Do you shop organic only, or do you prefer to hunt for bargains during your weekly food shop? As a nation, we have very strong views on organic produce, which is why we wanted to quiz the nation to see how many of us eat organically, and of those who don’t, find out what would convince us to change our ways.
Londoners are most likely to eat organically
Of those we surveyed, 24% said they made a conscious effort to buy organic food. This rose to 38% in London, making them the most likely to buy organic food compared to anywhere else in the UK.
At the other end of the spectrum, those in the southwest are least likely to buy organic food, with just 13% actively doing so.
Younger generations are more likely to splash out on organic food, with 38% of those aged 16-24 saying they buy organic, compared to just 14% of those aged 55 and over.
Price is the number one reason why people don’t buy organic food
When asked what would make them more likely to purchase organic produce, 41% said they would if it was cheaper than non-organic alternatives, followed by 19% saying they would if their supermarket stocked more organic options.
Other factors that would encourage people to shop organically would be if it were easier to identify which food in the shop was organic, if they had a better understanding of the difference between organic and non-organic produce, and if they knew where their food came from.
It therefore comes as no surprise, that the number one reason why people don’t buy organic food is the price (over half of our respondents cited this as their reason). Interestingly, 14% said they wouldn’t buy organic because they believe it ‘goes off’ quicker than non-organic food.
So, it seems that one way to encourage more people to eat organically, is to get supermarkets on-board by better highlighting the organic food on offer in their stores, and showcasing where these products come from – for example, stickers on the food that shows the country of origin, and how it travelled over to the UK.
How to eat organically on a budget
With the price being the main reason why people are put off from purchasing organic food, we want to show you that you can eat organically, even if you’re on a budget! Below are our top tips on how you can do so, meaning you can enjoy a range of delicious organic food, whilst ensuring you’re saving money.
Shop in stores where you can bring your own containers
Food waste is a huge issue in the UK – in 2018, as a nation, we produced a shocking 9.5 million tonnes of food waste. Enter the idea of ‘precision buying’: where you purchase the exact amount of food you need, thus reducing food waste, but also meaning you pay less.
Look for organic food stores that let you bring your own containers, so you can purchase the exact amount of herbs and spices you need. Also, ensure you have the right kind of storage space in your kitchen as well so you can store them correctly.
If you want to eat organically on a budget and reduce your carbon footprint, then eating seasonally is a great way to do so. A bit of research will mean you’ll know which fruits and vegetables are grown in the UK in any given month of the year. For example, June and July is the prime time to grow asparagus, aubergine, blueberries and strawberries; whereas November and December is the time for apples, brussels sprouts, cauliflowers and leeks to be grown.
With local produce not being subjected to higher prices because of shipping imports, you’ll save money whilst eating organically.
Shop smartly in the reduced section
We all know that in the evening, supermarkets reduce the cost of food that’s about to go out of date. But you don’t need to eat fruit and veg straight away: simply shop for your organic produce in the reduced section, and then freeze it into portions, which you can then defrost and use at a later date.
Grow your own veggies
If you have a garden, then get outside and grow some veggies! Again, you’ll need an understanding of what is grown seasonally, but you’ll be saving money in the long-term by eating organically. Even if you don’t have a garden, all you need is a window to start growing your own herbs for you to use in your meals.
Reduce your meat consumption
Eating less meat has a positive impact on the environment, but reducing the amount you eat, and instead, looking for better quality cuts of organic meat, can help you to keep in budget, as you’re spending more on organic meat, but you’re buying less of it.
If you want to start eating organically but aren’t sure how, then you can start in stages: for example, switch your normal fruit and veg for organic versions, before making the move to organic meat and dairy products. Once you’ve started, you’ll find it a lot easier to identify organic produce in the supermarkets, and keep within your budget. For more food inspiration, make sure you head over to our blog!