So … organic food. It is something I was taught about when I was in primary school. I assumed that everyone was. And for some reason it stuck. I try to buy organic as and when I can. Luckily it has become more main stream as time goes on, and you can buy more products which are organic.
However, there seems to be a misconception as to what Organic means, and people have high expectations. I have heard time and again complaints about the taste, that it doesn’t taste magic ( i am paraphrasing a little) and so there isn’t a strong enough compulsion to change from the usual fare.
There is a lot of conversation about sustainability, animal wellfare, free from diets, much more encouragement on clean living, healthy eating, trying to avoid processed sugars. There are many reasons that people review their eating habits, it can be to become more healthy, because of illness, allergies, because you are aware of the environment.
Now, I have been nominally vegetarian since i was a teenager. I just don’t like the taste of most meat, it doesn’t appeal to me. So while I do, very occasionally eat meat, it is so little and often, it is easier to stick with being vegetarian. But I have also developed a animal milk allergy. Not to be confused with a lactose intolerance. I managed to get this far in life before succumbing. So it means I can’t eat cheese. It also makes it awkward as 90% of the time, if you say vegetarian, you get offered a cheese dish.
But I am going off track, just wanted to give a little background on myself – i have an appalling diet, I drink most of calories so if ever there was a candidate for cutting down on processed sugar, you are looking at her. However, the fact remains, many of us are developing bad habits with regard to good, and our taste buds are dulled. I love carrots, raw. I can eat them by the basket. Our shops sell the same food year around, fruit and veg is no longer seasonal. But this has the knock on effect of food becoming, to me tasteless. I much prefer a carrot from my garden. It tastes of something other than water.
But what else is the knock on effect of such intensive farming? Well the way it was taught to me, all those years ago, is through the cycle of life, and pesticides. You see, to make sure the farmers get the best crop yield, they started using pesticides to discourage pests eating or damaging their crops. Now the consequence is two fold – one is that the bug eats a pesticide covered plant. It in turn is eaten by a bird. Bird is poisoned and dies. Dead bird is eaten by a larger predator, and so on up the food chain. The more begs eaten, the more birds dying…. but then also look at what happens to the chemicals, where do they go? Well into our water. It runs off when it rains, it turns up in our rivers, and again both we and other animals come into contact with the poisoned water. It isn’t so much that the water is caustic at first touch, it is the cumulative effect. Yes, this is simplified, but that is what stuck. It is about more than just the taste of the product.
What does organic farming actually mean? Organic farming is different, when it comes to animal’s they are free range, and reared without the routine use of antibiotics, drugs and wormer. Organic farms use far less pesticides, and activity create havens for bees, birds and butterflies. Organic farms work closely with the environment and natural resources to protect healthy soil and clean water, as well as working hard to reduce green house gas emissions. If that isn’t enough, organic food allows you to know exactly what is in the food you are putting in your mouth.
So, please follow any diet you need or require, be it meat free, dairy free, gluten free, if you are cutting out sugar, carbs, adding in more fruit and veg – consider putting more organic into your basket. It isn’t about the taste, it is about so much more!
If you want to read more – Click Here for the Soil Association website which has much more information and helpful links. Please note that although I have concentrated on food, because that it where I hear more complaints, there is plenty of other organic produce. It is worth keeping an eye out when shopping 🙂