Everybody who chooses to eat organic has a story about why. For some people it was a big event that shifted their thinking, for others it may have been a slow change over time. Whether your story is big or small, it is always significant. We love hearing our customers stories; the reasons why they choose to eat organic. The stories are always different….and interesting. The ‘My Organic Story’ series is about opening up this space to our customers to share their stories. Tonight we meet Katrina. Katrina has become a much loved part of our Organic Place community; she has written a previous blog post for us about ‘tips to get your kids to eat healthy’ and also recently put on her chefs hat and shared one her favourite recipes; San Chow Boy with Cabbage. Tonight Katrina is sharing her organic story with us and we think there will be a lot of people who can relate. And we promise you, we didn’t pay her to say nice thing about us!!
My name is Katrina and I am a Japanese teacher, wife, and mum to three rambunctious children. My moving towards purchasing organic produce and clean eating was and is an ongoing process but having children no doubt was a major catalyst in this decision. I saw a naturopath around eight years ago to help me assess my health when I was trying to get pregnant the first time. Despite already knowing that I ate relatively healthily, and coming from a family of ‘greenies’, I hadn’t fully realised how many things could be poisoning my body.
The only problem was, when I finally had one, two, and then three children, I found it increasingly hard to find the time to invest in my health as I was constantly exhausted! I concentrated on little changes where I could. We started a veggie garden, I made my own snacks for the kids, squeezed fresh juice occasionally, we bought some chickens to have fresh eggs, we got a Thermomix.
I really struggled with the idea of going to a major supermarket chain to get all my shopping but honestly it was the easiest option when my kids were very young. As much as I wanted to go to the butcher, greengrocer and health store, as any parent knows, most children don’t take kindly to being dragged in and out of the car three times, and on the weekends most of those places were not open when I had the option of shopping kid-free. Eventually things got easier and I tried to go to local farmers markets every week or two to get local produce, reduce my carbon footprint and support local. However, this could also be time consuming and many times my pram struggled with being weighed down with so much fruit and veg.
Finding The Organic Place was like a breath of fresh air. Local, affordable, seasonal, fresh, organic fruit and vegetables were delivered to my door. It was too easy. I got half of my weekend back and didn’t have to walk from stall to stall picking out what I wanted. It was all chosen for me. No lugging around trolleys, bags or children! I personally can tell the difference between home-grown garden or Organic Place produce and produce from the supermarkets. I love apples but the ones from the supermarket often have a bad taste on the skin (even after washing) and have been tasteless and soft on the inside. The organic apples are much crunchier, sweeter-tasting and I’m sure better for me! I know that most of the goodness in an apple is just underneath the skin so it’s great to know I can eat without worrying about ingesting pesticides and other nasties. And of course, there is no doubt I would prefer my ever-hungry and ever-growing children with their delicate and expanding brains and bodies to eat this unadulterated food too.
I used to plan my shopping list around my meals I’d chosen for the week but now when I get my Organic Place mixed bag I use the produce inside as inspiration for my meals. I think the kids also get a kick out of seeing new vegetables they’ve never tried before. Master Five who is hell bent on hating zucchini happily ate the romanesco (zucchini) a few weeks ago because it was something new and exciting to taste test.
Another thing I love about The Organic Place is that there are usually no, or few plastic bags used in transporting their produce. If you have ever got food delivered from a major supermarket chain, you would have no doubt cringed at the totally unnecessary amount of plastic utilised. There is something wholesome about receiving your large brown bag of fresh fruit and vegetables each week with the smaller paper bags inside. I love that I can leave out my bags from the previous week to be reused too.
I am still continuing on my health journey and there is so much more I would like to do. I’d like bake my own bread more often, make fresh juice daily, make my own jams, stock, nut butter, pesto and pasta more regularly. I’d also like to have a crack at my own yogurt, kefir and sauerkraut. I’d like to use more natural cleaning and hygiene products too. As I said, it is a work in progress. I do what I can do at the moment and like any of us, sometimes during busy periods I grab the easy lunchbox snacks from the supermarket or order that takeaway dinner. We’re all human but we can start small and spread the word. Things like global warming and the devastation of our environment makes me so anxious, overwhelmed and left feeling like it is too big a problem to fix. But I’ve learnt over the last few years that little changes can make a difference. If we think about where our food comes from and try to make changes, it will make a difference – for our own health, for our community and for our world.
Thanks Katrina for sharing your story with us.
Katrina also has her own blog A Pocketful of Time that you should definitely check out. Her latest post ‘What’s For Dinner’ gives 70 great family dinner ideas for when you’re lacking inspiration!