top of page
Image by Mariana Medvedeva
  • Writer's pictureLisa Smith

5 Tips For Eating More Organic Food

Updated: Apr 9

hand holding a bunch of carrots

What is the Difference Between Organic and Non-Organic Food?

You've probably heard a lot of conflicting things about organic foods. It's not just a trendy food fad though; there's some real science behind the benefits of choosing organic. From reducing exposure to harmful chemicals to supporting a healthier gut, organic foods have been making waves for all the right reasons.

Pesticides and Cancer Risk: A Closer Look at the Science

When it comes to food production, we can't deny that pesticides have become an integral part of the process. But here's the catch: these chemicals are designed to ward off pests, and they might also be having an unwanted impact on our health. Several studies have found a potential link between pesticide exposure and an increased risk of certain cancers.

Boosting Health from Field to Fork

Organic farming practices restrict the use of synthetic pesticides and herbicides. Instead, organic farmers rely on natural methods like crop rotation, beneficial insects, and compost to maintain soil health and ward off pests. This approach not only reduces our exposure to potentially harmful chemicals but also contributes to the overall health of the ecosystem.

Organic soils are enriched naturally through composting, cover cropping, and other sustainable methods. As a result, organic fruits and veggies often have higher levels of essential nutrients and beneficial compounds. Plus, these practices can help maintain a healthier balance in your gut microbiome, supporting overall well-being.

Fertilisers and Gut Health: What's the Evidence?

Now, let's talk about those chemical fertilisers that give crops a boost. While they might help increase yield, they also contribute to some unintended consequences. Research has shown that conventional farming practices can result in fruits and vegetables with lower nutrient content. What's more, these fertilisers can disrupt the delicate balance of our gut microbiome.

Our gut microbiome is like a bustling metropolis of microorganisms that play a crucial role in digestion, immune function, and even mental health. Studies have found that the overuse of chemical fertilisers can alter the composition of the gut microbiota, potentially leading to inflammation and various other health issues.

Beyond the Science: Other Perks of Buying Organic Food

It's not just about what's in your food; it's also about what's not. When you choose organic, you're saying no to synthetic additives, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and antibiotics that might find their way into conventional foods.

Organic farming isn't just about your plate; it's about the planet, too. By supporting organic practices, you're promoting sustainability and reducing the environmental footprint of food production. Organic farms often prioritise soil health, water conservation, and biodiversity, creating a positive ripple effect that extends far beyond your meal.

5 Practical Tips for Making the Organic Switch

woman and girl gardening

How can you start incorporating more organic foods into your diet?

Here are 5 practical tips to get you started:

  1. Prioritise: If your budget is tight, focus on buying organic versions of foods that tend to have higher pesticide residues, like strawberries, spinach, and apples. I buy a mixture of conventional and organic produce. I prioritise organic for fruit and veg that we eat the skin such as berries, tomatoes, apples, peppers, courgettes, herbs, greens and salad leaves.

  2. Shop Local: Visit farmers' markets or order a delivered box to access fresh, locally grown organic produce. My favourite is Riverford.

  3. Read Labels: When shopping for packaged foods, look for the Organic labels. This UK certification ensures that the product contains at least 95% organic ingredients.

  4. Grow Your Own: Consider growing some of your own herbs and veggies at home. You'll have control over what goes into the soil, and it can be a rewarding experience! I also enjoy sprouting seeds.

  5. Balance Matters: Remember, more research is needed and the goal is a well-rounded diet. While going organic may have its perks, the key is to focus on a variety of nutrient-rich foods, like fruit and vegetables that fit within your budget.

Nutritionist in Manchester

Lisa Smith Nutritionist

I am a BANT registered Nutritional Therapist, specialising in metabolic health and weight loss for women in midlife. Cheshire Nutrition is based in Manchester. I work online with clients from all over the UK.

Book your free health review to find out how personalised nutrition and meal plans can help you lose weight and reach your health goals.

Please note: This blog post is meant for informational purposes only and should not replace personalised advice.


Kesse-Guyot E, Lairon D, Allès B, Seconda L, Rebouillat P, Brunin J, Vidal R, Taupier-Letage B, Galan P, Amiot MJ, Péneau S, Touvier M, Boizot-Santai C, Ducros V, Soler LG, Cravedi JP, Debrauwer L, Hercberg S, Langevin B, Pointereau P, Baudry J. Key Findings of the French BioNutriNet Project on Organic Food-Based Diets: Description, Determinants, and Relationships to Health and the Environment. Adv Nutr. 2022 Feb 1;13(1):208-224. doi: 10.1093/advances/nmab105. PMID: 34661620; PMCID: PMC8803492.

Mie A, Andersen HR, Gunnarsson S, Kahl J, Kesse-Guyot E, Rembiałkowska E, Quaglio G, Grandjean P. Human health implications of organic food and organic agriculture: a comprehensive review. Environ Health. 2017 Oct 27;16(1):111. doi: 10.1186/s12940-017-0315-4. PMID: 29073935; PMCID: PMC5658984.

Liu B, Curl CL, Brantsæter AL, Torjusen H, Sun Y, Du Y, Lehmler HJ, Balentine A, Snetselaar LG, Bao W. Perspective: Organic food consumption during pregnancy and the potential effects on maternal and offspring health. Adv Nutr. 2023 Jan;14(1):12-21. doi: 10.1016/j.advnut.2022.11.001. Epub 2022 Dec 15. PMID: 36811584; PMCID: PMC10102986.

Bitencourt de Morais Valentim JM, Fagundes TR, Okamoto Ferreira M, Lonardoni Micheletti P, Broto Oliveira GE, Cremer Souza M, Geovana Leite Vacario B, da Silva JC, Scandolara TB, Gaboardi SC, Zanetti Pessoa Candiotto L, Mara Serpeloni J, Rodrigues Ferreira Seiva F, Panis C. Monitoring residues of pesticides in food in Brazil: A multiscale analysis of the main contaminants, dietary cancer risk estimative and mechanisms associated. Front Public Health. 2023 Feb 22;11:1130893. doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2023.1130893. PMID: 36908412; PMCID: PMC9992878.

Cavalier H, Trasande L, Porta M. Exposures to pesticides and risk of cancer: Evaluation of recent epidemiological evidence in humans and paths forward. Int J Cancer. 2023 Mar 1;152(5):879-912. doi: 10.1002/ijc.34300. Epub 2022 Oct 25. PMID: 36134639; PMCID: PMC9880902.

Sturm ET, Castro C, Mendez-Colmenares A, Duffy J, Burzynska AAZ, Stallones L, Thomas ML. Risk Factors for Brain Health in Agricultural Work: A Systematic Review. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Mar 13;19(6):3373. doi: 10.3390/ijerph19063373. PMID: 35329061; PMCID: PMC8954905.

Rodrigues MB, Carvalho DS, Chong-Silva DC, Urrutia-Pereira M, Albuquerque GSC, Cieslak F, Chong-Neto HJ. Association between exposure to pesticides and allergic diseases in children and adolescents: a systematic review with meta-analysis. J Pediatr (Rio J). 2022 Nov-Dec;98(6):551-564. doi: 10.1016/j.jped.2021.10.007. Epub 2022 Jan 1. PMID: 34982974; PMCID: PMC9617275.

Lima C, Falcão MAP, Rosa JGS, Disner GR, Lopes-Ferreira M. Pesticides and Their Impairing Effects on Epithelial Barrier Integrity, Dysbiosis, Disruption of the AhR Signaling Pathway and Development of Immune-Mediated Inflammatory Diseases. Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Oct 17;23(20):12402. doi: 10.3390/ijms232012402. PMID: 36293259; PMCID: PMC9604036.

El-Nahhal I, El-Nahhal Y. Pesticide residues in drinking water, their potential risk to human health and removal options. J Environ Manage. 2021 Dec 1;299:113611. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2021.113611. Epub 2021 Sep 6. PMID: 34526283.

Green MP, Harvey AJ, Finger BJ, Tarulli GA. Endocrine disrupting chemicals: Impacts on human fertility and fecundity during the peri-conception period. Environ Res. 2021 Mar;194:110694. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2020.110694. Epub 2020 Dec 30. PMID: 33385395.

Giulioni C, Maurizi V, Castellani D, Scarcella S, Skrami E, Balercia G, Galosi AB. The environmental and occupational influence of pesticides on male fertility: A systematic review of human studies. Andrology. 2022 Oct;10(7):1250-1271. doi: 10.1111/andr.13228. Epub 2022 Jul 18. PMID: 35793270; PMCID: PMC9541307.

Hurtado-Barroso S, Tresserra-Rimbau A, Vallverdú-Queralt A, Lamuela-Raventós RM. Organic food and the impact on human health. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2019;59(4):704-714. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2017.1394815. Epub 2017 Nov 30. PMID: 29190113.

Jiang B, Pang J, Li J, Mi L, Ru D, Feng J, Li X, Zhao A, Cai L. The effects of organic food on human health: a systematic review and meta-analysis of population-based studies. Nutr Rev. 2023 Oct 31:nuad124. doi: 10.1093/nutrit/nuad124. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 37930102.


bottom of page