Going organic is often met with the idea that your grocery bill will skyrocket, you will be inconvenienced and the organic food movement is nothing for than a passing trend.
Yes it does require a little extra effort, mostly at the start and higher cost is definitely a factor but there are ways to manage that.
September is Organic Awareness Month, so we caught up with Nutritionist, author and wellness advocate Lola Berry who shares why we should make eating organic a priority.
1. Improving soil fertility and maintain biological cycles
Most think the transition to organic is going to be an investment, but you don’t have to buy the most expensive organic brand.
If you shop around, especially at local farmers markets or even at supermarkets, you will find organic produce at affordable prices.
I often see organic fruit and veg at Coles or Woolworths for cheaper prices than non-organic! It is also good to keep in mind that there is often a reason organic produce is more expensive – it is not mass supplied. Instead, produce comes direct from organic farms whose practices support land regeneration and soil fertility through composting and crop rotation.
Choosing to support certified organic means that you are also supporting these organic farmers, producers and processors who are doing the right thing for our environment, workers and animals as well as building a sustainable future for all Australians.
Image via The Farm Byron Bay
2. Supporting organic local businesses
Another misconception is that leading an organic lifestyle can be inconvenient, that going organic means you must go to shop at special health food stores or buy every single ingredient organic.
Again this is not the case – start small and eventually you will build up a pantry and fridge full of organic produce.
For example you could start one week with fruit, then vegetables, then meat etc. I personally source organic produce for all my own food and cooking – I’m a regular at the South Melbourne markets and Prahan Market in Victoria, as well as various farmers markets and local supermarkets.
Not only do you save on cost but you are also supporting local organic businesses.
Image via Elaine Casap on Unsplash
3. Avoiding chemicals and supporting an eco-friendly way of living
Knowing that what you are putting into your body is free from harmful pesticides, herbicides, hormones, antibiotics and chemicals was enough for me to go organic. However, if you’re looking for further incentives to make the switch, avoiding these artificial ingredients is also a really positive step towards leading an eco-friendly way of life.
Sidestepping these ingredients is also easier than most people think.
Look out for the Certified Organic ‘Bud’ logo, this ensures that the products are genuinely Certified Organic, saving you time at the store and reassuring you that the product will be free from these chemicals.
If a product claims to be organic but does not carry a certification mark, it’s probably not. Broccoli, berries, apples, pears and kale tend to be the worst of the bunch when it comes to heavy chemical use, so if I’m restricted to buying only some organic produce, I’m sure to always go organic with these.
The facts are out there – there are hormones added to meat and chicken, there are pesticides and herbicides sprayed onto fruits and vegetables to make them last longer and to look shiny, there are GMO ingredients added to stocks and sauces.
For me, the organic path was all about feeling good and nourishing my body with foods and products that were free from toxins and chemicals. I wanted to honour my health and feel the best I could feel.
When I eat really well with foods containing the right nutrients my skin is noticeably clearer, I sleep better, my immunity improves, and I generally feel healthy, energetic and happy.
Image via Adobe Stock
5. Being an Ethical Consumer
With organic produce livestock are free to roam the fields and eat their natural food – grass – rather than being force-fed corn.
Vote with your money – if you choose to buy organic, everyone gets to benefit, particularly animals. And this actually leads to a further benefit to you. Less fatty meat means that you can easily keep your heart healthier.
Organic animals must be given a quality of life that allows them to perform their natural social and physical functions, are free-range, not genetically modified, pasture-fed, water efficient and biodiversity friendly.
Altogether, there are a lot of benefits of going organic. As you start your transition into going organic remember to not be too hard on yourself – take baby steps, one category or product at a time. In the end it is all about the path towards cleaner eating with unprocessed, real foods that are as close to nature as possible that make you feel great.
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