Organic Food Directory
The LoopyFood.net directory aims to include all things to do with local clean, natural and wholesome food*; although it might be tempting to think of this as exclusively Organic food (certified as such), there is a little more to determining what is included in the directory (or what one might aspire to eat). For instance, as well as Certified Organic food, what about Biodynamic food, with its own certification mark: Demeter Certified? Maybe there is food that is produced locally in accord with organic principles and which, although not certified by an official body, we would be happy to eat?; in the UK, for instance, the Wholesome Food Association (WFA) is a membership body for small-scale producers who want to adhere to organic-like growing principles but for whom Organic Certification may be too expensive. There may also be small-scale market-gardeners etc. near you who have not even joined such self- or peer-certification organizations, but who you would nevertheless trust to supply your food because you trust their production methods. These foods are included in the directory – with the option available to filter search results according to certification status (e.g., if you wanted to find only Biodynamic or certified Organic food).
To recap, when it comes to considering the credentials of food producers on the map (with respect to natural production methods and lack of toxic chemicals), listings come under one of several headings:
- officially certified – e.g., Organic or Demeter;
- membership of an organization or scheme where members commit to adhering to production methods and principles aligned with the organic movement, usually with safeguards such as an ‘open-gate’ policy;
- individual producers making a public commitment to production methods and principles aligned with the organic movement, again ideally with safeguards such as an ‘open-gate’ policy.
When searching on the directory for food producers, you can choose which of these types of assurance you are happy with, and filter out others as you see fit. If in doubt, check the claims made that food is organic!
We, as active consumers, should not be afraid of engaging with local producers and asking for information on how they produce the food they are selling. A conscientious producer will not baulk at the thought of allowing you to see their production site and methods; members of the UK’s Wholesome Food Association, for example, commit to an ‘open-gate’ policy – part of developing trust between producer and consumer. Engage with producers at your local farmers’ market – ask them what, if any, chemicals they use on their land and crops – if you are not happy with the response, tell them ‘sorry, that’s not good enough for me’; if enough people do so then maybe non-organic producers will think about ‘upping their game’!We are all responsible for sourcing our food and deciding who we trust to supply food fit to eat! Click To Tweet
The Health Benefits of Eating Organic +
From a health point of view, you might consider two main reasons for eating organic food:
- the things that are minimised/not in it by design: toxic chemicals and GMOs;
- the positive nutritional benefits that arise from organic cultivation of crops.
(Of course there are a wide range of other reasons why people chose organic food, including benefits to the environment and livestock welfare – but we are concerned with the health benefits here.)
*There is one notable exception from the above when it comes to a discussion of ‘good healthy food’: ‘nutrient-density’. There is a small but growing movement of people who point to the role of adequately mineralised soil in growing healthy and health-promoting food – for an introduction see The Intelligent Gardener by Steve Solomon. This can be a costly approach to growing food, and tends to be adopted by independent growers who produce food for themselves and their families – it appears at present to be too costly to be adopted on a commercial scale. It cannot therefore be considered a criteria for inclusion of food in this directory.