As I’m writing this it is September, which means it’s Organic Awareness Month in Australia. No matter what month and season it is we believe in living an organic life when and where possible. Here’s our guide to transitioning to organics, with ease, and without breaking the bank.
- It’s better for our health and our environment
- Studies have found that after less than one week of eating organic food, toxin levels in the body reduced. That’s a quick result for taking in fewer chemicals, growth hormones, antibiotics and genetically modified food.
- Protect our waterways, groundwater, marine life, animals and plants from chemical runoff
- Restore soils with organic & regenerative farming systems
- Slow Climate Change by reducing the use of synthetic nitrogen fertilisers
- It tastes SOOOO GOOD!
What is organic produce?
Organic produce has been farmed without pesticides (insecticides, herbicides and fungicides), genetic modification or synthetic fertilizer. Organic meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products come from animals that are not given any antibiotics or growth hormones.
Here’s how to make a start:
Buying all organic produce and product can add up, so here are 4 tips to help you prioritise your transition.
Tip 1: Stick to the Clean 15 and Avoid the Dirty Dozen
The Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 are lists compiled by the Environmental Working Group in the USA to highlight the foods most contaminated with pesticides.
The Dirty Dozen are the fruits and vegetables containing the highest pesticide residues when farmed using conventional practices and therefore best avoided unless sourced organically.
The Clean 15 are the fruits and veggies that contain the lowest load of pesticides when farmed using conventional practices. On this basis, it is less essential to source them organically if you are shopping on a budget.
These lists are based on US practices and lots of research. In Australia we don’t have as much research on pesticide use, so an Australian Naturopath** did a review of available Australian pesticide-related data and found the following;
Dirty Dozen (Prioritise buying these organic)
AUS caution foods: Spinach, culinary herbs, cherries, blueberries, broccoli, asparagus
The Clean 15
(Note the review of research in Australia* found the Clean 6).
|Sweet Corn||Frozen corn|
|Onions – yes||Onions|
|Sweet Peas – Frozen||Sweet Peas|
Tip 2: Focus on what you eat most
Consider which food items you eat the most of. You may wish to prioritise buying organic sources of these e.g. If you eat lots of leafy greens and lentils, chose to buy those organic before considering items you only consume occasionally. If you eat a lot of meat you might want to consider replacing some meals each week with vegetarian options. Meat is usually the most expensive part of a meal, and buying organic meat will add up.
Tip 3: Shop at Local Farmers Markets
I really love shopping at my local farmer’s market for the following reasons:
- I form a relationship with the farmers who grow my food
- Organic produce costs less than at the supermarket
- And the produce is fresher
- I am supporting local agriculture
- It’s eco-friendly: no food miles
- I naturally eat seasonally
- It’s fun! I’m part of a community.
- All of the above is good for my health
This website will help you find a farmers’ market near you: https://farmersmarkets.org.au/find-a-market/
Tip 4: Buy from Wholefood Bulk Stores
Check out the range of organic products available from your local bulk wholefood store You will often find an amazing selection of organic food staples (as well as treats) like rice, cereals, bread, spices, nuts, dried fruits and even chocolate
You’ll also probably find organic options for body care and home cleaning such as shampoo and conditioner, skincare, dishwashing detergent, cleaning products
BONUS: you’ll reduce waste if you BYO containers and buy whatever quantity you like.
DOUBLE BONUS: These stores usually have a specials board.
Good for you, good for our Planet
What’s not to love about going organic? Even applying one of the above steps at a time will have a positive impact on your health and your environment. Oh, and when it comes to organic tea, my choice is always ORGANIC INDIA Tulsi infusions. Actually, I might make myself a cup now.