Is organic shortsighted?

The rise of organic food is a knee-jerk reaction to consumer health fears, and threatens to unhelpfully steer us away from improving the quality of food generally.

Everyone in the food supply chain has a responsibility to put all consumers back in touch with real food.

Organic food is pulling our attention away from the real problem, which is that the whole food supply chain needs to reconnect with its roots.

It is hard to believe, for example, that we live in a society where sliced white bread is almost as unhealthy as sugary fizzy drinks.

White bread sales have admittedly fallen over the last few years as consumers trade up to more wholesome varieties, but this still represents a strange state of affairs when one considers bread has been part of the human race’s staple diet for thousands of years.

The rise of organic food is partly a consumer reaction against this ‘dumbing down’ of real food, a plea for tastier, healthier and more locally sourced products.

Today’s supermarket-led food chain is still messing with reality.

The organic food movement may have unlocked growing public support for changes in the food supply chain, such as more variety, more local products and more nutritious foods. It is these core values, not organic food itself, that should take the food industry forward in the 21st Century.