Organic: your questions answered

Not sure what the benefits of organic food are or which products to start with?
We answer your most frequently asked questions about Sainsbury’s SO organic range.

Why buy organic?

Q: What are the benefits of buying organic?

A: There are lots of great reasons to give organic food a whirl. Some people eat organic produce for the taste – a January 2012 Soil Association survey shows 44% of Brits believe organic food tastes better than non-organic. Organic farmers need rich and fertile soil to grow a mix of crops, and feed their organic animals a varied diet, which some people believe makes organic meat and dairy taste better. Plus, all our Sainsbury’s SO organic animals are reared to strict welfare standards, with lots of space to roam and grow.

Q: Is organic better for the environment?

A: Organic farming is good for the environment in several ways. Organic farmers use mainly natural methods like crop rotation to grow strong and healthy crops, using fewer pesticides. This means it’s better for wildlife and causes lower pollution levels.

It’s important to bear in mind the carbon footprint of organic food being flown to the UK from other parts of the world, as this can reduce some of the benefits.  All our organic chicken, pork, beef, eggs, milk and lamb are British.

Plus, 90% of our Sainsbury’s SO organic produce packaging is now made from recycled materials, is recyclable or compostable.

Q: Why is organic food more expensive?

A: Organic food often costs a little extra because it is more expensive to produce. Organic fruit and veg take longer to grow and use more traditional farming methods, like weeding by hand instead of using pesticides. Organic meat costs a bit more because of its high welfare standards – the animals have lots of room to roam, which means they need more land. Many organic animals are traditional, slower-growing breeds, too.

Is organic meat high welfare?

Yes. For meat to be classified as organic, it has to meet high welfare standards. All organic meat and eggs are ‘free range’ as the animals must have plenty of space and fresh air. In fact, organic chicken flocks are smaller than regular ‘free range’ ones and generally spend more time outdoors. High standards of animal welfare also minimise the need to use antibiotics and other veterinary drugs.

 Did you know…

  1. We were the first UK supermarket to start selling organic produce in 1986.
  2. We’re proud to have been the first supermarket to have our own organic range.
  3. Organic farms can be havens for wildlife. Plant, insect and birdlife can be up to 50% greater on organic farms, according to the Soil Association.

More about our organic food