Expert fuels debate on healthy food

Date Published: 21/12/2005

Key players in health and food retail have been considering the impact of organic food on the nation’s diet, with the help of Organic Farmers & Growers’ Gabrielle Lanceley.

OF&G Technical Consultant, Gabrielle Lanceley
OF&G Technical Consultant, Gabrielle Lanceley

Gabrielle, OF&Gs’ long-standing Technical Consultant, presented her paper, ‘The Health Consequences of Organic Food’, to representatives of leading health bodies and supermarkets at the latest meeting of the Organic Action Plan Group for England.

In her paper, Gabrielle assesses ways in which organic food can contribute to the Government’s publich health agenda.

Key issues addressed in the presentation concerned whether organic food can help to increase the nation’s consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables and whether it can contribute to reducing the levels of salt, fat and additives in people’s diets.

Also addressed are the problems of processing and preserving organic food without the use of common additives and preservatives, which are not allowed in organic systems.

Gabrielle, an experienced food scientist and Defra-approved food inspector, concludes that, as a nation, we need to change our buying and eating habits to include more fresh and in-season produce.

In addition, she suggests that in order to eat more healthily we must be prepared to pay more and accept a shorter shelf life for foods and less bright colours in them.

The report was commissioned by Defra and presented to the OAPG, including representatives from the Food Standards Agency, Dept of Health, British Heart Foundation, National Consumer Council, Sustain, Sainsbury, Tesco, Duchy, Eastbrook Farm, Organix, SA Cert & OFF, among others.