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Organic food - definition, benefits, tips and more

Organic food - definition, benefits, examples, seals and purchase of the products from organic farming.

Want to find out everything you need to know about organic food? Then you are absolutely at the right address! Surely you have already noticed that the demand for organic products is constantly increasing and that foods from organic farming are becoming increasingly popular. But what exactly does "organic" actually mean and why are the products so popular?

In this article, I would like to answer these and many other questions clearly and concisely. You will learn the definition and valuable statistics about the organic food market. I'll also introduce you to the benefits, examples and trustworthy organic labels - and show you how to get organic food at the lowest possible price. Let's go!

You can find a brief overview here in advance:

  1. Definition
  2. Statistics
  3. Advantages
  4. Examples
  5. Seal
  6. Save
  7. Buy cheap
  8. Closing words

Definition: What is organic food simply explained?

Organic food is understood to mean Food that comes from organic farming or organic animal husbandry. The aim of food production in harmony with nature is, above all, not to pollute the environment and the crops grown, and to produce food that is as healthy, animal and climate-friendly, nutritious and tasty as possible.

The terms "organic" and "eco" have been used since the introduction of the EC Organic Regulation in 1991 to the legally protected terms. With this regulation, the European Union has laid down clear legal provisions for organic farming. Farmers who want to offer organic products must clear requirements from species-appropriate animal husbandry, protection of groundwater, annual crop rotation and the avoidance of the use of chemicals and genetic engineering. Strict controls of organic farms create trust and offer consumers additional security when choosing their food.

Statistics: Facts & figures on organic products

Advantages of organic, biological food

How many organic farms are there actually? Is "organic" just a passing trend? Or is the market growing sustainably? Meaningful facts and figures provide us with clear answers. I would now like to give you some statistics on organic food that should give you a feel for its potential:

  • Organic farms: In 2020, there were a total of 35,413 organic farms in Germany.₁ Around one in seven farms relies on organic products.₂
  • Total revenue: In 2021, organic products generated sales of 15.87 billion euros in Germany. This corresponds to growth of 5.8 percent compared to the previous year.₂
  • Regionality: Around three quarters of all organic farms source their raw materials from within a radius of 230 kilometers.₂
  • Arable land: In 2021, 10.8 percent of arable land in Germany was farmed organically.₂
  • Products: 62.4 percent of all plant-based drinks, 26.6 percent of all meat substitute products and over 16.7 percent of all eggs from German producers came from organic farming in 2021.₂

Advantages: Why should you prefer organic fruit and vegetables?

Sounds strange, but let's start by "eating up" the disadvantages. In fact, organically produced food is usually A little more expensivethan their conventionally produced counterparts - not always, but often! They are also usually not quite as long lasting and through the opaque jungle of environmental labels and sustainability terms also relatively difficult to compare.

So the legitimate question is: Why should you still consciously buy organic food and prefer it to conventional products? I would now like to give you the answer using an extreme Variety of advantages deliver.

Of course "organic" not a perfect panaceabut organically produced goods are better in many ways than their conventional counterparts! There are good reasons why they give us a better feeling when shopping. Because organic products are...

  • environmentally friendly
  • healthier
  • fair
  • animal friendly
  • tasty

... more environmentally friendly

Compared to conventional potatoes, apples and other foods, their equivalents from organic farming are kinder to the environment - especially the Climate, soils, waters and the Biodiversity!

Drinking water from lakes and rivers, for example, is no longer contaminated with fertilizers, nitrates and pesticides. Compliance with the Crop rotation ensures that the arable soil retains its important nutrients for the cultivation of all crops in the long term.

Dem Environmental problem of species extinction This is also counteracted by the use of organic products - whether wild herbs, insects or birds - they all benefit from our food being grown as naturally as possible. And since "organic" is usually also regional, the avoided transportation routes for apples from New Zealand, potatoes from Egypt or animal feed from Brazil, in particular, can have a positive impact. extreme CO2 emissions prevented be

Good to know: Farmers also have an interest in an intact environment. After all, fertile soils, for example, guarantee Pollination of the plants insects or the rarest possible periods of drought also ensure the desired long-term crop yield.

... healthier

If organic food protects our drinking water, soil, climate and biodiversity, then it goes without saying that it also protects our long-term health. Nevertheless "organic" does not automatically mean that a food is healthy or is healthier compared to a conventionally produced counterpart. Eating organic potato chips, for example, is generally no more beneficial to our bodies than eating a cucumber from conventional farming.

However: fewer additives, no genetic engineering, no nitrate content, no chemical pesticides, no pesticide or antibiotic residues, no artificial flavor enhancers and flavorings - the EC Organic Regulation limits the health risk for nutrition-related diseases fortunately very well with organic products.

However, organic products are not only "less harmful" to our bodies - they also promote our health. For example, we benefit from the fact that organic apples or organic potatoes require less water but are more nutritious due to their slower growth. more nutrients contain

One more thing: The risk of zoonoses, diseases that can be transmitted between animals and humans, is also minimized if we prefer to consume plant products from organic farming.

Fair trade organic food chocolate

... fairer

Organic cucumbers may be a little more expensive. However, a much greater advantage of organic food is that it is transparent, honest and fair - namely for both consumers and producers.

Strict, at least annual inspections of organic farms, clear, assigned inspection numbers and Tracking options of the production process, ensure a certain degree of certainty when choosing your own food. Incidentally, this production process is much more labor-intensive and time-consuming than conventional cultivation methods, which is one of the reasons why it is so important. much more fairly remunerated will.

... more animal friendly

Meat, eggs, milk, cheese and quark of animal origin can of course also be organic food. In order to be allowed to adorn their products with the trustworthy organic seal, the EC Organic Regulation imposes clear conditions on farmers. For example, the animals must not only organically produced feed they also receive significant more spaceregular outdoor exercise and must also be kept in the stable. Daylight can penetrate. Fortunately, questionable measures such as dehorning cows and docking the curly tails of pigs or the beaks of chickens must also be avoided.

Those who prefer organic products, therefore at least contributes to more species-appropriate animal husbandry and makes its consumption more ethical. Whether animal husbandry is actually species-appropriate and ethically justifiable is debatable. In my opinion, it still involves the exploitation of animals, which are ultimately killed even though they are in perfect health. They are simply transported to the slaughterhouse because they are no longer profitable. This is another reason why I no longer consume animal products.

Tip: I have written a detailed article about my Reasons for the vegan lifestyle compiled. If they interest you, feel free to take a look!

... tastier

With organic products, the producers' focus is on their own taste. Also therefore no artificial flavorings and additives or other flavor enhancers. Plant growth is somewhat slower in organic farming and their water content is lower - as a result, organically produced fruit and vegetables are not only richer in nutrients, but also taste better. Much more intensive.

Examples: Which foods are mostly organic?

Examples of organic food and organic products

Most organic products fall into the categories of dairy products, baked goods and fruit and vegetables. However, in principle, any product can be completely or largely organically produced. For example Organic wines more and more popular.

Notice: Did you know that Wine not always vegan or vegetarian is? I explain the background in the linked article.

The German Federation of Organic Food Producers (BÖLW) provides in its Industry Report 2022 clear figures on the food products that are particularly important in their respective categories. Organic share of total sales volume have

  • Plant drinks: 62.4 percent (of all products in this category are organic)
  • Meat substitute: 26.6 percent
  • Eggs: 16.7 percent
  • Flour: 15.4 percent
  • Milk: 13 percent
  • Cooking oil: 10.3 percent
  • Fresh vegetables: 9.7 percent
  • Yogurt: 8.8 percent
  • Fresh fruit: 7.8 percent
  • Fresh potatoes: 6.8 percent

Notice: Of course, clothing and cosmetics, for example, can also be of organic quality. However, for the sake of simplicity, I will refer to organically produced food in this article.

Organic seal: How can I recognize organic food?

When a seemingly happy cow on a green meadow adorns the product packaging, it often gives consumers a clear conscience - however, the image has no meaningful significance - neither for animal welfare, nor for sustainability or health. Terms such as "seasonal cultivation", "from the region" or "sustainably produced" are also meaningless in this context - they leave a lot of room for interpretation and are more likely to be identifying features of classic Greenwashing. Unlike "organic" and "eco", they are not protected by law.

Products whose packaging Official eco or organic seal are produced strictly in accordance with the EU Organic Regulation - and justify the trust that consumers have in them. To recognize fair, delicious organic food as quickly as possible, you should simply look out for the following eco-labels on products in organic or supermarkets, health food stores - or at the traditional weekly market:

  • State organic seal (promises compliance with the criteria of the EC Organic Regulation)
  • Demeter
  • Bioland
  • Naturland
  • Fairtrade
  • Ecoland
  • Biopark
  • New territory

The BUND recommends consumers to base their purchases primarily on the above-mentioned seals (and some others) of the growers' associations, whose specifications go well beyond those of the state organic seal.

Zero Waste: How can I save organic food?

Whether organic or not, around a third of all food produced worldwide is lost on its way from the field to the plate. Incidentally, more than half of this is lost in private households by end consumers.₃

In order to save the food, most of which is still edible, from being thrown away and Reduce food wasteNowadays, apart from more conscious consumption and better shopping planning, you have numerous and fairly simple options. Here are two of them for your inspiration:

  • Food Sharing support: Here you can rescue food from participating companies in a well-organized way, distribute it to people who can use it and also eat it yourself.
  • Prefer crunchy fruit and vegetables: With companies like Cross field, Beet rescuer or Etepete you can deliberately buy misshapen fruit and vegetables that do not conform to the classic norm and have therefore been rejected. Of course, this doesn't detract from the taste. You can just as easily prefer crooked food to standardized and seemingly perfect goods in the classic organic or supermarket.

Further Tip: With simple tricks, many Preserving food for longer. You can find out how this works in the linked article.

Consumption: How can I buy organic food cheaply?

Advantages and disadvantages of regional consumption

Organic food hits the wallet a little harder than conventional, conventionally produced products. We know that organic quality has its price - but of course there are still ways and means of getting hold of organic produce at affordable prices, apart from the rescue operations with Food Sharing & Co. A nice side effect is that with the following tips you can not only shop in a more environmentally friendly way, but also save money through sustainability simply by following your heart.

Use seasonal calendar

Give preference to fruit and vegetables that are in season. When Food not grown in energy-intensive greenhouses they are considerably cheaper. Long transportation routes from warmer climes are also eliminated.

Compare prices and offers

Organic food is now available almost everywhere. Even at the Discounter! So keep your eyes and ears open. At some point you will know exactly where you can get your organic produce at a good price. By the way: On Saturdays in particular, supermarkets often have heavily discounted products because the free Sunday is just around the corner and the fresh food should still be bought as fully as possible.

Prefer regional goods

Short transport routes are not only an effective means of combating the climate change - they also make food prices more affordable. Why? Quite simply, because it costs the producers moneyfor example, transporting apples by ship and truck halfway around the world from New Zealand to Germany.

Tip: How you basically shop more regional you can find out in the linked article.

Freeze excess or cook directly

Food waste is a truly disgusting feature of our Disposable society - especially since at the same time other People starve have to. Instead of throwing away your organic food and buying more, you should freeze surplus produce or consume it as soon as possible. Pasta, rice & co can wait - fresh food cannot. Good to know if you want to save money when handling your organic food - don't you think?

Buy bulk packs

It's usually not advisable to buy more than you need. But planning is the key. If you have your Make organic shopping a little cheaper buying a large pack can be a good idea. For example, I personally buy a larger pack of organic spinach or broccoli from time to time because I like my meals accordingly and also consume them promptly can. And if not, the leftovers are simply frozen 😉.

Securing leftovers at weekly markets

Did you know that many producers drop their prices at weekly markets just before the end? This is simply because they usually sell fresh goods and have to get rid of them on the respective day. It can therefore be financially worthwhile to go to the market a little later. The danger is, of course, that one or two organic foods may already be out of stock.

Eat fresh instead of convenience food

Finished products are the result of countless work steps. Harvest, wash, cut, season, freeze, keep cool... The more work you do, the more expensive. If you really want to save money on your organic purchases, you should prefer fresh products and prepare your own meals.

Eat less meat/no meat

In addition to ethical, ecological and health motives, there are also financial reasons for not buying at all or at least clearly Eat less meat. The "animal detour" is expensive - the animal feed has to be grown, the stables cleaned and the technology purchased and maintained. This is already the case with meat from the Factory farmingbut especially in the case of organic meat. It is therefore cheaper to eat the plants directly.

Prefer organic food - for ecological and health reasons

You quickly realize that organic food is not a short-lived trend, but a conscious and clear choice by consumers for tasty, sustainable, animal-friendly, fair and healthy food. And aren't these the things we all want?

My wish is that at some point it will no longer be organic food but conventional products that contain antibiotic or pesticide residues, are genetically manipulated or full of additives that are specially labeled. After all, organic food is natural food - and therefore what we and future generations should be able to enjoy. "the normal" should understand. This rethink alone would change our Making life more sustainable - from one day to the next.

The organic cucumber may seem a bit expensive at first glance. But actually it is only worth their real price - in contrast to cucumbers from conventional farming, whose price may be "cheap" and tempting, but whose actual costs are borne by the planet and our health, among other things. All the more reason to choose organic produce in future.

Do you have any questions, tips or suggestions about the article or about organic food in general? Then I look forward to your comment.

Stay sustainable,

Christoph from CareElite - Plastic-free living

PS: If you would like to find out more about climate-friendly nutrition, I can recommend our Book "Cooking for the climate" to your heart. It will provide you with the necessary motivation as well as tips and recipes for practical implementation. Here you get it*. Have fun reading!

₁ foodwatch e.v.: Bio-Branche - Zahlen, Daten, Fakten (as at 22.06.2021), available at [03.10.2022].

₂ Bund Ökologische Lebensmittelwirtschaft: Branchen Report 2022, available at [03.10.2022].

₃ Federal Environment Agency: Wider die Verschwendung (as of 30.04.2020), [03.05.2021]

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* Links with asterisks are so-called Affiliate linksIf you click on it and buy something, you automatically and actively support my work with, as I receive a small share of the proceeds - and of course nothing changes in the product price. Many thanks for your support and best regards, Christoph!

Christoph Schulz

Christoph Schulz

I'm Christoph, an environmental scientist and author - and here at CareElite I'm campaigning against plastic waste in the environment, climate change and all the other major environmental problems of our time. Together with other environmentally conscious bloggers, I want to give you tips & tricks for a naturally healthy, sustainable life as well as your personal development.

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