It’s Organic September and so I thought it a perfect time to give you some background as to why I prioritise sourcing organic products for Tribe zero-waste.
I’ve spent a lot of time around organic produce (one of my previous jobs involved selling organic fruit and veg with local food coop Cultivate ) and, although I may not have a masters in the subject, I feel I’ve learnt enough to get a sense of what it means and to decide I’d rather opt for organic when I can. So here’s some of the key things I feel I’ve learned;
1. It’s not simply an excuse to jack-up the price
Lots of people have told me they believe organic is just a label which allows farmers to charge more. If only this were true! Organic farming is highly regulated, you have to pay to be certified and because there are no shortcuts in organic farming (like using artificial pesticides) things take alot longer to produce and are therefore more costly. With Organic you’re paying for their time and the assurance it’s been produced in a way that helps not harms.
2. Organic farming works with nature & helps it thrive.
By banning the use of artificial pesticides farmers have to turn to natural ways to ensure their crops are protected from pests. This often means they plant trees, create wildflower margins and dig ponds to encourage natural pest control. These are all fantastic ways to encourage more diverse wildlife and help our super important pollinators. Plus organic farming helps improve our soil health which is super important for reducing carbon and providing resilience against climate change.
3. Exceptional animal welfare
If you do eat animal products organic is that mark you want to look for if you’re really after high welfare. It’s so much better than free-range.I was pretty shocked when I learned that free-range hens can still have their beaks trimmed, something that prevents them from expressing their natural foraging behaviour. Organic birds are given much more stimulating environments and much more space so that feather pecking is reduced without the need for a more brutal intervention.
These are just some of the things that sold me on organic but there are tonnes of other reasons to give it a go and a lot of facts and figures on the Soil Association website if you’d like to learn some more.
As with all things it’s about taking small steps and swaps where you can. You may not be able to buy everything organic but just making a pledge to switch one thing at a time can make a world of difference and a difference to the world.