To celebrate ‘Organic September’ here are five changes I believe that are worthwhile making when switching to Organic. Some are more expensive, but others can be surprisingly cost effective, and many have additional benefits that go beyond personal health;
1. Milk. I am passionate about Organic Milk, in fact if you can’t do any of the below then do consider the switch to Organic Milk. In the UK it will cost more money to switch but if you can afford it, it is worth it. Not only are you ensuring that you are not being exposed to the anti-biotics and growth hormones given to cattle, you also know the cattle are being fed on grass grown without pesticides. There are also some studies that show Organic Milk to have higher nutritional and ‘good’ fat content. In addition, UK Dairy Farmers are being brought to their knees with Supermarkets slashing milk prices to a bare minimum, maybe if enough of us show we are willing to pay more for Organic, this will give Dairy Farmers greater options. I love seeing those Black and White Friesians in our fields, and long may this continue.
Abel and Cole have some lovely, well priced Organic Milk and general dairy produce:http://www.abelandcole.co.uk
2. Skin Care. So many skin care products have wonderful oils in them and then chemicals, water and mineral oils that will hinder their effectiveness and actually work against your own skins natural maintenance cycle. The skin is the largest organ of the body and anything going onto it may be going into you. I recommend Skin Blossom as an accessible, effective Soil Association approved organic skin care and hair care product brand, they are well priced and after a few days you will notice your skin improving. I’ve have not tried the shampoo/conditioner but I like the Toner and Cleanser. More info from their website here:http://www.skinblossom.co.uk
3. Get a weekly Organic fruit and veg box. I know they can seem expensive, but again you know you are getting seasonal, local, responsibly produced goodies not covered in chemicals that could pollute you and the earth. If you plan well I actually think it can be cheaper, as I am far less likely to waste something that I feel ‘invested’ in, and food should be special and appreciated, then at the end of the week whatever you have left make into a Soup or Stew. Again Abel and Cole do some great boxes, as do Riverford Organics.http://www.riverford.co.uk
4. Grow your own. I love gardening and growing my own vegetables and herbs. If you have no garden, have window boxes of herbs and baby salad leaves. Small garden, then grow in tubs and containers. Big garden? the sky’s your limit, think Tom and Barbara (The Good Life) and dig as much veg in as you can. Remember you can always grow in your front garden too. Easy veg to start with are potatoes and courgette. Good robust outdoor herbs are Sage, Bay and Mint (always keep this in a pot) Rocket Garden do some fabulous baby plants all ready to go, I’m waiting for my Autumn/Winter Garden, more info here: http://www.rocketgardens.co.uk
5. Organic Meat. Pretty much the same reasons as Milk! I don’t eat meat very often so when I do I like to think that I have chosen it responsibly and as a consumer tried to ensure some level of welfare for the animal. Organic meat is more expensive, but it tastes better and also encourages a more measured approach to eating meat, which I think is what the 21st Century needs. If you can afford too, rather than eating 3-4 portions of regular meat a week, go for one lovely Organic cut, and mix the rest up for some seasonal Fish, and more Veggie box recipes. It made me happier and healthier. Great meat also available at Abel and Cole and Riverford.
If I was allowed a number six, it would be to keep a few Chickens in the back garden, (their surprisingly easy to keep and make good pets). Not many things are more lovely than reaching your hand into the hay and discovering a freshly laid, organic egg, except perhaps eating it!