We are always evolving to become more aware of what ends up in our kitchen and eventually our plates. During some point on our food journeys we have decided to eat, reduce or give up some food items altogether. Whether it’s for health or ethical reasons, we’ve made that decision to benefit others or ourselves.
Changes in our eating habits have allowed the organic industry to boom. Whether this is through health food shops or organic food selections in a supermarket. So, what does the term “organic” actually mean? Well in a nutshell, it’s the farming of produce that is animal and environmentally friendly. This form of agriculture requires the use of alternative methods to traditional farming eliminating fertilisers, pesticides and hormones in livestock. Read pesticide information as provided by the Food Standards Agency
As part of Organic September (campaign ran by Soil Association to raise awareness and encourage small changes towards an organic lifestyle), I’m going to provide you top tips on how you can make a small change towards organic food for September and hopefully in future.
For me, it’s not financially viable to buy every single food item organically. But I’ve found ways to maximise my organic potential. My favourite organic products are LucyBee coconut oil, Chi raw coconut water and Meridian almond butter- all are easy to incorporate into any diet.
- Get to know the ‘’Clean Fitfteen’’ and ‘’Dirty Dozen’’
These are the top and worst fifteen fruits and vegetables that contain the least pesticides. The clean fifteen includes sweet potatoes, avocados, aubergine, bananas, sweet corn and onions.
The dirty dozen list include apples, peaches, cucumbers, spinach, tomatoes, chilli peppers, bell peppers, grapes and strawberries.
Sometimes I forget what’s on the list once I’m in the supermarket. A general rule I follow is ‘‘can you wash and peel the skin off the fruit or vegetable before consumption?’’ If so, then you can buy this item non-organic. I tend to buy my berries, apples, mushrooms, spinach and other leafy greens organic.
Find more information by the EWG here
- Shop around
Try your local supermarket for organic foods as sometimes these can be cheaper than health food shops. But still visit health food shops as these will have deals on offer all of the time. Look out for these as they can help you with the choices you make when buying organic.
- Buy local
I try and go to my local farmer’s market (find your local farmers market ) to buy fresh produce. You’d be surprised to see what you can buy and how little you spend. It’s also a great place to find new fruits and vegetables that you wouldn’t find in a high street supermarket. If you’re able to visit a local farm that sells fruit and vegetables, then that is a fantastic option too. Not only are you cutting out the middleman on costs; you’re also supporting your local community.
- Reduce your waste
Over-buying and poor management of the cupboards and fridge is a habit we all have. Use up what the older vegetables first before buying or using newer ones. This way, we can afford to buy fresh organic produce within our budget.
- Buy in bulk
I buy dry foods such as pasta and pulses in bulk. They are often cheaper when bought in bulk and can help save you money in the long run as long as they are used sparingly. I alternate between dry foods to add variety to my diet and help use these items sparingly.
6. Get cooking
The best way to save money whilst eating organic and healthy is to cook your own meals from scratch. By using raw ingredients, not only customize your dishes to your taste but also you can make extra and freeze portions as necessary. It’s a great way to enhance your practical skills in the kitchen!
7. Grow your own
Whether it’s a windowsill box or a garden, there’s an array of produce we can grow ourselves. It takes time and effort, but it’ll save you money. Plus what’s more rewarding than nurturing a plant right from the beginning? Find more information and guidance here
8. Eat less meat
Organic meat contains less hormones and antibiotics than typical meat and poultry. They’re also fed organic feed alas they’re GM free. If possible try and reduce your meat intake and instead buy better quality meat. You can freeze portions and use when needed.
If you could make a change and be part of #organicseptember, which of my tips would you be inclined to use? Leave a comment below, it would be great to see what you’d be willing to do to eat more organic produce.
Strive to be the best you can be.
The Nutty Noodle