In our travels we often get asked a lot of questions by people about eating organic; why do we eat organic? What does organic even mean? So we thought we would provide you with some information and hopefully clear some things up! Here we go…
What does organic mean?
When we talk about food being organic we are referring to the way that food was produced. Organic foods are produced by methods which comply with the Australian Certified Organic Standards.
These standards include:
- The use of renewable resources.
- The conservation of energy, soil and water.
- Recognition of livestock welfare and needs.
- Environmental maintenance and enhancement, while producing optimum quantities of produce without the use of synthetic chemicals.
All of the above must have been in place for at least 3 years before the products can actually be labeled as organic.
Why should I eat organic?
There are so many benefits to eating organic, here are just some:
- Fewer pesticides used: Chemicals such as insecticides and herbicides are commonly used in traditional farming and their residue often remains on the food we eat (yuck!) The use of fewer pesticides in organic farming is also better for those working or living nearby to the farms (including wildlife such as birds).
- It’s fresher: Because organic food doesn’t contain any preservatives which will make it last longer the turnaround time of the food making its way from the farm to your plate needs to be less.
- Better for the environment: As already mentioned, organic farming focuses on renewable energy and the conservation of water and soil; all great things for our environment and our future!
- Richer in nutrients: It has been proven that organic food has higher levels of nutrients than non-organic food. Better for us!
- Better for livestock: Animals used in organic farming are treated much better than those used in traditional farming. They are provided with space to roam outside and are not given growth hormones or feed animal by-products.
- GMO Free: Organic food is free of any genetically modified ingredients.
What all of this really means is that eating organic is most importantly healthier and safer for you and your family but also for our environment and animals.
Is it really more expensive to buy organic?
There is often the misconception that eating organic is expensive but this isn’t necessarily true. Sure, sometimes organic foods may be slightly more expensive than traditional food found in the supermarket but this is why it is so important to understand how organic farming works. Because of all the awesome things organic farming does the labour and production costs are sometimes higher and this can be passed on to the consumer. However, when you weigh this up against all the benefits it’s totally worth it! The added expense to eating organic is also usually a factor when sourcing the products and that’s where The Organic Place comes in! We are able to source and deliver your organic foods at a very reasonable price making eating organic cost effective for you.
How do I know the food I’m purchasing is really organic?
This one is simple; just look for the organic certification logo on the label. Just so you know, all of our fruits, vegetables and eggs are certified organic from Australian Farmers. We do stock a small supply or non-organic certified food (just 2%) this is because our local area does not have a health food store and we wanted to be able to provide healthy food products (some which may not be certified organic) to our customers. Rest assured though, if we wouldn’t eat it or feed it to our family it wouldn’t be in our store!
Is all organic food Australian grown?
Not neccesarily. At The Organic Place we do source a few items from overseas, for example chia seeds, cocoa and coacoa nibs don’t grow in Australia so we are unable to source these locally. Where we can, we buy Australian made.
One more thing:
One last but really important thing to understand when it comes to organic fruit and vegetables is seasons. Because we are dealing with fresh produce we can only source what is in season and of course, seasons change. You may be able to find fruit and vegetables in a supermarket that you can’t buy organically at the same time but this because those foods contain preservatives (see points above). For a full list of what fruits and vegetables are available in each season click here.
I hope we’ve managed to answer all of your questions regarding eating organic but if you have any more please feel free to email us or head to our frequently asked questions page!