2019 marks the 10-year anniversary of the Økologisk Spisemærke, the restaurant-focused sister mark of Ø-Mærket – AKA, that red Ø you sometimes see in supermarkets. But what is the Økologisk Spisemærke? And why is it so important?
Posted on 11 September, 2019
According to the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration, the “Økologisk Spisemærke is a state guaranteed label indicating that a kitchen is serious about organics. The label is free and offers a differentiated indication of the total percentage of organic raw ingredients and beverages used in preparing the entire menu.”
Put simply, that means a restaurant uses a certain percentage of organic produce because, like us, they think it’s the best option. At Relæ and Manfreds we hold the gold standard in organic, which means we use 90-100% organic produce in everything we do (although in reality, it’s closer to 100%). We’ve held this standard since 2013, and chose to manage Mirabelle and BÆST with the same uncompromising excellence when opening in 2014, where we also proudly bare the organic mark.
So we’re joining the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration’s celebrations by marking our own 6-year anniversary. We’re so proud of this achievement, and hope that leading by example will encourage others to take the same stance as us.
Why is organic so important?
There’s a few reasons:
It’s better for you
According to some research, organic foods have a higher nutritional value as, in the absence of pesticides and fertilisers, they have to boost their production of the phytochemicals that strengthen their resistance to bugs and weeds. AKA, the stuff that’s good for you.
There’s also research into the harm these chemicals can cause to humans. Most notably, affecting children and pregnant women the worst.
At the Relæ Community, we take organic one step further and refuse to use animals treated with antibiotics. The liberal use of antibiotics in animal production has been linked to antibiotic resistance and poses an immense threat to humans if this is not challenged.
Organic meat puts some restrictions in place, meaning animals cannot be treated en masse and those that are mustn’t be slaughtered before the drug has passed through the animal’s system, but we make a point of only working with suppliers who don’t use antibiotics unless absolutely necessary.
It’s better for the planet
Organic farming reduces pollutants in groundwater and creates richer soil that aids plant growth while reducing erosion. It also decreases pesticides that can end up in your drinking glass; in some cities, pesticides in tap water have been measured at unsafe levels for weeks at a time.
Organic farming also uses less energy than conventional farming methods. At Farm of Ideas, we practice holistic grazing: a method that takes advantage of the symbiotic relationship between large herds of grazing animals – in our case, cows – and the grasslands that support them.
This method helps with carbon sequestration, or the process of carbon capture, which is done to mitigate or slow the effects of global warming.
So, yeah, it’s definitely better all round. So why aren’t you choosing organic?