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Thu 2 Jun 2005 04:00 AM

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Think organic, nutritionist tells retailers

A nutritionist has advocated the benefits of stocking more lines of organic produce on GCC supermarket shelves

A nutritionist who gives weekly tours promoting the values of organic food at the recently opened Organic Foods & Café, has urged supermarkets to increase their range of organic produce and make healthier choices more clearly signposted.

Speaking at one of her guided tours of the Dubai outlet, Belinda Rennie told RNME that retailers should try to incorporate organics as part of their overall strategy, especially considering that the Middle East is battling what many believe to be an obesity epidemic.

“Integrating organic food into the main body of a supermarket rather than confining it to its own section helps develop awareness of its importance,” explains Rennie. “Separate sections are valuable for specialised products like gluten-free, where people are highly aware of their sensitivities, but alienating organic food gives off the wrong impression. It should be an accepted part of any consumer’s diet, not a novelty or suspicious alternative.”

Rennie’s tour, ‘Go organic – Live better!’ covers a variety of health issues including food sensitivities, kids food ideas, healthy hormone balance, GM food, weight loss and a healthy heart. With the amount of organic food coming into the region only set to increase, Rennie believes it is crucial to educate the public on this misunderstood concept.

“I think organics should receive additional labelling highlighting the benefits. It’s difficult here in the Middle East to build a sensible diet, because things are not so clearly signposted. In some cases it’s up to the consumer to do most of the research if they want to eat healthily, and that should not be the case,” she says.

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