Guide To Online Food Deliveries

    If you want to see how online food deliveries can save you time and hassle, then grocery shopping via the internet is a guide that can help you to get started. Read on.
  • Understanding Gardening

    What is gardening? Read our guide to understand more about this favourite pastime.

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