This month is Organic September so I’m going take a break from my usual theme of cooking/kitchen experiments to talk a bit about eating organic.
As you will probably know, all of the fruit and veg we sell at Village Greens is organic. It comes in twice weekly from the co-operative wholesalers, Organic North (Mondays and Thursdays for those who want the edge on getting the best of the best when it comes in) and I really look forward to seeing what’s coming in and how this changes from season to season. Right now is actually my favourite time, when all of the tomatoes are colourful, UK apples become available and all of the unusual and colourful squash decorate our shelves.
Anyway, organic, yes! I think that when asked ‘why eat organic?’ most people immediately think of the fact that fewer pesticides are used. All food labelled organic has to be proven to meet strict rules that go beyond just pesticide use so there are many other fantastic assurances that come with buying organic:
It’s fully traceable so you can be sure of what you’re eating. Farms and food businesses are visited once a year from the lovely folk at the Soil Association to ensure standards are upheld.
It’s produced with natural fertilisers from plants and less energy.
It involves more environmentally sustainable management of the land and natural environment, which means more wildlife. In fact there is up to 50% more wildlife on organic farms*.
There are no artificial colours of preservatives used.
No GM ingredients.
No routine use of antibiotics.
Research has proven that organic food is nutritionally richer by a significant amount than non-organic food.*
It is the best farming system in terms of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture and protecting natural resources.*
Animals are always free range and have higher welfare standards than in non-organic farming.
And organic is more than just the food we eat, it can refer to drinks, beauty and personal care products and textiles.
I am aware that buying organic compared to non-organic can cost a little more although at Village Greens we try to help balance that by selling most of our fruit and veg loose so that you can buy just enough and avoid any food waste. After a little snoop around on the internet I have compiled a list of the most important foods to go organic with if you can’t do it 100%.
First it is meat, dairy and eggs because when organic they are free from antibiotics, pesticides, and added growth hormones. Then, in fruit and veg: peaches, nectarines, grapes, bell peppers, apples, celery, strawberries, potatoes, cherries, pears, lettuce and spinach.**
So there it is, my thoughts on the wonderful effects of choosing organic. The idea of organic is to work with nature so that’s my main motivator when doing my shopping but apart from any of this, it just tastes better. Give it a go this September. I suppose I should do a shameless plug now…so,
At Village Greens on Saturday 14th September you can get 5% off all fruit and veg and sample some other organic goodies in the shop!