When planning this week’s blog post, I couldn’t decide what to write. Should I write about my favourite organic moisturiser, my favourite organic eyeshadow, or perhaps one of my favourite organic brands. With all this organic talk – it is of course organic September – I thought that maybe I should actually explain why I choose organic.
I choose organic for many reasons, the first being because of the farming and production methods used. The use of artificial pesticides and herbicides is restricted, meaning they can’t make their way up the food chain and onto our plates for example. (A recent study found that in the UK 7/10 people had traces of glyphosate weedkiller in their urine.) Instead natural methods, such as encouraging wildlife to control pests and diseases, are used. Not only does this protect our health but that of the farmer’s too and surrounding areas. Organic produce is also made following other strict standards that respect the environment, such as crop rotation to develop fertile soil, instead of artificial fertilisers. I know my choices are helping, not damaging our planet. Animal welfare is another major factor for me, animals reared on an organic farm will be well looked after. Antibiotics are used with care; something that cannot be guaranteed on a mainstream farm, where they can be used routinely, regardless of whether the animal is ill or not.
In the case of organic food, I believe it to be cleaner and more nutritious for the reasons above. There is research to prove that organic food contains higher levels of antioxidants and fewer contaminants than non-organic food. I really believe you can taste the difference as well. It has become a way of life to my family and I, well as much as possible.
We don’t eat meat and instead of fish twice a week we have organic salmon once a week. When I remember I order a veg box from Riverford (post baby my memory is not what it used to be…. perhaps I need more fish!!) Even when I do forget, my local supermarket (Sainsbury’s) has most things organic – these choices do tend to be more expensive admittedly than other produce. I appreciate living is expensive in general at the moment, so organic food might not be at the top of everyone’s list but there are options. Your whole shop doesn’t have to be organic, some things are better choices than others.
I always choose organic dairy for example, especially for my daughter. In an ideal world I would have everything organic for her – clothes, bedding – but a lot of the time it isn’t practical or affordable. I did find organic plasters the other day. I must state I wasn’t looking for them, they were just there and I bought them.. does that make me a sucker?? Do plasters really need to be organic?? You could get obsessed, and broke. In defence of the plasters, they are made from organic cotton. This is something I do believe in and wish I could incorporate more of into my life. However, the plasters are perhaps not at the top of my essential list..
Sorry I digressed, back to the food shopping. Some foods are considered cleaner than others. The dirty dozen is a list that the EWG (Environmental Working Group) release every year. This list reveals which fruit and veg generally contain the most pesticides – it is US based but is a good guide as to what to prioritise when doing your shop. There is also a clean fifteen which you guessed it, is a guide to the cleaner fruit and veg, so perhaps not as essential to buy organic.
So we have organic food as much as we can and then of course organic beauty is important in our house. It’s all very well thinking about what you put in your body but what about what you put on? There are various statistics floating around about how much our skin absorbs, some deny it at all, but think about nicotine and hormone patches. How do they work – by absorption; now tell me your skin won’t absorb a cream you put on it. I’ve used natural and organic beauty products on myself for so long now I can’t remember not using it. I started to bring it into my professional life a long time ago too. The textures are so good now, there is no excuse of bad performance.
How many personal care items are you using a day, every day, every week, year on year. That’s a huge concoction that we’re mixing, and no-one knows the implications of that chemical cocktail. We can’t control the air we breathe or other things we are exposed to, but we can control what we are putting on and in our bodies. By choosing organic beauty, you can be sure that the ingredients are pure and have been sourced responsibly and sustainably. Artificial preservatives are kept to a minimum if at all, and other questionable ingredients are prohibited too. Products that are made with natural and organic ingredients such as vegetable and nut oils will also work more synergistically with skin.
Again if you can’t change everything, then how about one or two small changes to begin with. What do you use everyday? Your body lotion is a good place to start as you’re covering the most surface area with it. Then slowly, slowly as other things run out, put more natural, cleaner products into your regime.
I’m not here to preach but for me, organic makes sense. I know that it is often seen as a luxury and I’m really grateful that I can include it in my life. Not everything we buy is organic but do as much as we can. There are also other factors involved such as buying local – are organic apples from New Zealand better than other apples from Kent?? It’s also about not getting too caught up in things – organic is a positive thing and when you can do it – great. When you can’t – no problem. Even if you just change your milk, you’re helping yourself and the planet.
Why do you choose organic? Or why do you not choose organic?