As I write this it seems the sun has finally decided to make an appearance - and boy is it toasty today! So let's have a little look at some first aid remedies for surviving the summer months and beyond.
Burns - For minor burns my absolute favourite remedy has to be lavender essential oil. This can work very quickly to relieve pain and aid tissue repair. It can be applied neat to the skin (but always patch test, some people may be allergic) or added to a cold water bath for the burned area. Honey is another traditional remedy to apply. Homeopathic remedies of use include cantharis - for pain creating restlessness, hypericum - nerve pain, and urtica urens - for prickly, stinging pain.
Sunburn - It is important we make the most of our summer months and top up our vitamin D levels, so I'm a great believer in getting bare skin out there for short bursts as often as possible. Then it's time to cover up before we start to singe. If you do get caught out, keep a pot of Aloe Vera gel with some added lavender oil chilling in the fridge - wonderfully soothing to sunburn and makes a good general after-sun moisturiser for the skin. Another great way to cool off is a chilled bottle of rose water spritzed on the skin - cooling, calming and a delightful scent to boot.
Bruising - Soak cotton wool or a flannel in good quality vinegar and apply to the bruise as soon as possible for 20-30 minutes. Comfrey cream is also excellent for helping to heal bruises - apply regularly. The homeopathic remedy arnica can be useful for all kinds of physical trauma - it is often taken before and after operations as an aid to healing. For a little aroma help, add a few drops of lavender and/or helichrysum essential oil to cold water or the vinegar soak. These oils can also be added to a base cream or oil or, indeed, the comfrey cream.
Summer Survival—First Aid
Cuts - Always clean cuts well. Salt water or marigold (calendula) tincture/tea can be used for this. To halt bleeding powdered cayenne or yarrow can be sprinkled on the cut - use with care (especially the cayenne - not something you want to accidentally get into sensitive tissues or the eyes!). Honey and colloidal silver are useful anti-septic's to apply to wounds. I would certainly never be without a bottle of colloidal silver in my house. I have seen it work wonders for pretty nasty cuts and wounds. It is also a useful bug busting remedy to use at the first sign of the sniffles - a spray bottle is a handy way to apply to the skin or onto sore throats.
Sprains/Strains - Got a little overzealous with the gardening? Pulled a muscle weeding and pruning? Start with ice packs and vinegar compresses. Homeopathic arnica is the go to remedy for trauma and it is often recommended to be taken immediately and for several doses until the swelling starts to subside. Then people may chooses to switch to either rhus tox - to alleviate stiffness and aid general healing, or ruta grav - a general remedy for injuries to tendons, muscles and joints. An aromatherapy blend of ginger (anti-inflammatory), rosemary (to aid circulation) and juniper (to assist the lymphatic system in removing waste from the injured area) can be useful to support the body’s repair mechanisms. Try roughly 2 drops of each essential oil in 10ml of base oil and apply at least three times a day (always patch test before first use!).
Hayfever - Lots of lovely remedies for this common condition exist and here's a few of my favourites. Great anti-inflammatories and anti-histamines include quercetin (found in apples and onions as well as supplements), nettles and good old vitamin C. Combination H in the tissue salt is an all rounder. Homeopathic Euphrasia is particularly useful for eye irritation. The anti-oxidant Pycnogenol is another great choice which may also be useful for asthmatics.
I hope you're enjoying our summer whatever the weather! See you next month.
My Gran made the best cakes. One of my all time favourites was her apple cake. I've made it myself and everyone loved it!
Pre-heat oven to 160c/320f/ gas mark 3
Cream the butter and sugar, add the syrup and mix well.
Beat eggs in a little at a time, add flour and mixed spice.
Add apples and make sure they mix in and well distributed.
Bake for 1 hour or til cooked and risen.
Leave to cool.
Spread with honey and sprinkle a little demerara sugar then serve.
Bara Brith is a traditional welsh teabread. In Welsh 'Bara Brith' means speckled bread.
Measure the currants, sultanas and sugar into a bowl. Pour over the hot tea, cover and leave overnight.
Pre-heat the oven to 150c/300f/gas mark 2.
Lightly Grease and base line a 2lb/900g loaf tin with greaseproof paper.
Stir the flour and egg into the fruit mixture, mix thoroughly then turn into the tin and level the surface.
Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 90- 105 mins or until well risen and firm to the touch. A skewer inserted into the centre should come out clean. Allow to cool in the tin for about 10min before turning out leaving to cool completely on a wire rack.
Serve sliced and buttered.
If you are a vegan you will definitely want to avoid eggs and all egg based products, as do some vegetarians. You may also want to stick to an egg free diet if you have an allergy or intolerance to the allergen in the egg protein. Eggs are used for so many things under so many guises (like egg albumen)
Egg allergy usually develops in babies and young children, and many children grow out of it in a few years. However Egg allergy can continue into adulthood especially if you suffer from other allergies. Symptoms can show themselves within minutes and can include a rash around your mouth, swelling in the mouth or face, sneezing and wheezing, and vomiting. It is common for it to seem like the throat is closing up. If the allergy is severe, egg allergy can cause anaphylactic shock. These days it is easy to spot and avoid eggs in your diet as a new law came out in 2005 stating that if a food contains eggs it must be stated in the cautions panel of the label as egg can cause anaphylactic shock and result in death.
Any egg ingredients hiding here?
Common foods you should avoid or look for an egg free alternative for are things like mayonnaise, cakes and pastries, batter and pancake products, custard, noodles, and other pastas, sauces, cookies, baking powder, waffles, pretzels, meringue, breaded foods and maybe even ice cream. You should be fine with Easter eggs though! These are the ingredients to look out for which are produced from eggs: albumin, globulin, livetin, lysozyme, or Simplesse (TM) sweetener.
Egg free alternatives
No need to panic though, there is an excellent selection of egg free foods and alternatives which can make you life a little easier. Here you will find egg free mayonnaise, custard powder, cakes, pasta, and even egg replacer to help you replace eggs in baking.
You don't have to add salt to food to be eating too much, roughly 75% of the salt we eat is already in everyday foods such as bread, breakfast cereal and ready meals.
High salt intake can cause high blood pressure, especially the older we get.
High blood pressure often has no symptoms, and it is estimated that in England about one in every three people who have high blood pressure don’t know it. But if you have it, you are more likely to develop heart disease or have a stroke.
Salt in our food can raise our blood pressure and aggravate heart disease or strokes. In our Western diet where processed foods feature so highly we eat far too much salt without even realising it. So if you want to begin to care for your heart by limiting your salt intake it can be difficult to know where to start.
Low Sodium Diet
A low salt or low sodium diet should, according to the Food standards Agency be limited to 6 grams of salt a day - around a single teaspoon. That may sound like quite a lot, but the average person eats between 8-11 grams a day. Labelling for low salt
We will only describe a product as low salt if the manufacturer has labelled it low salt. As this can be inconsistent & manufacturers may be talking comparatively please always check out the nutritional information for the actual salt used.
Foods that contain salt
Some foods are almost always high in salt because of the way they are made.
Other foods, such as bread and breakfast cereals, can contribute a lot of salt to our diet. But that’s not because these foods are always high in salt – it’s because we eat a lot of them.
High-salt foodsThe following foods are almost always high in salt. To cut down on salt, eat them less often or have smaller amounts:
Foods that can be high in salt
In the following foods, the salt content can vary widely between different brands or varieties. That means you can cut down on salt by comparing brands and choosing the one that is lower in salt. Nutrition labels can help you do this.
These foods include:
Why would I want to avoid sugar?
Intolerance or sensitivity to refined sugar is common, and it has been suggested that over a quarter of us are a little intolerant to this addictive substance that has no nutritional value other than to add calories.
To give a quick summary: sugar increases blood fat (triglyceride) levels; is packed with empty calories; encourages the growth of yeasts like those in candida albicans; it disturbs our blood sugar levels, which diabetics know all about; and it can effect a depletion of vitamins and minerals.
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a serious life-long health condition that occurs when the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood is too high because the body can’t use it properly. If left untreated, high blood glucose levels can cause serious health complications.
There are two main types of diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2. They’re different conditions, caused by different things, but they are both serious and need to be treated and managed properly.
Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that plays a very important role in our bodies. After we eat, we begin to digest carbohydrates, breaking them down into glucose.
The insulin released by the pancreas moves glucose into our cells, where it is used as fuel for energy. It may help to understand that insulin is often described as a key, which open the doors to the cells, allowing glucose to enter. If we do not have enough insulin in our bodies, the glucose will stay in our bloodstream and can be deadly the higher the levels.
Type 1 Diabetes-
If you think you have a problem then please contact your doctor or a medical professional and get help.
Q: What are low calorie sweeteners?
A: These are ingredients used to sweeten foods – they can be split into two categories: bulk sweeteners and intense sweeteners. Bulk sweeteners are used when the volume that sugar would have normally given to a food is required as well as sweetness. They contain 2kcal/g whereas sucrose (normal table sugar) contains 4kcal/g. Intense sweeteners are sweeteners that are so sweet that only very small amounts are required to give a sweet taste, meaning they have no appreciable energy value. They can be up to 7000 times sweeter than sucrose.
Q: How do I spot a sweetener on a food label?
A: Food labels need to say on the main face if they contain added sugars and/ or sweeteners. Sweeteners are additives and will be labelled as such in the ingredients list. This will be either as a sweetener with its name or as an E number.
Below is a list of common sweeteners with their corresponding E numbers:
Aspartame - E951
Acesulfame K - E950
Saccharin - E954
Sucralose - E955
Maltitol - E965
Isomalt - E953
Sorbitol - E420
Some people prefer "natural" sweeteners over refined ones. In most cases, they are less refined than white sugar and may contain small amounts of vitamins and minerals.
Here are some varieties of "natural" sweeteners;
Barley malt is a thick, dark, slow-digesting sweetener made from sprouted barley. It has a malt-like flavour. Some say barley malt is to beer as grapes are to wine. It is ideally suited to brewing for many reasons: Malted barley has a high complement of enzymes for converting its starch supply into simple sugars; it also contains protein, which is needed for yeast nutrition. Another important element is its flavour. Pure malt extract, which is relatively expensive, is sometimes adulterated with corn syrup, which is cheap. Barley malt extract (available in powder and liquid forms) is also used medicinally as a bulking agent to promote bowel regularity.
Brown rice syrup
Brown rice syrup is a naturally processed sweetener, made from sprouted brown rice. It is thick and mild-flavoured.
Also known as levulose and fruit sugar, fructose is the sweetest of all the simple sugars (e.g., glucose, fructose, galactose). Fruits contain between 1 and 7% fructose, although some fruits have much higher amounts. Fructose makes up about 40% of the dry weight of honey. It is also available in crystalline form, but its sweetness rapidly declines when dissolved in water. Fruit juice concentrates Fruit juice concentrates are made by cooking down peach, pineapple, grape, and pear juices to produce a sweeter, more concentrated product. The product is then frozen to increase shelf life.
Honey is a sweet substance made from plant nectar (sucrose) by the honeybee. The source of the nectar determines the colour, flavour, and texture of honey. Alfalfa and clover honey are the most common types, but blackberry, heather, and acacia honeys are also popular. Honey is sold in liquid or crystallized form, and is available raw or pasteurized. Commercial honey is heated to 150 to 160°F (65.5 to 71°C) to prevent crystallization and yeast formation. "Organic" or "raw" honey has not been heat-treated. About 40% of the sugar in honey is fructose. Honey may contain Clostridium botulinum spores, the bacterium that causes botulism. Heat treatment is not sufficient to destroy C. botulinum spores, but the high sugar content of the honey prevents the spores from germinating, thus preventing the risk of deadly botulism. Normal adults are not at risk of botulism from eating honey; however, the gastrointestinal tracts of young infants (under one year of age) may promote spore germination. For this reason, infants under one year of age should not consume honey in any form.
Maple syrup is made from the boiled sap of sugar maple trees, primarily in the Northeastern United States and Canada. The taste and colour vary depending on the temperature at which the sap was boiled, and how long the sap was cooked. USDA Grade A maple syrup is the most popular grade for everyday use as a topping on pancakes, desserts, and other foods. It is usually made throughout most of the short syrup production season. Grade B syrup is generally made toward the end of the season, as the weather warms toward spring and the trees end their winter dormancy. USDA Grade B syrup is much darker and has a stronger flavour, which makes it more suitable for flavouring and cooking purposes. It is thought that this late season syrup contains more minerals.
Xylitol is a natural sweetener that can effectively replace sugar or other sweeteners. Nowadays, it is mainly extracted from corn, although originally it used to be made from birch tree pulp. sweetener, in fact even the human body produces a few grams of xylitol each day. Chemically, xylitol is a polyol and unlike most sweeteners it looks and tastes almost exactly like sugar (please note I said almost). However, you should note that it's not a calorie free sweetener but it has 40% less calories than sugar.
Xylitol and Dental Care
Some of you if you read food labels you might have noticed that some of the sugars that are supposed to improve dental health contain xylitol. This is not a coincidence. Xylitol can have a beneficial effect for dental health especially when compared to sugar. The two main reason are:
Xylitol has been approved by the FDA almost 45 years ago and there have never been reported any side effects other than a mild laxative effect. After all it's a natural substance that we produce ourselves and we even consume anyway by eating various fruits.
Xylitol and Dogs
Nevertheless, it should be mentioned that the consumption of xylitol can be dangerous for dogs.
Xylitol for Diabetics
One of the most important parts of diabetes management includes blood glucose management. Sugar and other carbohydrates cause a rapid elevation of blood glucose levels. Xylitol on the other hand, has a low glycaemic effect (it has a glycaemic index of 7) and doesn't require insulin for its metabolism. Because of this it is considered a good sugar alternative for diabetic patients.(from- http://hubpages.com/hub/Xylitol)
Wheat intolerance, what can I eat?
Living without wheat really isn't a problem if you have foods to hand to replace the basics. Our western diet is traditionally laden with wheat based breads, pies, pasties, pizzas, cakes, biscuits and other baked goods, so you may well feel a little daunted at first. But there is a whole array of other grains and flours from which are made delectable wheat free breads, cakes, biscuits, pizzas and pies. Rye, oats, millet, buckwheat, rice and even pea flour have been used.
Understanding Coeliac's disease
Coeliac disease (pronounced see-liac,) is an autoimmune disease. Gluten is a mixture of two proteins found in wheat, rye, barley and oats which triggers an immune reaction in people with coeliac disease. This means that eating gluten damages the lining of the small intestine, where the nutrients would normally be absorbed. The result is that we show symptoms of discomfort, bloating, diarrhoea, constipation, tiredness, bone pain, ulcers, and eventually signs of malnutrition. The remedy of course is to avoid gluten. Other parts of the body may be affected.. One in every hundred people is thought to be allergic or intolerant to gluten and as the population is over 61 million that is quite a few of us.
The symptoms of coeliac disease vary from person to person and can range from very mild to severe. Possible symptoms may include:
Some symptoms may be mistaken as Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or wheat intolerance. Stress or getting older can also be a cause of confusion. Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to be underweight or have lost weight to have coeliac disease. Most people are of normal weight or even overweight at diagnosis.
Gluten, where could it be hiding?
Eating a gluten free diet is relatively easy these days with such an amazing selection of foods to choose from. There are the food groups that are naturally gluten free: fruit and vegetables, rice, potatoes, dairy products, fish, meat, eggs, corn and maize, polenta, nuts, salads are all perfectly fine. But watch out for those foods where gluten may be hiding in disguise: spelt (is a strain of wheat), couscous, bread, pasta, breakfast cereals, malt vinegar, some soya sauces and other sauces use wheat to thicken them, wheat germ oil or cooking oil, beer, and licorice.
Gluten free alternatives
Bread, pastries, pies and other baked goods are often the most difficult thing for coeliacs to replace as they are so much part of the staple UK diet. There is now a great choice of gluten free breads and baked products, pies, pasties and pizzas as well as the more exotic and unusual foods sauces and condiments. Plus products like Xanthum can help you get the same texture as baking with normal flour in your gluten free baking. You needn't go without anything at all.
Oats and gluten
Oats do not contain gluten, but can be contaminated. They need to be 'pure oats' grown in separate fields, and processed in uncontaminated conditions. Some coeliacs may find they cannot tolerate oats even pure oats. This variation can be true of gluten intolerance or allergy in general, sensitivity can vary enormously from person to person.
What are cereals?
Cereals are the edible seeds or grains of the grass family. They provide us with:
carbohydrate - a source of energy
fibre - which slows digestion and absorption of nutrients from the gut and helps prevent constipation
most B vitamins, especially thiamin, riboflavin and niacin - needed for a number of processes in the body including helping the body get energy from food and to maintain healthy skin and vision.
What are pseudocereals?
A pseudocereal is a plant which is not a grass or cereal but can be used in similar ways. Naturally gluten-free pseudocereals include amaranth, buckwheat and quinoa. Here we look at different grains that can be used to replace those that contain gluten.
The amaranth plant produces both leaves and seeds that are edible. Amaranth seeds can be cooked as a breakfast cereal or added to soups to provide extra flavour and thicken.
Buckwheat is a member of the rhubarb family and is known as a pseudocereal. Seeds of the buckwheat plant are ground into flour or made into flakes. Sometimes it is sold crushed and hulled, under the name of 'buckwheat groats' although it is also known as 'saracen corn'.
Buckwheat flour is naturally gluten-free but as with any gluten-free grains there may be a risk of contamination with flours that contain gluten during processing, so it is important to take care to source uncontaminated flours.
The fruit from the sweet chestnut tree can be eaten when cooked and are naturally gluten-free. Chestnut flour is made from dried, ground up chestnuts and can be used in baking. Pureed chestnuts are also good bases for stuffing poultry.
Corn, also known as maize, is naturally gluten-free and is grown across the world. Cornflour can be used as a thickener, as a coating for meat and fish, or to make a light tempura batter which is popular in Japanese cuisine.
Polenta is a cornmeal, made from ground maize and can be coarse or fine. Golden yellow in colour, in the UK, polenta often comes in the quick cook, powdered variety which can be made in minutes by adding water and simmering until it thickens. This can be served hot as a side dish with stews, casseroles or with meat. Alternatively it can be left to cool, cut into slices and fried or grilled. You can also buy ready-made polenta in blocks which can be used straight from the packet.
Millet has a mild, nutty flavour and creamy texture and can be used in a similar way to rice. The grain can be white, grey, yellow or red and is often toasted or mixed with other grains before cooking. Millet can replace couscous which is traditionally used in tabbouleh a popular Middle Eastern salad. Millet flakes can be used to make porridge and millet flour can be used in baking.
Gluten-free oats can be eaten by most people with coeliac disease.
Pronounced 'keen wa', this pseudocereal is higher in protein compared to other grains and is also high in fibre. Quinoa is a small round grain grown in Peru and Bolivia and comes in a variety of colours including pale brown, red, purple and black. Quinoa can be used as you would rice, as a side dish, in salads such as tabbouleh, or as porridge. Research suggests that bread made from quinoa has a significantly higher antioxidant content compared to wheat bread. If you are on a vegetarian diet, quinoa is a good protein source and can be used as an alternative to meat.
Rice is a staple food that is eaten and grown in many countries across the world. There are all kinds of rice to choose from including basmati, brown rice and Arborio, a short grain rice traditionally used to make risotto. Each type has a different taste and texture. Ground up raw rice is used to make rice flour which can be used as you would wheat flour in baking, as a thickener and to make rice noodles, an alternative to wheat noodles.
Technically not rice but a grass, wild rice is naturally gluten-free, has a slightly nutty flavour and a higher protein content than rice. Generally, wild and brown rice require more liquid and take longer to cook than white varieties.
Sorghum, also called milo, is a staple food in many parts of Africa, Asia and the Middle East. It can be eaten like popcorn, cooked to make porridge, or ground in to flour.
The term 'dairy' is generally used to describe cows milk and products made from it including cheeses, yoghurt's, cream, crème fraiche, buttermilk and all the milks. You will want to avoid cow's milk if you are vegan or have other dietary preferences, or you may have dietary intolerances and allergies which mean you want to steer clear of dairy products too.
Allergies and intolerances, eczema & asthma
Cow's milk is made up of various proteins and sugars. Some of us find the proteins difficult to digest and others are lactose intolerant which means they are intolerant to the sugars (lactose) in the dairy products. Both groups of people would benefit by following a dairy free diet. Others choose a dairy free diet as it has been seen to help ease the symptoms of asthma and eczema especially in children. Avoiding dairy has been shown to reduce mucus production. Following a dairy free diet is worth a try for other symptoms too, for example IBS, other stomach discomfort and high cholesterol.
Dairy free alternatives
There are so many non-dairy foods and milk alternatives to choose from. Grain, nut and bean milks, rice milk, soya cheeses and creams, even dairy free chocolates! One thing is sure, you will not go hungry. Just a note about goat's milk - although goat's milk has a very similar protein and sugar make up as cow's milk, some people who found discomfort with cow's milk are fine with goat's milk.
Worried about getting enough calcium?
If you are eliminating milk from your diet you may want to top up on calcium from other food groups like blackstrap molasses, sesame seeds, nuts (especially almonds) are all great sources of calcium.
Lactose is the predominant sugar in milk. Many people seem to have difficulty digesting lactose. It would normally be digested by an enzyme called lactase in the gut, but if the lactase if absent or inefficient in some way, intolerance occurs with subsequent discomfort.
What are the symptoms of lactose intolerance?
Lactose intolerance means that the lactase cannot split the large lactose sugars into the smaller sugars of glucose and galactose . This doesn't sound too painful in words does it? But it can mean abdominal pain, diarrhoea, flatulence bloating and feeling sick. All this caused by the unabsorbed lactose passing from the small intestine to the colon.
How to live with lactose intolerance
The body's ability to produce effective amounts of lactase cannot be changed, but avoiding lactose is easy. It boils down to replacing the milk and dairy products in your diet, with an amazing selection of replacements for milk, cheese and yoghurts available this need not be too daunting.
Lactose free alternatives and calcium
Milk and dairy free alternatives are quite common and a great variety is available. There are soya milks, nut milks and grain milks to choose from of all different brands and flavours. It may be a good idea to opt for a variety with added calcium unless you are ensuring you are getting enough calcium from other sources like spinach, broccoli, black strap molasses or sesame seeds. Cheese can be one thing that those with an intolerance to lactose really miss.
Where may lactose be lurking?
To keep to your lactose free diet you may need to watch out for other milk derivatives too, many milk products are added to processed foods in various guises so keep and eye on the labels and look our for: milk, lactose, whey, curds, milk by-products, non-fat dry milk powder. Some prescription medicines may contain lactose as a filler so it may be an idea to ask, although most people with lactose intolerance can cope with a small amount of lactose.
What is Organic?
Organic is something that has been grown or raised without the routine use of pesticides, insecticides and herbicides. This is monitored by organic certification bodies that inspect production methods, and audit the supply chain to ensure that products that claim to be organic genuinely are. This is regulated by European Law, but current legal standards only apply to food and farming. For non food products suppliers may choose to opt in to organic certification but this is not a legal requirement. We have opted in - and are a Soil Association licensed Organic Retailer.
What is an 'Organic Lifestyle'?
In describing an "Organic Lifestyle" we mean one that is simple, healthy, close to nature and takes care of the environment. By choosing to live an Organic lifestyle you will be seeking to use natural and organic products throughout all aspects of your life; eating organic food, choosing natural and organic cosmetic products, eco friendly cleaning products and textiles made from organic fibres. You may also wish to take care of the environment in other ways such as recycling, using less energy and thinking about your carbon footprint. Our aim is to stock the products that help you do those things.
What is 'Organic Certification'?
Organic food products are regulated by European Law and must be certified to be called organic. This certification involves regular audit and inspection of the entire supply chain to ensure that products that claim to be organic really are. But current legal standards only apply to food and farming. There is no legislation around the use of the word organic in relation to non-food products. For non food products, suppliers may choose to opt in to organic certification but this is not a legal requirement. A number of countries have developed separate standards against which to certify organic non food products. In the UK, the Soil Association, the most well known UK organic certification body has established its own standards to cover health and beauty products and textiles. The Soil Association is the most well known organic certification body in the UK, but there are a large number of other well respected bodies throughout the UK, EU and Rest of the World. In the UK the other main ones are Organic Food Federation and Organic Farmers & Growers, in Europe EcoCert certifies organic cosmetics and BDIH operates a standard of "Controlled Natural Cosmetics" which is not the same as an organic standard but still exerts very strict control over the ingredients allowed into cosmetic products to make sure that they deserve to be called natural. For textiles IMO and SKAL are widely respected.
A note about Organic certification
Unlike food, there is no legal protection of the word organic in relation to non food products such as cosmetics, textiles and cleaning products. This means that it is perfectly legal for a company to market products as organic when they contain very little in the way of organic ingredients. One of the ways you can be sure that the products you buy are genuinely organic is by looking for products that have been independently certified as organic. There are now a wide number of different organic certification bodies and confusing array of different symbols. Because these organic certification standards have developed at different times and in different countries, the exact detail of what is and isn't allowed into products under the standard tends to vary. However, in general they all seek to ensure that the agricultural ingredients in products are produced organically and place strict controls over the non organic functional ingredients that are permitted (such as foaming agents and preservatives). Organic textile standards cover the processing and manufacture of natural fibres and they assess production methods for their impact on human health, wildlife and their biodegradability.
What does your Soil Association certificate mean?
We are inspected by Soil Association Officers to ensure that we understand the difference between certified and non certified products, that we only describe products as certified organic when they genuinely are and that we store our organic products separately. We have to give the inspectors full access to all aspects of our business so that they follow the full audit trail of a product through our business. We expect our suppliers to provide detailed information about the ingredients of their products, and list exactly which are and are not organic. Where products are certified organic we ask our suppliers to provide us with a copy of the relevant certificate. The Soil Association logo is a mark of trust, with stringent standards to ensure products that are called organic are genuinely so.