Should you go green?
I won’t lie, I buy organic when I can – but ask me exactly why, and all I can tell you is that I want my fruit and veg without any chemical pesticides on them and as a vegetarian who still eats dairy, I want any animals involved to have been kept to the highest standards.
In general, I try to live my life pretty naturally; the result of growing up with a homeopathic mother and sensitive skin, I guess. I wear organic make-up and if I don’t understand the ingredients of a product I’m using or eating, I research it or try to avoid it.
So, when I got the chance to talk to fountain of all things food Rosie Birkitt,who also happens to be a Soil Association Boom awards ambassador (it is Soil Association Organic September, after all), I grilled her about everything organic…
What is organic food?
Organic is food as it should be – which means whenever you see the word organic you can be sure what you buy has been produced to the very highest standards. It means fewer pesticides, no artificial additives or preservatives, the highest standards of animal welfare and absolutely no GM ingredients
Which foods should you definitely go organic for?
I really believe that it’s not all or nothing, but as a meat eater, I like to make sure that the meat I’m eating is high welfare and/or organic. Because of the Soil Association’s work and stringent certification process, organic is a really solid indicator that the animals have had the highest possible standards of animal welfare: the sun on their backs, been kept in a humane environment and not routinely injected with antibiotics. Because they have good lives, they are less stressed, and it’s proven that un-stressed meat tastes better. I don’t tend to cook and eat much meat at home, but when I do, I’ll opt for organic. I’d rather eat less better quality meat. I truly believe that organic ingredients taste better, and it’s proven that organic veg contains higher levels of beneficial nutrients, while meat and dairy contains more omega 3 fatty acids (good fats that help reduce cholesterol). And, who can resist the lovely yellow yolks that an organic egg gives you?
How can you shop organic on the cheap?
I get an organic veg box each fortnight which means I always have fantastic organic produce in my fridge, ready to base meals around. It’s only £6 a week which is very reasonable when you bulk it out with store cupboard ingredients. Organic produce doesn’t cost that much more than regular ingredients when you consider the benefits they offer us in terms of taste, nutrition and impact on the environment.