Back in 2011, right as I graduated high school, I decided to start buying all of my food organic. Now, I didn’t do this to be ‘healthier’ or ‘because I wanted to help the environment’ or even because ‘I cared about what was going in my body’.
I started buying organically because for the first time in my life, I was in charge of what was going into the grocery basket.
You see, I grew up in a family that budgeted to the maximum, always had a set grocery list that wasn’t to be deviated from, and everything was mostly chosen from the cheapest options of store brand items. I used to beg my mom just to get my favourite organic chocolate chip granola bars each week, which usually ended in a resounding ‘no’.
When my pay check was in my hands, I decided to use the majority of it to buy all the organic foods that I always wanted in my shopping cart. I may have thought it was trendy, or maybe even that the packaging looked nicer, but now I realise that even though I wasn’t educated about the importance of organic, I was beginning to make great choices for my body and for the Earth.
What does ‘organic’ mean?
According to organic.org –
“Organic produce and other ingredients are grown without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilisers, sewage sludge, genetically modified organisms, or ionising radiation. Animals that produce meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products do not take antibiotics or growth hormones”.
Simplifying the definition, what ‘organic’ basically means is that whichever product, whether it be produce, dairy/meat, beauty products, or even clothing, is produced as naturally as possible.
It is made in the way that the Earth intended it to be. Organic produce is grown without being sprayed by harmful chemicals, organic dairy/meat has been raised without the use of additional medicine to turn out a larger yield, and organic beauty products and clothing have used pure methods of creation in addition to natural dyes and colours.
Why is organic the better choice?
Organic food and goods are the top preference, in my opinion, for a multitude of reasons.
Organic foods and goods are made with the Earth in mind.
Again, farmers of agriculture and live stock keep the environment in mind when making consumable goods.
Betterhealth.vic.gov.au explains –
“Organic foods promote healthier and more sustainable use of natural resources. Modern farming methods, including excessive use of chemicals, have led to a decline in soil fertility, and an increase in salinity and blue-green algae in waterways over many years. Organic farmers try to minimise damage to the environment by using physical weed control, and animal and green manure”
“No toxic chemicals are used in the growing of organic cotton. It doesn’t damage the soil, has less impact on the air, and uses 71% less water and 62% less energy”
Why is the cost increased?
The most popular way to grow, is to grow conventionally and in mass. This is where our cheap wares and foods come from.
As organic farms are typically smaller scale, and have less of a yield due to not using any modern pesticides and technology, this in turn produced a need for a higher price in order for the farm to continue working.
As stated by organicfooddirectory.com.au –
“Organic food production is usually more labour and management intensive and happens on a smaller scale ie on smaller farms which lack the benefit of economy of scale. All this makes organic food more expensive than conventionally farmed food.”
How much extra should we expect to pay?
Depending where in Australia you purchase organic produce you can expect to pay at least a 20 percent premium. In this extra cost, you’re paying for smaller, ethics based farms, employees that are treated with fairness, and buying goods that have been produced in an Earth-friendly matter.
Is it really better for us?
With all of the research available at our fingertips, there isn’t any concluding research to show that organic food is healthier for us.
“Several studies have compared the nutritional content of organic and conventionally grown plants, and most have shown no significant differences in key vitamin and mineral content. However, although the differences are small, research has shown that some organic food has lower nitrate levels, higher vitamin C levels, [and] higher levels of selenium.”
As reported by betterhealth.com.au.
“Most people buy organically-grown food products because they are concerned about pesticides, additives, antibiotics or other chemical residues,” and many people are not keen on putting anything into their body that was sprayed by some sort of pest-repellent that doesn’t belong in our bodies.
All in all, organic farmers are actively working towards making our goods in the most Earth-friendly way possible, all while not compromising on quality.
When you choose to buy organic, you’re doing a big favour for the farmers involved in the production, helping your body, and saving the Earth!