Today’s society has turned its food model into a major issue, and this, together with a growing awareness of environmental sustainability, has transformed organic and natural foods into one of the main protagonists of contemporary cuisine. It is increasingly easy to find these products in your supermarket or grocery store: organic or eco-labels are present on countless foods of different origins and give a plus in the perception of quality of consumers.
However, there are still a number of misconceptions about organic food, partly due to the multitude of terms that refer to different types of natural products, whose main feature is their environmentally friendly procedures. In Delikia we tell you everything you need to know about organic food in a summarized and easy-to-understand way.
What are organic foods?
The definition of organic food is very simple: they are all those that have been produced in a natural way, avoiding any use of chemical components (pesticides, fertilizers…) that alter the ecosystem and that maintain the natural cycle -without any type of genetic alteration- during growth.
The terms bio and organic are based on the same principles, and for many, they are practically synonymous.
In this process it is necessary to take into account both the agricultural method and the products used or the mode of transport used to move the food between the production area and the final point of sale, always looking for a way that respects the rules and is the least polluting as possible.
This type of practice has positive repercussions on the environment, as there is a noticeable improvement in soil and water conditions, as well as a decrease in the pollution generated during the process. Organic foods in Spain contain specifications on the label, as long as they comply with all the standards required by the European Union, where all the characteristics of the product and the raw material with which it has been previously elaborated can be found.
Benefits of organic food
Are organic foods healthier, what are they really worth, and are they worth the extra cost of buying them? These questions are on the minds of consumers every time they see a product with the organic label on the supermarket shelves. Here you will find the main benefits, both for you and for the planet, which we only have one and we have to take care of it.
Natural foods with more flavor: they do not contain additives, pesticide organisms, hormones, etc., which negatively influence their flavor.
Improved nutritional values: closely related to the previous point, the use of chemicals detracts from the properties of food. This statement is supported by leading experts.
Reduction of the negative impact on climate change: by choosing this type of production, bad practices that endanger the entire ecosystem are avoided, thus protecting the environment and biodiversity.
Waste control: by producing food on a smaller scale than intensive agriculture, less waste is generated, making it easier to control waste management.
Reduction in the use of plastic: the use of sustainable components in packaging reduces the amount of plastic used.
Boosting sustainable development: organic food promotes activities in favor of environmental care, creating awareness among consumers and implementing a new consumption model for the coming years.
Best-selling organic food
Spain is in the top 10 countries with the highest number of consumers of organic food. Whether for health, environmental commitment, for its taste, or simply for a current fashion, more and more people are signing up for this option. Currently, it is very easy to find various types of products that we can include within the ecological, bio, or sustainable, in any supermarket or convenience store.
But what are the products most in demand by Spaniards? There are no big surprises in this regard, and the most popular products are the ones we all know. Don’t miss our post on the best healthy foods for vending.
Fruit and vegetables: The star organic food. There is an endless list of fruits and vegetables that are among the best sellers of the genre, such as tomatoes or oranges. Year after year their consumption by the Spanish population increases.
Eggs: the requirements for an egg to be organic is that the hen has an organic feed (a detail that differentiates it from free-range eggs, where it is not necessary) and that it avoids, with small exceptions, any use of chemicals. Almost three-quarters of consumers have bought them, even if only occasionally.
Cereals and derivatives: In widely used foods, such as flour or bread itself, quality is increasingly taken into account and the search for premium products, such as bread made with sourdough, is accentuated. Thus, organic and additive-free raw materials have become the protagonists in recent years in the sector.
Legumes: In the last decade, the consumption of legumes has increased in our country, becoming one of the most used foods for the famous Mediterranean diet. And within them, those cultivated with ecological techniques and in 100% natural spaces have gained much prestige among the people.
Milk and dairy products: Milk and all the products derived from it (yogurt, cheese, butter, cream) could not be missing from this list. What is necessary to be considered organic? That the cows are raised in a natural environment and have a careful and natural diet. Yogurts are not mixed with additives to improve their composition and taste.