Fastfood

For the very best in tip top healthy eating, there's only one word to remember - Organic. Here's how you can change your life and start feeding your face the natural way
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The Independent Culture
These days any vegetable worth its salt (or drizzling of olive oil) is, more often than not, organic. And for those of us who don't fancy weeding or caterpillar hunting, there are ways of harvesting your organic products without getting so much as a spot of mud on your hands.

While it was once normal practice for all produce to be farmed organically, nowadays it demands agricultural determination to grow fruit and veg the natural way. The effect of pesticides and intensive farming methods are just a few of the reasons why it makes sense to know where your food is coming from.

Not to mention the taste. While intensively-farmed vegetables may look more impressive, don't judge a book by its cover - organic fare is a little more expensive, often tastes better and you can be safe in the knowledge that you are actually eating a tomato and not a tomato with a cocktail of fertilisers to boot.

Unfortunately, less than one per cent of British agriculture is organically farmed, but with an increasing demand, that figure is set to grow.

This week, the Chelsea Flower Show is extolling the benefits of organic gardening. The Prince of Wales, himself an avid organic farmer, has even allowed Cartier Ltd and Harpers & Queen to recreate aspects of his own organic garden at Highgrove House. As with all food trends, many high street supermarkets have caught on and are beginning to sell dedicated organic ranges. Marks & Spencer is the latest to join the club, selling a range of organic fruit and veg in 21 of their London stores.

Of course, you could go almost completely organic and do all your shopping at Planet Organic in West London. The staff there will meet your every organic need and if it's good enough for Jarvis Cocker and Madonna, it'll do for the rest of us.

You can now go on-line with a new organic website: a postcode search locates your nearest organic food store and also supplies organic news, product developments and an on-line organic bookshop.

For the more traditional approach, The Shopper's Guide to Organic Food by Lynda Brown is the indispensable companion - everything you would ever want to know about what qualifies as organic, farming methods, prices and more importantly where to get it.

So start going organic and always remember - the more consumers who make the switch, the cheaper the products will become.

The Chelsea Flower Show, 19-22 May, Royal Hospital, Chelsea, London

Planet Organic 0171 221 7171

The Shopper's Guide to Organic Food (Fourth Estate pounds 7.99)

www.organicfood.co.uk

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