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Last Updated: Saturday, 4 September, 2004, 11:20 GMT 12:20 UK
Buying organic 'gives you boost'
Cauliflowers and tomatoes
People feel buying organic can boost emotional and mental health
New research suggests that buying organic food can make people feel better, even before they eat any of it.

Supermarket chain Sainsbury's says simply making the choice to buy organic can induce a sense of well-being.

Consumers told the company in focus groups that buying organic gave them more control over what they eat.

Sales of organic food have now topped 1bn annually, with the market growing twice as fast as that for conventional groceries.

Boost

Three out of four babies are regularly given organic food and overall figures suggest sales are growing twice as fast as the conventional grocery market.

Traditionally it was bought by "foodies", health-conscious families with young children and over-45s.

Now, though, it seems the market has shifted. Young women have doubled the amount they buy.

One nutritionist says people feel organic food can even boost emotional and mental health, increasing their sense of wellbeing and optimism when they choose the food they think is healthier, BBC correspondent Nicola Carslaw says.

Asda spokeswoman Sian Horner told BBC News Online that the supermarket had seen a rapid growth in organic sales in recent years.

She said: "The demand is there and it's definitely still growing.

"Our range of organic food is always increasing not just with the fresh food but with the ambient organics, things like biscuits and cereals."

Organic conversion

Organic farming now accounts for 2.8% of total agricultural land in England, according to the National Farmers' Union.

There is a growing market for organic food and many British producers have converted to organic farming methods
National Farmers' Union
"There is a growing market for organic food and many British producers have converted to organic farming methods," a spokesman told BBC News Online.

But investment and promotion in organic methods should not take place at the expense of conventional farming practice, he added.

The latest findings come at the start of Organic Week, which runs from 4 to 12 September, and the organiser, the Soil Association, has conducted some research of its own.

It found that 70% of respondents thought there should be some organic or locally produced food in school meals.

It also found that 44% of people questioned would like to see an organic option on the menu when they eat out.

The survey questioned 1,057 adults.




SEE ALSO:
Organic farms in state cash boost
15 Aug 04  |  England
Farmers shun organic methods
09 Aug 03  |  England


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