These days, six out of ten Aussies buy organic produce every now and then, and that is BRILLIANT. We’re becoming more and more aware of what is in our food, and that has great domino effects – on our health, on the environment, and on how we look and feel. It’s an exciting time, so why not make a cup of chai, sit down, and let’s learn about all things organic!
What does ‘organic’ mean?
‘Organic’ refers to the way farmers grow and process products like fruit, vegetables, dairy and meat. These farmers don’t use conventional methods like pesticides, artificial fertilisers and hormones to grow their crops and stock. Nope – they have a more natural, healthier approach.
What are the benefits of going organic?
It’s no secret that eating organic is a better for us and the environment. But just in case you needed more convincing, here are the reasons why it’s worth splashing a little extra cash on the good stuff.
Less chemical nasties
By going organic, you’ll avoid eating the cocktail of chemicals, additives and pesticides found in normal farm produce. Did you know fruits and veggies are sprayed with insecticide, herbicide and fungicide two to TEN times before they hit shelves? Some are even genetically modified. We’re all about ditching the nasties at GMB HQ, which is why we choose to put organic food into our bodies whenever we can.
Organic produce can increase your intake of vitamins and minerals by a whopping 30 per cent. Yes, really! Since it’s not sprayed with preservatives, it has naturally higher levels of vitamin C, magnesium, calcium, iron and antioxidants. Whether you go for organic fruit, veg, meat or milk, you’re giving your health a major boost.
Organic farming is all about high-quality soil, which is packed with nutrients. Without chemicals and pesticides acting as a barrier, the soil is able to feed plants with tons of minerals, which in turn infuses them with flavour – that’s why so many chefs use organic produce! It’s fresher and tastes better. And organic meat isn’t injected with hormones, meaning it’s much closer to its natural state.
Organic farming has two distinguishing factors: it’s free-range (in other words, the animals aren’t stuck in teeny tiny cages), and steers clear of pesticides as well as growth drugs like steroids, hormones and antibiotics. It goes without saying that it’s a healthier and far more humane way of farming. Also, environmental preservation is a huge priority in the organic farming world, with many working hard to conserve water, energy and soil, embrace renewable resources, and reduce pollution. By doing so, they produce less waste and carbon dioxide, which is a major win for the planet. How’s that for a feel-good reason to put some organic blueberries in your cart?
How do I know if something is organic?
In Australia, organic and biodynamic foods undergo a rigorous examination before they’re certified as Australian Certified Organic (ACO). So, look for goodies marked with the ACO logo – this will tell you they’re the real deal.
Now, organic produce does have a heftier price tag, so it’s fine to ease your way into it. As a general rule, fruit and veg with thin skins (like potatoes and apples) have the highest levels of pesticides, so go for the organic versions of those. On the other hand, foods with peels, like oranges, onions and bananas, are sprayed with less chemicals.
Want a handy cheat sheet? You’re in luck! Created by the Environmental Working Group, a US health organisation, this list helps consumers to reduce their pesticide exposure by highlighting which fruits and veggies are sprayed most/least in conventional farming.
The Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen |
The Dirty Dozen
These fruits and veggies are often worst hit in terms of chemicals and pesticides, so buy organic where possible.
The Clean Fifteen
These goods go through a ‘cleaner’ farming process, and are therefore safer to eat. You should be fine to buy the non-organic versions.
Go on – make 2016 the year you go organic!
Have you made the switch to organic food?