Eating organic can provide you with more nutrients, a better taste and most importantly, minimise your intake of hormone disrupting synthetic chemicals and hormones.
Sometimes advertising can leave us confused as to which products are genuine organic produce or using organic ingredients, or those that are just another company jumping on the bandwagon of the health market. So what exactly is organic?
In Australia, bodies like the Australian Certified Organic Standard bring together standards so consumers have a simple and clear choice when buying organic produce. Here is our straight forward guide to looking for organic and what it actually means.
What does organic mean?
Organic products have a strict focus on the environment, including sustainability, and animal welfare and protection – organic products always come from free roaming animals. Foods are produced without the use of synthetic chemicals or fertilisers (including herbicides, pesticides and artificial fertilisers) and animals are bred in their natural environments, eg being left to graze in open pastures and enjoying health promoting natural foods and sunshine. To give you an idea of the vast nutritional difference between organic and conventionally / factory farmed produce:
– Eggs: There is up to 8 times more vitamin D and 2 x more vitamin A in pasture raised eggs, than compared with confinement / conventionally raised animals
– Lard: There is up to 12 times more vitamin D in pasture raised animal lard than from conventionally / confinement raised animals
– Grass fed butter: Pasture raised products contain 10 – 13 times more vitamin A, and 3 times more vitamin D than confinement / conventionally raised animals
To sum that up – basically, you are what you eat, eats! Yes, that does say ‘eat’ twice too, you’re not reading that wrong! 🙂
If you are not able to eat 100% organic, a handy tool you should familiarise yourself is the Environmental Working Groups ‘Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen’. The dirty dozen makes up the list of the most heavily sprayed crops for that year – ones that you should avoid unless you can eat them organic. The clean fifteen, on the other hand, are the cleanest non-organic crops to eat that particular year. The list is put out once a year.
How to tell if its organic…
All too often the label ‘organic’ can be misused, especially because it has a few different meanings. Marketing can be very clever, so always take the time to read about the product, or even better, speak to the grower if purchasing from markets.
One you begin to understand organic, you will often start to find things labelled ‘sustainable’ Sustainable generally means that a product hasn’t paid for the organic certification, but usually follows the same principles. Again, its about talking to the producer / seller and finding out if chemicals such as herbicides and pesticides have been used in the growing or manufacture of that product.
For those in Sydney, there are a number of organic markets around. Orange Grove Farmers Markets are run every Saturday morning in Leichhardt, and are the most local to Saltuary. Here you’ll find an abundance of organic fruit and veg, straight from the farm to you. There is also an abundance of home delivery services that provide organic produce to your door. Some of these include:
– Lettuce Deliver
– Doorstep Organics
– Grassroots Urban Butchery
At Saltuary we aim to source organic options wherever possible. We stock many certified organic products, so you can be sure that you’re buying the best in our health food shop. We also choose to use certified organic products in our treatments including our massage oils and all of our natural beauty therapy treatments.