September is Organic Month, thanks to the Soil Association! This is an amazing initiative, encouraging people to make small changes and look for organic foods, drinks and products wherever possible. This will have huge benefits for people, animal welfare and the environment.
With this in mind, I thought I would write a post explaining what the benefits of going Organic actually are, to encourage as many of us as possible to GO ORGANIC :-). Funnily enough, we had a huge discussion about this on my Nutrition course a few weeks ago, it is such a hot topic in the world of naturopathy! So, please read on!
1) You will avoid antibiotics
Organic farmers allow their animals to grow naturally, and allow them access to the outdoors. They use less antibiotics and instead use preventative methods to avoid disease, such as keeping smaller herds and moving these herds to fresh pastures often. Anything that an animal ingests, you will!!! Looking to organic produce will ensure you are consuming protein-rich foods, not antibiotics. Looking at supermarket websites is a good way to educate yourself. Waitrose, for example, has a very good ethos for getting the best products. Something they label as organic must be 95% organic for it to be labelled in this way. The slightly more affordable, but non-organic “Taste the Difference” range from Sainsbury’s is a good middle ground as they seek out responsibly sourced products.
2) You will avoid pesticides
Pesticides are poisons and are designed to harm living organisms – whether these organisms be weeds, fungal infections, insects or other “pests”. Consuming pesticides damages the gut-wall resulting in ‘leaky gut’. This means that bacteria and foreign substances can escape out into our blood, which can obviously lead to disease and illness. Organic farmers on the other hand use beneficial insects and birds, mating disruption or traps to reduce pests and disease.
3) You will avoid GM foods
Genetic Modification is a type of bio-technology that allows scientists to take individual genes or small groups of genes carrying particular characteristics from a plant/animal, alter the genes, copy them, and then insert them into another plant, animal or micrograms to change it in a specific way. People that are pro-GM will reel of its “benefits” but I am not convinced……Enough is still not known about the genes being inserted; there are implications for the delicate balances in nature and the environment; levels of toxins and allergens may be increased; and, animals are exploited. GM crops and ingredients are banned under organic standards, so buying organic is truly the only way you can be certain you are not ingesting GM. For example, non-organic milk could be from cows that have been fed GM crops!!! But because you are consuming the milk from the cow, and not the cow itself, the milk will not be labelled as GM.
4) You will be doing something wonderful for the animals!
Fish that is farmed (for example, salmon) achieves the reddish pink colour through having dyes added to it. It is not naturally this colour! The vibrant colour we associate with salmon comes from the crustaceans the salmon lives on which are full of beta-carotene. Eating these crustaceans also gives the salmon the high Omega-3 levels. Farmed salmon, and farmed “meat” are fed grains: this results in high levels of Omega-6, which is pro-inflammatory. Inflammation is something you definitely don’t want, as it can over-burden your immune system and result in serious and debilitating diseases. Opting for wild salmon and organic meat ensures that you receive the Omega-3’s that your body and brain need to thrive, because the animals are kept in their natural environment, eat what they naturally would, and so are less stressed, happier and healthier.
5) You will help protect our wildlife and the environment!
Wildlife is 50% more abundant on organic farms…..think of the little bees, butterflies, creepy crawlies, and all the other little lives you will be helping to save :-). Furthermore, factory farms use huge amounts of resource so have massive impact on the environment.
I hope that you find this information useful and it helps you to make an informed decision. Happy Monday and Happy Organic September!
Lots of love Katie xxx