Natural meals – hype or hope? | DW Documentary

There’s rising demand within the western world for natural meals. However do shoppers at all times get what it says on the label? How can authenticity be verified?

Is natural meals robotically more healthy? Customers are ready to pay a big premium for it. There are at present, nonetheless, no dependable checks for distinguishing natural from conventionally produced meals. Farmers want to speculate a substantial amount of time, vitality and cash to qualify as a producer of natural meals. There isn’t any proof, nonetheless, that natural meals really comprises fewer contaminants than conventionally farmed merchandise. There isn’t any such factor as pollution-free meals, and there are at present no checks out there for reliably distinguishing between natural and non-organic meals. That opens doorways for profitable labeling fraud, which in flip explains why there are way more natural eggs available on the market at Easter than at some other time of the yr. The statistics clearly counsel manipulation, however it’s laborious to acquire proof as a result of variations between the 2 manufacturing processes showing to have little impact on the standard of the product. Irish dairy farmers, as an illustration, usually are not allowed to label their milk “natural” as a result of the pasture land the place their herds spend greater than 300 days a yr are handled with mineral fertilizers. As a result of cows are themselves bioreactors, nonetheless, the milk they yield comprises no hint in any respect of fertilizer. On common, standard Irish milk comprises extra omega 3 fatty acids and antioxidants than natural milk from Germany. The reason being the fodder; German natural farms could use solely concentrates and silage as supplementary feed to extend milk output – which impacts negatively on the standard of the milk. This documentary seems to be at researchers who’re learning potential methods of reliably distinguishing between natural and conventionally produced meals. And that’s no simple activity. Practically each foodstuff requires a particular take a look at. However one factor is definite: natural farming makes a serious contribution to human welfare – by serving to to mitigate local weather change, shield the groundwater, preserve nature and promote animal welfare.

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