Why Organic Is The New Black

Why Organic Is The New Black
Carly Jacobs
Sponsored by Woolworths. 

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Back in the olden days there was never such a thing as ‘organic’ produce. Things grew in the ground and on trees and then we ate them. Simple. Then for a while genetically modifying food was the bee’s knees but, much like leotards and leg-warmers, we got over it and got back to our organic farming ‘roots‘. You might say the organic food industry is back with a veg-ence. Organic puns. I’m doing them.

I recently published a quiz on Smaggle to help my readers figure out if they’re a food snob. Through publishing this quiz, I figured out pretty quickly that I am indeed a giant food snob. I’m also the exact opposite of a food snob. I get really weird about some things like free range eggs but then I’ll veto a recipe because it has verjuice in it. I’ve never quite figured out what verjuice is or where you buy it so I really hate recipes that have verjuice in them. I’m the yin and yang of food snobs which is precisely where I stand on organic produce.

There’s nothing I’d love more than to skip off to my local organic market on the weekend and spend $100 plus on organic strawberries and pumpkin but I neither have the time nor the funds for such tomfoolery. I’ve always tried to make sure that I know where my food is coming from but it’s not practical or economical for me to only purchase apples that were tended by monks in blessed orchards. Here are a few tips for buying organic produce without breaking the bank.

Tips for Buying Organic

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Buy in Season

A simple way to shop organic is to buy food that’s in season. Generally speaking organic produce should only be sold when that produce is in season. Organic means that the produce is grown with limited pesticides and without growth accelerants or chemicals. In Australia we’re in the middle of Spring so it’s the season to buy things like berries, capsicum, lemons , mandarins, broccoli, strawberries, limes, asparagus, cucumber, peas, spinach and zucchini. You can refer to the Australian Seasonal Food Guide for more information because it really helps to be informed of what you should be buying each season.

Check Out The Macro Organic Range At Woolies

I always have the best intentions to go to the markets on the weekends but I’m honestly just too busy (lazy) some weekends to make it there. My local Woolies has an organic section that always has the most delicious looking vegetables and fruit. It’s often a lot cheaper than buying from organic markets and you’re guaranteed that the produce is organic and you’re getting what you pay for. I also find that buying the odd organic head of broccoli or bag of apples isn’t that much more expensive than the regular produce. 

Go Half Organic

If like most of the population you can’t afford to buy everything organic, simply buy some organic produce and go basic on the rest. Research shows that some foods are more likely to hang on to pesticides than others in the harvesting process, making them more harmful than other produce. Here’s a guide outlining which foods you should go organic with and which foods you don’t need to go organic with.

Buy Organic 

Apples

Celery

Cherry Tomatoes

Cucumbers

Grapes

Chilies

Nectarines

Peaches

Potatoes

Spinach

Strawberries

Capsicum

Zucchini

Kale

Go Basic 

Sweet potato

Pineapple

Sugar snap peas

Mushrooms

Onions

Mango

Kiwi Fruit

Grapefruit

Eggplant

Corn

Rock melon

Cabbage

Avocado

Asparagus

Only Buy Produce You’re Going to Use

I’m repetitively guilty of buying expensive organic apples and then letting them turn to mush in the bottom of my handbag. It’s bad enough letting regular produce disintegrate in the vegetable crisper but it’s heart breaking when it’s $6 worth of organic zucchinis. Be organised and don’t be over zealous. Only buy what you need and what you’re sure you will use.

Buy Local

If you buy local produce it’s much more sustainable. You’ll be buying food that’s in season, that has a very low-carbon foot print and is as fresh as you can get. It also hasn’t travelled far which means it’s cheaper than imported goods. Win.

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Do you buy organic produce? Or are you happy with whatever your local supermarket stocks?

This post was coordinated by The Remarkables Group. 

18 Comments

  1. Megan 6 years ago

    Organics. Sponsored by woolworths. Hilarious.

  2. B (Make Do and Spend) 6 years ago

    I’ve just started really investing in organic foods a lot more and thinking about where my food comes from – but it’s definitely hard to exclusively stick to!

    • Author
      Smaggle 6 years ago

      I think so too that’s why it’s cool to mix it up a little and only buy what you need to be organic!

  3. Lauren Cass 6 years ago

    The most important food to buy organic is meat and dairy. Everyone who is financially able should be buying organic, grass fed meat and poultry that was locally raised, ideally direct from the farmer. Thanks to the web that’s a whole lots easier and cheaper now and means the farmers get more money I their pocket (the big chains roll them) and there’s less wastage (you buy by the whole or half animal so no cuts are wasted e.g. 1/2 lamb). From the research I’ve done about 80-90% of the toxins we ingest come from meat and dairy. That’s an average and a US one at that, so infer what you will about Oz. That’s mostly because poor animal diet and unhealthy farm practices flow on into the meat we eat.

    Buying organic fruit and vege is also good but has less of a health impact in my opinion and can be difficult if you don’t have access to any other supermarket other than woolies/Coles.

    • Erika 6 years ago

      Avoid meat that says “grain fed” – that is, the livestock have been in feed lots for the last few months. Nasty stuff. As a food snob, I’ve been eating predominantly organic/home-grown for a couple of decades now. Also helps that I have strong hippy/green tendencies and a lousy immune system which pretty much forces me to stick to low-impact and ethical choices.

      I do a proper food shop – butcher, health food shop, fruit & vegies from the markets (in Canberra – call out to Choku Baijo at North Lyneham and in Curtin – they stock local organic produce! There’s also Griffith shops for Mountain Creek Wholefoods, a very good fruit & veg shop which I’ve forgotten the name of, and Richard O’Dell at the butchery, who’s been stocking organic meats for years) and then pick whatever’s in the garden. The grocery store is for things like milo, toilet paper and, bless them, organic milk. More than happy to encourage grocery stores to stock the good stuff!

      • Lauren Cass 6 years ago

        Completely agree. When restaurant menus proudly advertise ‘grain fed’ steak I just shake my head. Thanks for advising me what NOT to order!

        • Author
          Smaggle 6 years ago

          I’m the same. Cows aren’t supposed to eat grains. Der!

      • Author
        Smaggle 6 years ago

        I LOVE Choku Baijo. I always go the curtin one when I’m in Canberra. I can’t find anything similar in Melbourne though that’s like an actual store and not a market. Griffiths shops is rad – I love that Mountain Creek store!

        I always buy organic milk and meat too.
        Here’s my article on conscious meat eating I wrote last week if you’re interested.
        http://smaggle.wpengine.com/2013/10/23/are-you-a-conscious-meat-eater/

        • Erika 6 years ago

          Oh yes, read that last week. The only one I’m able to slip by Himself is eggs. He is a Right Royal Pain sometimes when it comes to the menu…

    • Author
      Smaggle 6 years ago

      I totally agree! I just wrote about this last week actually. http://smaggle.wpengine.com/2013/10/23/are-you-a-conscious-meat-eater/
      I always buy organic and grass fed meats and I try to not eat too much meat in general.

      I like organic produce for the season aspect because then I know that what I’m buying is always in season.

      Where abouts to your buy your organic meat and dairy? Or do you have it delivered?

      • Lauren Cass 6 years ago

        I do my shopping from Thomas Dux, which is a more upmarket grocer owned by Woolies. They have an awesome selection of organic, gluten free, specialty produce and nearly all the deli and meat is sourced locally and clearly labelled. Although I dislike that they are owned by woolies, they have such high quality produce, source from small businesses and everything that isn’t sold gets donated to Oz Harvest which is one of the best charities out there. I’ve also recently started experimenting with ordering meat direct from the farmer. I live in a security apartment block so I can’t just get boxes delivered to door – some one would steal it before it even touched the ground! I started by looking up the farmers at near by growers markets. Nearly all are happy to sell you a bulk pack and bring it to one of the market days for you to pick up. Two that I like are http://www.greenhillorganicmeat.com.au/ and http://www.biodynamiclamb.com.au/. Both of those actually are at the farmers market at Exhibition Park in Canberra at some points in the month too, so handy for any Canberra peeps who want to try them. It does involve an initial outlay but the per kilo prices are actually very competitive with the average butcher and you’ve literally done your meat shopping for about 6 mths!

  4. Nicole 6 years ago

    I get confused when people describe oranges and other citrus as Summery fruits, I always thought they were a Winter fruit. And according to that that Seasonal Food Guide you linked to, Mandarins are.
    I’m not sure why, but I think I’ve bought the most local food I ever have since moving to Colorado. The Whole Foods here thankfully makes buying organic and local much more manageable for us.

    • Author
      Smaggle 6 years ago

      Yeah I thought they were winter too… they always have been in Australia. I guess so much of our stuff is imported I never know what’s in season.

  5. Emily @ The Beetle Shack 6 years ago

    we have an organic fruit and veg box delivered every week and I do my best to buy eco/ organic in other areas too, but often i’m dictated to financial and time restraints.

    In other news, we JUST got some pigs to raise (for christmas dinner)… taking the whole idea too far?

    Totally appreciate this post- practical and informative! thank you x

    • Author
      Smaggle 6 years ago

      Not all! I love seeing where food comes from and I think people should understand more about it. x

  6. Kayla M. 6 years ago

    I’d recommend changing corn to Organic. its one of the most common GMO products on the market!
    glad you’re doing these types of posts! love it!

    • Author
      Smaggle 6 years ago

      Oh really? I didn’t know that?

Pingbacks

  1. […] can mix and match your snacks and change it up to use produce that’s in season. You can read my guide to buying seasonal fruit and vegetables here. You can also replace any meat with things like chickpeas and tofu for those cheeky vegetarians out […]

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