Friday, 4 September 2015

Why organic?

Every time organic comes into a conversation someone, somewhere comes up with the following statement: "Oh it's just scaremongering and paranoia". Mhm, some of the worst historical decisions came from a place of fear, I strongly believe education is key. There has been a lot of research done and I would encourage anyone to makeup their own mind on this issue, but you definitely need to be able to read between the lines and take into account who funded the research that you are putting your trust into.

 

Some of the reasons I've been given why organic isn't all that:

1."This man used to eat an organic apple everyday, and when he died it was discovered that he died from pesticides associated with apple farming".

 

Surely that means either his apples weren't truly organic or that the standards need to be even stricter?!

 

2."Oh I read somewhere that organic apples are actually worse for you, because when apples go bad the brown flesh is really toxic and organic apples go bad quicker"

 

I confess, I have no idea at what rate organic and non organic apples spoil, but why on earth would you be eating gone off apples? Problem solved.

 

Of course there are more serious arguments not so easily dismissed, but without trying to scare anyone into compliance here are my reasons for choosing organic:

 

1. Nutritional content. Our bodies need quality food to function properly, how the food is farmed effects it's nutritional content. Organic food is richer in nutrients, here is more info on that.

2. Grown for flavour. This part varies a little depending on where you buy your produce from, but majority of supermarkets are selling fruits and veggies that are visually appealing, anything with a slightly crooked shape or blemish that doesn't effect the taste or nutritional value gets the boot. Does everything in nature look the same? If you have ever grown your own, you know it really doesn't. So what happens with all of the "ugly" produce? Even if it isn't wasted, you can imagine that farmers are not getting a fair price for their labour.

 

3. Environmental impact. Farming, any farming (in fact most human production) effects the environment. There is no way around it at present, how big or harmful the effect is depends on the methods used. Organic farming and textile practices are significantly less harmful to the environment.

 

4. How much stuff do I actually need? There is always a question of price, especially when you are considering switching. Here is a little statistic from 2013, the percentage of income spent on food in UK is around 13%, USA under 10%, and interestingly France around 17% (do they enjoy food more?). Of course there are bills to pay, transportation, so if you are trying to save money on food or fashion, you just ask what would the money go towards instead? And how important is it for you to have it? The price of organic food varies greatly depending on where you shop. I find the most cost effective way is a weekly fruit & veg box (I will be doing a post on it as part of organic September) and farmers markets. The difference in price between certain things is not actually that great, organic meat however is noticeably more expensive. With Organic fashion, the pieces that I have are of really good quality, I've had some dresses for years and love them just as much as I did when I bought them.

 

5. Results. I love beauty, I don't love the beauty industry. Truly natural companies are approachable and transparent about their practices. Sometimes looking at a beauty advert all I see is hope in a bottle, trying to feed on my insecurities. I'm not saying that every organic product is virtuous by default, not at all. But the ones that are good are unbelievably good.

 

I did not go organic overnight, it was a process and in a way still is. There is always room for improvement, but like with any journey it is one step at a time. I will be focusing on brands that I love and specific products in the rest of the Organic September posts, to share what the world of organic products has to offer. Are you planning on making some switches this month or in the future? Do you have your own reasons for going organic, or not wanting to? Let me know in the comments.

 

 

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