- Find out where your nearest farmers’ market is and get yourself there on the weekend. Apart from fresh, local, organic (and conventional) fruit and veg, you’ll find all sorts of other lovely stuff, from flowers to clothing, books, skincare and gardening materials.
- To save your time and petrol, Google the words “organic food home delivery” and see what you can find for your area. Many sell and deliver not just organic fresh produce but also grocery items, personal care and cleaning products, pet food and much more.
- Make your greens last longer in the fridge by infusing a polythene bag with Japanese stone powder.
Meat, dairy and eggs
- It’s now pretty easy to find organic chicken, meat, eggs, milk, yoghurt and cheese in supermarkets and larger grocery stores.
- As well as health and environmental issues, there are animal cruelty concerns, especially concerning pigs and chickens. If you are an animal lover, at the very least choose free range, though organic tends to be more free range.
- Hormones have not been fed to chickens since 1968, but their growth is distorted cruelly by other methods. Plus, conventionally raised chickens and other animals that are kept in very crowded conditions (even some farmed fish) are routinely fed antibiotics so they won’t catch diseases. These also promote growth. We don’t know how much these accumulate in our bodies.
- Cows are not meant to stand in a cramped stall and eat grain, which is actually toxic to them and has to be introduced slowly to their diets. They are supposed to wander in a herd around paddocks eating grass. Choose grass-fed if you can.
Canned, bottled and packaged food
- There are now plenty of organic canned beans, chickpeas, tomatoes, tomato paste, olive oil and some sauces on the shelves of supermarkets. Some of it is imported, but if it’s a choice between imported organic and local non-organic, I’d probably choose the former when it’s not air-freighted.
- If you buy organic packaged food, including pasta, flour and cereals, it means there will be no genetically modified organisms at any level of the production of that food, or any chemicals.
- A lot of the frozen vegetables in the supermarket fridges are imported from China and other Asian countries where pollution is a big problem. Always read the labels.
- While the big supermarkets are lagging on stocking organic frozen vegies, you can buy organic frozen peas, spinach and other vegies, plus frozen berries, icecream and more at the boutique groceries and organics stores that are springing up around our cities.
- Freeze your homegrown when you have too much.
Tea, coffee and chocolate
- When you buy coffee, cocoa, chocolate and tea, which are extensively grown in developing countries, look for Fairtrade items at your supermarket, healthfood store and Oxfam shops. This guarantees the farmers are properly paid and that some money will go into research and improving farming methods.
- It’s worth preferring organic, too. When these plants are grown without the help of synthetic fertilisers and pesticides, so they are strong enough to fight their foes they have to produce more flavonoids, the defensive and stimulatory antioxidants in their immune systems that are so beneficial to our health.
If you can’t afford to be 100 per cent organic, or even 50 per cent, list the things you and your kids have every day — milk, bread, tea, coffee and cereal, for example — and begin with those. Also, be careful of the things that use relatively high amounts of chemicals in conventional growing conditions, such as strawberries, apples and lettuce.
Don’t throw that out!
Every kitchen needs a separate bin for fruit and vegie scraps, eggshells, bread crusts etc to save for the compost heap. It can be anything from a small benchtop bin to those made specifically for the purpose.
Want to start your own organic garden to complement your organic kitchen? Find out everything you need to know about growing tomatoes, fresh produce to kitchen windows, interior design and more on Complete Home