This site is more than just a place to find organic food;
it is also designed to provide all the information required to support healthy living and sustainable environmental decisions. As such the site is in four main sections,
- Organic Answers – answers to the main questions surrounding organic food: what is organic, why choose organic food, why food costs more, is ‘organic’ food really organic and what do I do when shopping.
- Local Organic – the directory search function that enables you to find organic food in your local area
- Organic Food – specific information about organic fruit and vegetables, meat and animal products, beverages, sweeteners and herbs and spices
- General Issues – an indepth discussion of a range of issues including Children, GE, Slow Food, Vegetarianism, Bioregionalism, and Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals
Under the heading of Fruit and Vegies are the main benefits of eating organic fruit and vegetables. Fresh fruit and vegetables contain antioxidants that can prevent or slow the oxidative damage to our body. Fruit and vegetables also contain phytosterols which are vital in the production of our own hormones in our body. Phytosterols are different from phytonutrients which are the key to good health. A scientific breakthrough in the 1990s has led us to understand the importance of glyconutrients to maintain our health. If you have not heard about glyconutrients, this section is a must read. The final section in the fruit and vegetables section is dietary fibres and resistant starches.
The various types of animal products are addressed under the heading of meat and animal products. The section on Organic Red Meat highlights the fact that non-organic meat is definitely not the best choice. Conventionally farmed animals have a variety of toxins stemming from the use of chemicals, antibiotics, their feed and even in their slaughter. We are all told we need to drink lots of milk. This advice is questionable at best, particularly if the milk is not organic. Have you ever eaten chicken or eggs and thought about the ethical issues of conventional chicken farming. The reality is that if we knew the truth, we would only ever want to eat organic chickens as they are not just chemical and antibiotic free but animal rights are also respected. Organic eggs are no different. Their feed must be at least 95% organic, must not contain antibiotics and the minimum space allocation is larger than other methods of egg production. The final topic in this section is organic fish production.
Many Australians don’t drink much water so organic beverages are an important consideration. Next time you relax and have a cup of tea or coffee, be satisfied that your beverage has come from an organic farm. The same is true for organic beer and wine, a market that is growing strongly. The other categories in this section are organic fruit juices and organic ginger juice.
Many of us eat mountains of sugar and other sweeteners. This section deals with the importance of consumer organic sweeteners and moving away from cane sugar where possible. In Australia we are fortunate that we are more easily able to produce organic honey due to the size of the country and therefore distances from non-organic farming practices. White gold, or refined sugar contains no nutrient content and does our bodies harm when consumed in large quantities. Organic sugar is available that provides much more health and environmental benefit. This section also deals with a range of other sweeteners including molasses, muscovado, xylitol, stevia, and syrups.
The final section in within Organic Food is Organic Herbs and Spices. Often forgotten, it is surprising how much of an impact even small amounts can have in delivering toxins to our bodies. Organic salt is another product that many people don’t think of.
Parents around the world are acknowledging the risks of conventional farming and increasingly feeding their children organic food. The main concerns are agricultural chemicals, food additives and GE food. We attempt to answer the problem of What can we do?
If you have been to the supermarket recently you may have noticed the failure of these large chain outlets in providing fresh, high quality produce. Community Food Systems are alternative food systems that improve freshness, quality and help to maintain and strengthen the connection between the consumer and the producer. Community supported agriculture is the establishment of a direct relationship between in producers and consumers that results in mutual gain. Another alternative is box schemes and there are other methods such as farmer groups, consumer groups, farmers markets,you-pick-it-farms, community gardens, clear labelling and direct marketing.
Genetic Engineering (GE) and Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are a hot topic and one which we really should be concerned about. This section deals with the risks and hazards of GMOs and the risks to the environment as well as to children.
Sick of fast food and the fast life? Perhaps Slow Food and the Slow Movement are the answer. It is all about establishing a connection with the food we eat and enjoying it.
Another important general issue is that of vegetarianism and veganism. This is an area where most people are happy to not know about where the food comes from and what happens to it before it gets to their plate, or in the case of fast food, their hands. The ethical decision to eat another animal is avoided. This section explores the issues.
Bioregionalism is not a very well understood concept. Bioregionalism is about connecting with the region in which you live, eating food grown locally. This section deals with the importance of bioregionalism and the ways to achieve it.
The final section is on Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs). EDCs are synthetic chemicals used in conventional agriculture. EDCs are very significant and have serious impacts on the health of humans and other animals alike. This section deals with how EDCs affect us, fat loving EDCs, Persistent Organic Pollutants and exposure to EDCs.