Organic On A Budget

Let’s chew over the facts.


WHAT IS ORGANIC FOOD?

Organic food describes food grown without the use of herbicides, pesticides and  fertilisers, and processed without the addition of artificial and chemical ingredients. In the case of meat, poultry and dairy products, it describes food from animals that have been raised on organic feed, without the addition of growth hormones and antibiotics.


The words ‘Certified Organic’ on the label of a food item mean that the product has met the criteria of a  recognised certifier. Established organic certifying bodies include USDA from America, EU Commission, NASAA and ACO from Australia


Organic is considered a good choice for personal health as well as environmental health. Since it contains nothing artificial, eating organic is akin to eating ‘real’ food. Going organic is also the simplest way to avoid eating genetically modified organisms, since certified organic standards prohibit their use.


CLOSING THE PRICE GAP

Since the conditions for organic food production are more stringent than for non-organic food, the cost is higher for both producer and consumer. However, as demand increases, so does supply, which means economies of scale are starting to be seen.


Responsible retailers are also making great efforts to keep the cost of organic food manageable. We spoke to Christine Rubi-Cruz, Wellness and Lifestyle Manager at Cold Storage, about what the premium supermarket chain is doing to help bring the benefits of organic food to its customers.


“By working directly with our suppliers, and eliminating superfluous middlemen, we pass on the savings to our customers. So these days you can find an organic product that can be priced at 5 to 10 percent more than the conventional product, which is much better than before when you could really notice the difference in price,” said Christine.


ORGANIC IN EVERY AISLE

Organic foods are available in all Cold Storage stores and can be found in almost every aisle.


In the Fresh section, you can find various organic produce such as fruit, vegetables, herbs, salad mixes and meats. In the Baby Care section, there is a wide range of organic milk, toddler food, snacks and  skincare products. In the Dairy and Frozen section, you can find organic milk and non-dairy alternatives, cheese and convenience foods.


Finally, the Wellness4Life section is a dedicated area for organic grocery items ranging from UHT milk, cereals and other grocery staples to snacks and wines.


Particularly extensive ranges of organic food items can be found  at larger stores including Great World City, Plaza Singapura, Jelita and Sime Darby.


ORGANIC BABY STEPS

If budget dictates that only certain food items can be upgraded to organic versions, here are some general guidelines for adding organic food to your family’s diet:

  • Fruits with edible skin (apple, grapes, strawberries, etc.) and leafy greens (spinach), as they often carry residues of pesticides

  • Meat, milk and dairy products, if herbicides, pesticides, antibiotics and growth hormones ingested by livestock are a concern

  • Coffee and tea, not only because they are chemical-  free but also because most organic products are grown and processed in accordance with Fair Trade Practices, which means the people who produced them are paid fairly and treated well

  • Condiments and sauces like salad dressings, ketchup and other pantry essentials, because conventional versions often have artificial ingredients to improve taste, shelf life and  colour

  • Baby/Toddler food, especially in view of the fact that organic products are priced more or less on a par with conventional ones

We wish you well on your journey towards a clean, toxin-free diet of organic food.

With thanks to our contributors:


Christine Rubi-Cruz

Wellness & Lifestyle Manager

Cold Storage Singapore


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