September is here, bringing with it organic month.
As the name suggests, the month-long campaign is designed to encourage more people to try organic produce.
Not only is organic better for your health, but it’s also better for the planet.
This is because organic produce strictly avoids the use of all synthetic chemicals. As a result, organic food does not pose any risk of soil and underground water contamination like conventional farming.
Plus, it helps conserve biodiversity as it encourages a natural balance within the ecosystem.
With this in mind, The Soil Association Certification share five organic swaps we can make to our diets to have a positive effect on the environment.
These vegetables are an easy, affordable and nutritious swap. In 2014, a team at Newcastle University found organic crops are up to 60 per cent higher in a number of key antioxidants than conventionally-grown ones, so picking up a bunch of organic carrots is an easy way to ensure you’re getting as many nutrients as possible, as well as feeling confident that the soil they came from remains healthy even after the crops have been picked.
Tests by the Defra Committee on Pesticide Residues in Food (PRiF) found that almost two thirds of wholemeal bread sampled contained glyphosate, a weed killer used widely on farms. Luckily, the chemical-free bread is incredibly easy to get hold of instead.
Recently published Pesticide Action Network-UK (PAN) data shows almost 92 per cent of strawberries grown the traditional way sampled between 2011-2015 contained pesticides. Ensure you always rinse your strawberries with water before eating to get rid of any dirt and contaminants. While organic veggies are not grown with pesticides, they can still become contaminated. Hence why it’s important to wash them first before eating.
4. Pulses, pasta and rice
Whilst it is not an obvious first swap, staples like pulses, pasta, rice and wholegrains are often the same price as non-organic, plus shoppers can bulk buy to help reduce the cost even further. We all use these staples regularly and often in big quantities, so this could make a real difference to the environment.
Finally, if you’re looking for a swap to make you feel good, opt for organic wine or prosecco – not only will you be supporting a more sustainable system of farming, you’ll also be consuming less sulphur – which is rumoured to lessen the chances of a hangover!