So what does the term ‘organic’ really mean?
‘The principle guidelines for organic production are to use materials and practices that enhance the ecological balance of natural systems and that integrate the parts of the farming system into an ecological whole. Organic agriculture practices cannot ensure that products are completely free of residues; however, methods are used to minimize pollution from air, soil and water. Organic food handlers, processors, and retailers adhere to standards that maintain the integrity of organic agriculture products. The primary goal of organic agriculture is to optimize the health and productivity of interdependent communities of soil life, plants animals and people.’
-US The National Organic Standard Board (NOSB)
‘The Benefits of Buying Organic’ by Rebecca Cook
I’m often asked by clients what my views are on buying organic foods vs non organic foods? is there certain foods that you should opt for organic? And how much difference does it really makes and if it’s worth it?
So I think a good place to start is with the question, what difference does buying organic make? Like anything if we understand what motivates us to do something we are better at choosing what’s of value to us.
So ‘from the ground up’ here are the benefits to buying organic:
- Children’s health: little ones are more susceptible to nasties from pesticide residue and environmental toxins as their organs are still developing. A build-up of these toxins can contribute to behavioural issues, immune (allergies) and gut health.
- Optimal nutrition: because organic farmers use less water, crops are seasonal with fewer early pickings. Reduced storage times means fruit and veg is more nutrient-rich, and studies have found that organic eggs, dairy products, fruits, vegetables and meats actually taste better than conventional varieties.
- Organic produce has 30% higher levels of antioxidants than its conventional counterparts. That means higher antioxidant intake for people who consume organic fruit and vegetables.
- Supporting Organic farming practices: reduces level of pesticides and fertilizers in the soil, thereby improving the overall health of the soil, air, and water, as well as our own health especially immune, gut and mental health.
- Farmers who grow certified organic foods are prohibited from using genetically modified foods.
- Animal welfare: organic farming is ethical, meaning animals are free to roam and not treated with antibiotics or hormones. Cattle are fed grass, which is better suited to their digestive system than (non-orgnainc) grains.
- Environmental protection: sustainable agriculture uses fewer fossil fuels, thereby producing fewer carbon dioxide emissions. Organic farming protects our soil and water.
‘My top 6 tips when choosing organic produce vs non-organic produce that won’t leave a hole in your pocket’ by Rebecca Cook
- Buying seasonal fruit and veg from local farmers and growers- this will always ensure affordability, fresher produce and seasonal fruit that is nutritionally dense with nutrients that support seasonal ailments. You can find these fruit and vegies stocked at local co-ops, farmer’s markets and greengrocers. In contrast to buying from big companies, where the fruit and veg travel far and are refrigerated for some period of time. Reducing the nutritional value and taste, and potentially increased pesticide exposure due to being bulk produced.
- Buy a mix of both organic and non-organic produce, the trick is knowing which fruit and vegies to buy organic, and which has been less impacted by potential pesticides and would be ok to buy non-organic. Have you heard of the clean 15 and dirty dozen? Click here to get a clear guide on Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce and to learn more about the clean15 and dirty dozen fruit and vegie choices.
- A general rule of thumb is: Anything without a skin or that you can peel, apples, berries buy organic, due to there being a greater chance of pesticide absorption and residue without an outer layer for protection.
- .. and anything with a skin/ outer layer or that you peel e.g banana, orange, mandarin, fresh peas, potatoes, carrots, pineapple, avocados buy non- organic.
- Support your local co-ops and health food stores by joining their membership programs or volunteering. Any easy feel good way to receive a discount off produce and ethical products.
- If you are also time poor, you can order your weekly fruit and vegie box from an organic co-op or grower that is easy to either pick-up or they may even home deliver.
Click here to discover delicious and nourishing recipes you can now incorporate your new found knowledge on using both organic and non-organic produce- I hope you find some new favourites! Enjoy Xo
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Hi Everyone, it’s Rebecca Cook from www.rebeccacooknaturopathy.com.
I have worked in and had a passion for the health and wellness industry for over 15 years. I am a fully qualified Naturopath, Herbalist, Nutritionist, Doula and Massage Therapist currently working at The Thirroul Natural Healing Centre which is located in the heart of Thirroul on the beautiful south coast.
I hope you enjoyed my blog on ‘The benefits of buying organic’ and ‘Organic vs non- organic produce’
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