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Zoe - organic food

incorporating Recipes and Cooking
Fluke
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Zoe - organic food

#603635

Postby Fluke » July 21st, 2023, 8:46 am

Another interesting podcast from the Zoe people this week, the subject was organic food, well worth a listen.

Things I never knew include that non-organic oats have particularly high levels of organophosphates and glyphosates as they are sprayed just before harvesting to help dry them dry out, non-organic strawberries also have higher than average amounts but for different reasons. Organic fruit and veg have about 40% higher levels of polyphenols (good for the gut microbes) than their non-organic equivalents, the polyphenols are produced by the plant to fend off predators, something non-organic plants don't have to do because it's all done for them so they can put their energy into growing bigger. Non-organic fruit and veg is still very good for the fibre but very much reduced in nutrients especially those polyphenols.

If you're going to buy anything organic make it tomatoes because we all eat quite a lot of them and being watery they absorb more of the chemicals. Organic tinned and frozen foods are cheaper to produce/store and therefore to buy. Non-organic things that have a skin that you peel off are probably ok, e.g. avocados, onions etc.

There was something about not being able to trust the labels but I don't think they went into that unless I missed it.

I'm off out to buy some frozen organic berries if I can find some.

DrFfybes
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Re: Zoe - organic food

#603649

Postby DrFfybes » July 21st, 2023, 9:52 am

Fluke wrote:Another interesting podcast from the Zoe people this week, the subject was organic food, well worth a listen.

Things I never knew include that non-organic oats have particularly high levels of organophosphates and glyphosates as they are sprayed just before harvesting to help dry them dry out, .


Pretty much every large scale combine harvested crop is the same - low level Glyphosate spray as a dessicant 14-21 days before harvest in order to ensure the whole field is at the same stage at the same time. Otherwise half a field can be ready before the other half, or can even g'go over' before the first half is harvest ready. They are harvesting 100 acres of Rape seed behind us as I type. Started yesterday, sprayed 2 Wednesdays ago. So wheat, any bean crops (soy, etc) rape, all get sprayed.

Personally I think that is one use of Glyphosate that should be banned, as a generic weedkiller it is good and breaks down relatively quickly in the soil (although the breakdown products themselves aren't great so actual degredation takes longer), however when pre-harvest sprays are applied the farmer tens to work backwards from "How much residue are we allowed to have on the crop at harvest" and that determines how much they can get away with spraying. UNless there is heavy rain in the intervening fortnight then there will always be residue on the crop. It is very rare for residue to exceed limits, and in the US the FDA actually publish their test results each year from harvested crop analysis.

Fluke wrote:f you're going to buy anything organic make it tomatoes because we all eat quite a lot of them and being watery they absorb more of the chemicals.


Not Glyphosate though - don't need to dry down fruits :) I haven't found the Zoe stuff but I amsurprised about toms being an issue, when I last looked most fruit chemicals were not particularly good at moving through the plant vascular system (if they even got into the soil) or good at passing through waxy fruit skins so I would expect them to accumuate on the surface rather than the flesh. Now anything that says "use the zest of a lemon" should be avoided :)

OTOH we have a friend that bought an organic vineyard that was struggling, turned out to have nearly 10X the EU (remember them?) limit of copper in the soil due to repeated fungicide treatment. Took about 5 years before he could grown anything on the land. That was before the EU reduced the limits, but he reckoned the previous owner had been applying well over the limits for years.

Paul

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Re: Zoe - organic food

#673769

Postby vrdiver » July 10th, 2024, 10:30 am

An old thread, but I was wondering whether any fellow Fools are in the habit of buying frozen organic fruits/berries?

I've looked around, but rarely see them.

I listened to the Zoe podcast mentioned by the OP, where the Prof. does mention being able to buy frozen organic fruit "for a few pence more", but he doesn't cite specific retailers...

VRD

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Re: Zoe - organic food

#673788

Postby bungeejumper » July 10th, 2024, 12:35 pm

vrdiver wrote:I listened to the Zoe podcast mentioned by the OP, where the Prof. does mention being able to buy frozen organic fruit "for a few pence more", but he doesn't cite specific retailers...

M&S, Waitrose, Sainsburys, Tesco, about £4 a kilo for veg. I haven't really looked at soft fruits, though, because we grow and freeze our own. (As we also do for beans, sweetcorn, chillis. They taste great, but the tricky part is in freezing them without killing the texture.)

And then there's Packd, which offers a pack of 11 assorted frozen veg by email for £33 plus £6.95 delivery. (https://www.packd.co.uk/collections/org ... veg-bundle) Seems a bit steep for 5 kg, but maybe I'm just in the wrong demographic?

Agree with Paul that the supposedly limited use of agrichemicals in organic food is actually a lot less limited than it looks. I gather that Soil Association rules often allow spraying up to the last couple of weeks before harvesting, but that's hardly the way that they're sold to the public.

I buy fresh organic if the taste is better, or if the food miles are much lower. I won't ever go back to mass-market carrots now. :D

BJ
Last edited by bungeejumper on July 10th, 2024, 12:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ReformedCharacter
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Re: Zoe - organic food

#673792

Postby ReformedCharacter » July 10th, 2024, 12:47 pm

bungeejumper wrote:I gather that Soil Association rules often allow spraying up to the last couple of weeks before harvesting, but that's hardly the way that they're sold to the public.
BJ

I don't think that's correct:

https://www.soilassociation.org/media/25986/sa-gb-farming-growing.pdf

RC

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Re: Zoe - organic food

#673897

Postby vrdiver » July 11th, 2024, 12:33 am

I was after frozen fruit rather than veggies - blueberries, strawberries, raspberries etc.

I saw Packd, but blueberries were £1.60/100g vs. Tesco's £0.90/100g (both for frozen, Tesco not organic).

That's a premium of over 75% which seems more than "a few pence".

I also couldn't find frozen organic blueberries in e.g. Sainsbury's.

Just curious if there's a better source to buy from (BJ, do you do mail order with your garden surplus?!)


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