Government says:

UK: Don't waste your money on organic food

Cash-strapped families should not waste their money on organic food because they think it is healthier, according to the UK government.

Shoppers should instead spend their money on whatever they can afford, even if it means eating tinned or frozen vegetables which are in no way ‘nutritionally inferior’.

The government now faces calls to end £20million of subsidies to organic farming, which owes ‘more to myth than evidence’.

A recent study in the British Journal of Nutrition found organic crops have up to 60 per cent more antioxidants than non-organic crops.

But critics claim there is still no evidence that organic is a healthier option.

Amid growing concern that too few people are eating enough fruit and vegetables, the government is at pains to stress that families feeling the pinch should not waste their money on organic.

Government frontbencher Baroness Jolly said: ‘It can be difficult balancing a family budget, but in providing a varied, balanced diet nobody need feel they have given their family a nutritionally inferior diet by choosing lower-priced, conventional products.’

Just 30 per cent of people meet the recommendation to eat five or more portions of fruit and vegetables a day.

Among the lowest income groups, just 24 per cent of adults manage their Five-A-Day.

Baroness Jolly added: ‘All fruit and vegetables count toward this, whether fresh or frozen, dried or canned, organic or not.

‘There is no evidence to suggest that there is a nutritional premium in some forms above others.

‘Frozen vegetables, for example, are as valuable as fresh in meeting our 'five a day'.’

The government encourages mothers who receive Healthy Start vouchers for fruit and vegetables ‘to get the best value for their vouchers, but we would not expect them to prioritise organic products’.

‘It is up to the consumer to decide how they spend their money on their fruit and veg. There are many reasons why an individual might wish to choose organic products but nutritional benefit should not be one of them.’


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