Nature and more strives to continually increase transparency, mutual awareness and shared responsibility of all stakeholders in the food supply chain with regards to food quality, ecology and social justice.

All about organic & more

Although organic food is getting more and more popular, many people still wonder: what is organic, exactly? In this FAQ we hope to answer all your questions about organic food and agriculture. We try to cover sustainability aspects in the ecological as well as the social sense. We would also like to make people aware of the importance of breaking through the anonymity barrier in the food sector; for more information on that subject, click "anonymity & transparency". Click on images or titles for more information.

What is organic?

What is organic?

Organic food is tasty, healthy and safe. Sales figures and popularity of organic food have been continously rising for years, through economic highs and lows. The Rolling Stones, Gwyneth Paltrow and Michello Obama all swear by it. But what is organic exactly?

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Organic... is that really better?

Organic... is that really better?

As the organic sector grows, more attacks occur from the side of the industrial lobby, claiming that organic "can't feed the world" or questioning it's safety or reliability. Advocates of the industry, usually from the post-war generation, glorify the rewards of intensive farming, genetic modification and agro-chemicals. Meanwhile hipsters around the world are opting for organic food and "growing your own food" is a huge trend. What are the facts, what does science say, and what's behind this generation gap?

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What does an organic farmer actually do?

What does an organic farmer actually do?

Most people know that organic food production does not involve the use of pesticides, artificial fertilizer or GMO's. But what does it involve? An organic farmer uses all kinds of clever techniques to be able to produce good quality food in a sustainable way. The organic approach requires a lot of knowledge about life processes on the farm, both above and below the ground.

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What is biodynamic?

What is biodynamic?

Biodynamic agriculture and food production is a special type of ecological farming, with extra demands regarding animal welfare, closed nutrient cycles and ecology. Biodynamic farming was first developed in the1920s and stood at the cradle of the organic movement. Biodynamic products can be recognized by the Demeter label.

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How can you be sure that a product is really organic?

How can you be sure that a product is really organic?

Organic products are often a bit more expensive. So you probably want to be sure that the food was really grown according to organic standards. How do know you can be sure?

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Can organic feed the world?

Can organic feed the world?

In recent years there has been a strong lobby claiming that organic agriculture could not feed the world. That is hypothetical nonsense. There are many scientific and policy reports indicating the opposite. One report by the United Nations Environmental Program from 2008, for example, points out that in 114 projects in 24 African countries, the introduction of organic farming principles doubled the harvest.

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How animal-friendly is organic?

How animal-friendly is organic?

Animal rights organisations widely recognize organic farming as the most animal-friendly farming approach. The organic method aims to work with healthy and resilient animals, which are kept in accordance with their natural behavorial instincts. Organic animals get more stable space, can go outside, and their bodies are kept intact: chickens may keep their beaks, pigs may keep their curly tails. The use of hormones and routine antibiotics is forbidden.

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How does organic handle antibiotics?

How does organic handle antibiotics?

Many countries are now dealing with the accute problem of antibiotic resistant bacteria such as MRSA. This problem was not only caused by careless use of antibiotics in human medicine, but even more so by abundant and careless use in industrial agriculture. Organic farming, which strives for an integral health approach, has always used less antibiotics and is pro-active in the search for alternatives such as herbal remedies that boost resilience. It's better to prevent than to cure. The routine application of antibiotics is forbidden in organic farming.

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How can organic farming benefit the climate?

How can organic farming benefit the climate?

Climate change leads to major insecurities for the world food supply, says the FAO. There is ample scientific proof that organic farming can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and is a more resilient approach in a changing climate. The improved water holding capacity of organic soils makes it easier to deal with wet and dry intervals. Organic farmers can even have a positive climate impact, by sequestring carbon in their soils.

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Is organic healthier?

Is organic healthier?

Healthy food comes from healthy agriculture. Producers of baby food use organic products almost exclusively, because organic vegetables and fruit are normally free from pesticide residues. According to research they also contain more vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants and bio-active matter. Organic dairy products contain more healthy fatty acids and organic meat contains less antibiotics-resistant bacteria. Nevertheless the health effect of organic food is scientifically undecided.

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Why is organic agriculture GMO-free?

Why is organic agriculture GMO-free?

If you buy organic, you can be sure that no G.M. is used. Most European citizens prefer not to eat genetically modified food. In organic agriculture it's strictly forbidden. In order to breed plants, organic agriculture uses natural breeding techniques that yield resilient and sustainable results. G.M. is currently mostly used by chemical companies to increase pesticide sales and gain control over seed production and prevent seed saving by farmers. This leads to large scale monocultures, superpests, superweeds and potential health risks for humans and animals.

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Can E-numbers be used in organic food?

Can E-numbers be used in organic food?

An important principle of organic production is to work as naturally as possible, in agriculture and in processing. This means that no chemical-synthetic additions are used in processed organic food. European legislature is very strict in this regard. In any case, Nature & More only sells fresh products. Which is always better than processed food.

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How does organic agriculture impact biodiversity?

How does organic agriculture impact biodiversity?

Biodiversity is, in short, the abundance and variety of animals and plants. In the Netherlands, for example, only 15% of its former biodiversity is left. The Living Planet Index, a measure for the vitality of global biodiversity, has decreased 30% since 1970. The FAO considers the loss of biodiversity one of the biggest threats of our time for mankind, because it's indicative of ecosystems collapse. The Red IUCN List is growing while the variety in food crops is diminishing. Less resilience and a bigger risk of food crises is the result. Science show that organic agriculture has a consistent positive effect on biodiversity.

Why are organic products more expensive?

Why are organic products more expensive?

It true that organic products are often more expensive. Sometimes the difference is small, sometimes it's huge. Why is that? And can it be helped? CLICK TITLE OR IMAGE FOR MORE INFO.

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What is the connection between organic and fair trade?

What is the connection between organic and fair trade?

In the perception of many consumers, organic and fair trade are more or less identical. It's true that both qualifications are essentially ethical. But while "organic" sets standards for agricultural methods and the use of natural resources, "fair trade" sets standards for trade and working with people. Of course there is an overlap too. Nature & More's Sustainability Flower integrates organic and social standards in a single model.

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