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Whole Earth and the Growth of Organic Food

Whole Earth Foods and Whole Earth Provisions

Whole earth is an organic food supplier and was one of the early pioneers of macrobiotic and organic foods. You can buy bulk organic food, whole earth provisions and other organic products. Find out more organic food facts; buy, grow, and eat healthy organic foods.

The Whole Earth Provisions Concept:
Organic Food Facts and History

Leading food journalist Susannah Olivier explores how the organic pioneers of the sixties have grown up. Forty years later, their influence continues to drive a food revolution where people are voting with their purses for food they trust from companies they trust.

Where once upon a time you were thought of as a 'bit of a nutter' for buying organic food and embracing green issues, in the new millennium it is de-rigueur to buy your organic peanut butter and think about your carbon footprint.

Something that was a bit fringe is now so mainstream that many people now knowingly buy organic food. It's grown beyond buying organic fruit, vegetables and meat so that consumers now buy bulk organic food and organic store cupboard staples such as cereals, teas, spreads, jams, ketchup and even sparkling drinks.

Whole Earth foods include
Peanut Butter, cereals, drinks, snacks and spreads.

And the most impressive thing about this turn-around is that it has been largely a grass-roots movement pushing against the might of much larger food and farming industries.

The bottom line is that people have voted, with their dollars, to say that they have had enough.

What started life as an instinctive protest by a few people to the industrialization of farming and food production, has come full circle with the formalisation of this disparate movement. In essence the organic hippies of yesteryear have grown up, got wise and got organized.

Sandie Sixties
whole earth foods

Sandie has a gentle take on life - meditating on saving the planet comes high on her list of priorities, that's when she's not illicitly listening to pirate radio or off to pop concerts to 'feel the love'. She is prepared to put her philosophies into action, but she's most likely to participate in a ban-the-bomb sit-in rather than a march (so much more zen), and she is determined to only eat as nature intended.

Her two passions, politics and food, are important to Sandie, so she bombards her local politician with endless missives about the scary use of agrochemicals, about which she really worries. Her wholefood approach means sprouting her own mung beans and ‘knitting’ her own yoghurt, but the supermarkets haven't yet thought of having an organic isle. But at least her local health food shop offers her favourite organic pasta and wholenut peanut butter.

Whole Earth products can be found in several supermarkets, health food and independent stores across the UK.

The organic movement started life as a precise concern about the soil with the idea that fertilisers and pesticides made from artificial chemicals, and the cycle of not putting back into the soil what was being taken out, would lead to the soil being denuded and unable to support healthy plants. The visionary book The Living Soil written by Lady Balfour led directly to the establishment in the UK of the Soil Association - named for this concern about the soil.

The sixties came with a freeing of the shackles of conventional expectations - it was at this time that more modern pioneers such as Craig Sams and his brother Gregory started Seed, the first organic macrobiotic restaurant in London's Notting Hill.

In true 1960s rebellion style, when offered a 600 acre intensive cattle-rearing facility by his uncle in the US, Sams went to the other extreme by embracing wholefoods, veganism and an organic lifestyle! But such an approach was still rare, and potential investors in his burgeoning organic, whole planet, empire would regularly ask, over the decades, 'How long is this organic fad going to last?' Sams calmly answered those doubtful 'grey suits' by going on to set up the big-name brands Whole Earth and, with his wife Josephine Fairley, Green & Blacks.

The UK Food Standards Agency Traffic Light system is now used on Whole Earth product packaging.

This shows the contained nutrients. Click here for more on Green & Blacks organic chocolate.

Well, spurred on by simple facts that appeal to people's common sense, the organic trend has not only lasted, but gathered pace at the most remarkable rate. A market that was worth £100 million in 1993 is worth £2 billion annually now.

You no longer have to restrict yourself to a floppy organic lettuce or pay triple for your organic steak. You can now have a huge choice of just about everything and can eat organic from your morning bowl of breakfast cereal to your evening baked beans on toast.

Why is organic food so popular? It is more than just a fashion trend for the well-off, and people have real issues that concern them. Perhaps it is because no case of BSE has ever been found in an organic herd.

Perhaps it is because commonly used farming chemicals that were eventually banned after being found to be dangerous, such as DDT and Lindane, were never for even a moment used in organic food production.

Perhaps it is because there is a five-fold lower rate of salmonella in organic chicken flocks compared to intensively reared flocks.

Perhaps it is because GM has never been permitted in organic production.

Perhaps because people are sickened by the intensive farming of animals.

Or perhaps it is because the flavor of organic food is just better, or that recent research shows that organic food has higher nutrient levels than non-organic?

The hope is that people are just realising how impoverished the fast- and convenience-food experience is. (Fast food is actually pretty unattractive, eating without real pleasure - instant gratification, like sex without love. OK occasionally, but more than a little sad in the long run.)

So, finally, the message is that quality food is on the agenda, and the organic industry is, as ever, the trendsetter: The Government, spearheaded by the Soil Association backed Food for Life programme, has just announced that school children are going to learn to cook, aiming to put a halt to the cycle of ignorance about food which is costing the NHS £10 billion a year in diet-related illness.

Nina Noughties
whole earth provisions

Nina is pretty savvy about the statistics which make the headlines in the first decade of the new millennium. She is totally aware of her personal carbon footprint (offset of course), the air miles her food travels and of important organic issues. She considers herself to be something of a trendsetter and certainly, faster than you can say organochlorine pesticides, organic has become hyper-cool. OK, Prada haven't started selling hair-shirts as a couture item (though it's an idea...), but while once sourcing organic T's was a problem, M&S now oblige, and while she had to nag her local shop to stock Fairtrade it is now front-of-shelf. She doesn't actually remember when organic yoghurt had to be 'knitted' at home but she knows that all the magazines are saying nothing tastes as good. Even her reusable shopping bags are made from organic jute so she can show her organic commitment to other supermarket shoppers!

Whole Earth regularly run competitions with their products for prizes.

What is the future of organics? How long will the organic trend last? Sams has an interesting take on the future. He says that no single country with intensive industrialised farming has been profitable without massive Government tax subsidies - in essence, that the tax payer is funding an inefficient system, and that without this, the economics simply don't hold up.

But, and this is the critical thing, the economics are now fast changing with the threat of climate change. Sams' thesis is that organic farms are so carbon-viable that they are in a position to sell carbon offsets, while 'conventional' farms will have to be taxed. Of course, the large agro-business interests will 'fight, scream and kick all the way' but the logic will be indisputable. The organic evolution will continue.

Suzannah Olivier Biography: Suzannah is a qualified nutritionist, author and journalist. She is the author of over 15 nutrition and health related books with special interest in organic food, children’s nutrition and women’s health. Titles include; Banish Bloating, Detox Manual, Healthy Food for Happy Kids, Maximising Energy, Natural Hormone Balance and The Stress Protection Plan.

Suzannah is a regular contributor to national newspapers, magazines and websites with over a hundred feature articles to her credit. She is a lecturer with the Institute for Optimum Nutrition and a member of The Guild of Food Writers.

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Disclaimer: The content of this page is an opinion and is not meant to be medical advice. We do not make any therapeutic claims for herbal supplements. This site is designed for educational purposes only and is not engaged in providing medical advice or professional services. Please consult with your doctor, health care practioner or professional service provider for specific problems or advice. Many recipes have been tested however some are submissions: no guarantee is given that the ingredients or directions provided are correct and complete.

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