5 Benefits of Buying Organic
BY SARAH CLARK
Organic ingredients are now part of our every day choices when it comes to the things we consume. The array of organic products available can be somewhat overwhelming not to mention costly. But is choosing organic really the better option?
What does organic really mean anyway?
Organic refers to a food, animal or ingredient that is grown, prepared and processed without the use of chemical fertilisers, pesticides or artificial chemicals. Genetically modified components are not used in organic farming either. Organic also refers to animals and animal by products as well as plants and produce.1
How do I know if something is truly organic?
It’s often hard to know if what you think is organically produced, really is.
The Australian Certified Organic (ACO) is Australia’s most recognised certifier for organic and biodynamic produce. Its services are provided to operators from all areas of the organic industry.
When looking for certified organic products, make sure the Australian Certified Organic logo, or ‘bud’ is on the packaging.
- Free from fertilisers, pesticides & artificial chemicals
Quite simply, because nothing artificial is used in the growing or manufacturing process, we are not absorbing unnecessary ingredients when we consume organic produce. Because of the strict regulations, it also means we are avoiding extra antibiotics and growth hormones which are often found in the food chain when buying non organic products. This also applies to topical products such as shampoo’s and lotions, as well as household items like laundry powders and cleaners.
- More nutrients – Eat with the seasons
Organic food is often fresher because synthetic preservatives are not used unlike in non organic food. This often equates to more nutrients as the time from harvest to plate needs to be shorter. Eating organic generally means eating with the seasons too, so nutrients are more readily available compared to food that is available out of season.2
- Better taste!
Fresher, more nutrients and free of nasties equals better tasting produce!
- GMO free
Organic foods do not use any genetically modified ingredients (GMO’s) – that typically use toxic pesticides and herbicides. There have not been any long term studies on the impact of GMO’s on the human body, but impact on the environment alone might be enough to cause concern. GMO harvests and the processors involved can effect soil quality and result in a limited nutritional value in crops.3
- Sustainable farming for the future
To be Australian Certified Organic, farming production must meet a strict criteria including use of recycling and biological cycles within the farming system; Biodiversity protection and enhancement within the farm and surrounding areas; Regeneration of lands and soils and best environmental practice of farming activities.4 These strict production principles are in place to help maintain farming lands and food production for generations to come.
Whilst buying organic may be a little more costly at the checkout, it is definitely worth it! Do your research and familiarise yourself with the farming processes and pesticides used on non-organic ingredients so that you can make an informed decision about your body and your health. The benefits of buying organic are great for you, your family & the environment as a whole.
- Australian Certified Organic Organisation
- Better Health Channel – Victoria State Government
- Australian Certified Organic Standard 2013