As the demand for eco-friendly food products grows, a large number of local stores started to adjust to this new concept. At the same time, the number of domestic producers, which offer high-quality organic products, has increased and we have more resources at our disposal for a transition to a healthier lifestyle.
According to European legislation, an organic (bio or eco) food product is a product that contains at least 95% of ingredients from organic agriculture.
In addition to products coming directly from organic agriculture (fruits, vegetables, seeds, honey), this category also includes products such as bread, fish, milk, meat or sweets, which are positioned as healthier foods, since they are made from raw materials grown without the use of pesticides, insecticides, hormones or genetically modified organisms.
The eco-friendly food products, in most of the cases, cannot be determined either visually, by taste or smell. When buying organic products, we actually buy the trust in the producer; we pay for his conscientious care for the soil and the products that he grows. Primary eco products must be accompanied by a special “certificate of conformity” issued by a specialized agency and submitted by the manufacturer. Packaged products must contain the special symbol "Organic Agriculture" or "EU Agriculture" if they are from Europe.
Classification of organic food
Eco-friendly food products can be of plant and animal origin, in form of raw materials or processed products:
Organic food products of plant origin are obtained on lands that have not been treated with fertilizers or pesticides (insecticides, herbicides, etc.).
Organic food products of animal origin (meat, milk, eggs) are products obtained from animals that were raised in ecological conditions (uncontaminated natural pastures, feed and concentrates that were grown on ecologically clean land, chemical products were not used in the preparation of food, etc.)
Processed food products are considered environmentally friendly if they are made from organic raw materials and if no food additives, other substances or preservatives are used in their production. The use of ingredients to increase the nutritional value (vitamins, mineral, salts), including blood plasma, gelatin, milk proteins, other derivatives of plant origin, etc., which are not an integral part of the natural structure of the food product, is also prohibited.
One of the defining aspects of eco- friendly products is traceability, which implies the observance of strict rules for registration and storage of clear and verifiable reports along the entire production chain: from raw materials production, processing, transportation and trade to its acquisition by the consumer. Therefore, a high degree of safety and transparency is offered to the customer when purchasing a certified organic product, and in the event of a failure, the processing and production line can be easily restored and the damaged or contaminated product can be identified.
Why are organic products more expensive than regular ones?
Eco-friendly food products undergo a complex procedure of growing or processing in order to protect them from toxic substances and to allow them grow naturally. The period for their production is longer, while the costs are the same and, as a result, they have a higher price than their usual equivalents.
In addition, these products are produced on a much smaller scale, because they deteriorate faster, which means that farmers and producers have to cover their production costs with less goods.
Where in Chisinau to find eco-friendly food products?
In Chisinau, there are several locations where one can find organic food. In addition to supermarket chains, on whose shelves the range of organic products has increased, there are also a number of specialized stores and markets: EcoLocal Farmers Market - a fair organized every Saturday in the KENTFORD parking lot; the BIOrganic Raw Cafe; Aromebio, Verdego and Biolife shops, Dorin Mereuta handicraft bakery and many others. Consumers can also buy organic food by making direct contact with local producers, many of whom sell their products online and offer delivery.
According to nutritionist Tamara Schiopu, at present we do not have natural resources for the production of ecological dairy products and organic meat in the Republic of Moldova. In our country it is best to grow sources of vegetable protein - beans, chickpeas, lentils, hemp, as well as nuts, seeds, cereals. These cultures are very well acclimatized here and the demand for them is constant, not only in our country.