Organic September is here and we want to take the opportunity to explain what Organic Food really means and how we can easily help the planet through small lifestyle changes.
But, first things first!
What is Organic September?
Organic September is a month-long campaign to raise awareness of the many benefits of organic food and farming.
And... What should we consider Organic Food?
As per the Soil Association, Organic is a system of farming and food production that aims to priduce suffiecient quantities of high-quality food.
This is done using methods that deliver a breadth of benefits across our whole food system, from people to planet, plant health to animal welfare.
If you would like to know what small changes you can try this month, keep reading!
6 easy changes to make for #organicseptember
1) Do the swap!
As consumers we cast our vote with our money. The most effective change is to choose organic food from now on. This means choosing to support our planet, from healthier soils to the highest standards of animal welfare.
2) Look out for the symbol
To gain an organic symbol, organic farmers follow strict and regular inspections to be on the supermarket shelves.
The main body certifying organic food, farming textiles and beauty products in the UK. Their rigorous standards are higher than those given by the law for organic food. Look out for their symbol and rest assured that you are receiving high quality food using methods that protect the planet!
3) Support your local Organic Farmers
It has never been easier to support local farmers!
With farmer's markets being more and more accessible around London, now we also have the option of signing up to an organic veg box scheme. By doing this, you are not only guaranteeing that you will be receiving fresh, high quality produce but also, you will support our farmers and reduce the amount of plastic normally involved in packaging and food waste, as they do not discriminate against wonky looking, but extremely great, produce.
We have selected 5 of the best Organic Veg Box schemes in London:
This community-led organisation, based in Hackney, wants to change what’s wrong with the actual mainstream food system by providing a real and practical alternative – changing what we eat, how we eat and how it's farmed.
This not-for-profit organisation prioritises local food, direct trade with farmers and short supply chains. Crop Drop is run by Haringey residents and only deliver their service in Haringey. They keep costs down for customers, while giving farmers a fair price and any profits are ploughed back into supporting sustainable agriculture and urban growing.
VEGBOX is a community-led organic vegetable box scheme founded in 2012 by members of Transition Kentish Town, with support from Growing Communities in Hackney. They want to empower the community to connect with great-tasting organic veg and fruit sourced from small-scale farms near London.
They are a weekly veg bag delivery scheme, run by Forty Hall Farm. They provide weekly bags of fresh, organic veg for households all over Enfield and East Barnet. Much of the veg is grown at the Farm and everything in the bags is certified organic.
They are committed to making your food as sustainable and ethical as possible and all their organic food and their business is fully certified by The Soil Association. They do their best to avoid products that have been air-freighted and work with growers and producers that are based as close to London and the South as possible.
"It doesn't have to be all or nothing"
4) Eat seasonal food
Seasonal food not only has enormous amount of benefits for the environment, but because it is picked when it's fully ripened, it retains its full nutrients, vitamins and its rich flavours!
It also reduces the carbon footprint of our veggies as the produce is grown within the U.K. You can test it by going to the supermarket and checking the labels to see the amount of miles that fruit and veggies travel before reaching the U.K. Another win win is that seasonal food is cost effective as it is more abundant and so, cheaper to buy.
New Covent Garden Market have created an extremely useful Seasonal Fruit & Veg Calendar that you can download here.
5) Organic on a budget
Taking into consideration that an average household wastes between 20-30% of their food, why not try reducing your food waste by managing those weekly shops better. We can use this 20-30% as an additional budget to purchase organic products.
We have come up with some suggestions to make sure that we can afford organic without breaking the bank:
- Plan your meals for the week in advance.
- Freeze your organic items to prolong their shelf life.
- Shop your food at your local farmers market, organic shop, mainstream supermarkets (most of them provide organic options within their own brands) or join a box scheme.
- Buy less but better organic meat.
6) Grown your own vegetables
It is never too late to start growing your own veggies! The BBC created a wonderful campaign where they show you how to grow your own crop from small spaces as a windowsill to bigger spaces such a backyard.
We also love Huw Richards' Youtube Chanel Grow Food Organically.
Have a look!
Small changes make all the difference!
Always remember, it doesn't have to be all or nothing. You can start your journey when it feels right for you and decide what changes you are willing to implement to change your lifestyle to a sustainable and organic one!