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Should We Be Eating Organic at Christmas?

When it comes to food and nutrition, organic is the optimum. 

But realistically, there are many factors that can limit this, the first being budget, and this is never more true than at Christmas.  Availability can also be an issue. 

So, for us, buy what you can afford is the first principle, and then focus on the key areas.


Meat and Dairy

Dairy should in our opinion always be organic.  Meat also if possible.

Not only is animal welfare always higher (and that is not to say that non-organic necessarily means poor welfare, but that's a subject for another day), but from a nutritional stand point, organic, grass fed gives far better nutrient levels, AND a lack of chemicals and hormones.

Certainly an organic, free range turkey, for a large family, at this time of year, represents a massive investment. It may be the ideal, but if it's not workable, choose a small joint instead, or aim for free range only.   If you can afford it, then go for it, why not make Christmas as good as it can be!

For the rest of the year, higher quality, less often is an excellent way to manage organic meat on a budget.



When it comes to the veggies, you could argue that organic is slightly less important.  Going local will give you excellent quality, but do go organic if you can. 

But for some people, taste is key here, and  much organic veg is simply better, so Christmas may in fact be a time to treat yourself to a box of organic veg for the best Christmas meal possible.  Your local veg box supplier is typically as much as 20% cheaper than supermarkets, so this is where you will find the best value.

If budget limits you here, then pick and choose a little.  Those vegetables that are within a tough skin and need peeling in some cases represent less of an issue, but this doesn't always hold true.  Onions for example are known to be low in pesticide residues.

In America, which is likely to be relatively similar to here, a "Dirty Dozen" and "Clean Fifteen" list is produced, and these are the fruit and veg with the highest documented pesticide levels tested in 2013. The "Dirty Dozen" are - Apples, celery, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, grapes, peppers,  peaches, potatoes, spinach, strawberries, kale, courgettes.

The "Clean fifteen" are Asparagus, Avocados, Cabbage, Cantaloupe, Sweet Corn, Eggplant, Grapefruit, Kiwi, Mangos, Mushrooms, Onions, Papayas, Pineapples, Sweet peas - frozen, Sweet potatoes.


What About the Wine?

Organic wine has fewer sulphites.  For those with a sulphite sensitivity this is key, for others, it may be desirable.  There will always be some naturally occuring sulphites, but none are added to organic wine.  It is not always easy to get hold of, but large branches of major supermarkets generally have some options, or try your independant retailer.


Will You Choose Organic?

What about you, will you be eating organic this Christmas?

You might even like to let us know on the discussion on our Facebook page?


Useful Links

Soil Association Organic Christmas Directory -

You might like to read about our range, and whether we are organic here

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