Thursday, 18 June 2015

Going Organic...

Nowadays there always seems to be a big debate on organic food and drink. Where to get it from, why is Costs more, does it really taste better? Even the farmers at market debate the pros and cons of not spraying their crops. After spending my time on a partly organic farm in South Australia I decided I would impart a few facts I learned so you can make up your minds whether organic is best or not. 

Firstly is the cost aspect. I have always been an advocate in life that you get what you pay for, no matter what the product is. Whether it's those jeans from Levi's instead of target or that cut of meat from the butchers. The same goes for crops and the reason organic crops cost more is because of the labour costs behind them. Organic crops will not have been sprayed with fertilisers, pesticides, fungicides or weed killer. The weeds have to be removed by hand and on farms of a reasonable size like the one I worked on this means a considerable magnitude of man power to remove the weeds. Now you can keep some of the costs of this down by utilising wwoofers in exchange for food and accommodation but this is still an expenditure and if they are not quick enough means that you could still be picking crops like lettuce mix, rocket, baby spinach and so on that will have weeds in the mix when taken to market, so a farmer will still probably have one or two regularly paid workers to maintain the crops as well as weeding themselves. 

Secondly is the taste, which I can vouch for in the case of my farm, I believe does make a difference. When you do not have chemicals such as pesticides going into the soil crops will not take on any of this through their roots, stems or leaves. I know there is also a health worry over this as a general rule and while I cannot say pesticides make a difference on this or not, for taste you get so much more flavour from crops with minimal or no spray. We traded our produce for produce from other farms and I have never tasted such juicy nectarines, scrumptious plums and flavourful apples before. 

As to where you can get organic produce from, now you can seem to get it from most places not just farmers markets. Most supermarkets will have an organic line, an ethical line and everything in between to cover all their sales points but if I am going to be buying produce for this reason I will be heading to a market and supporting local rather than a large chain. I feel blessed to have had my experience as It has definitely changed my perspective on produce and where I get it from as I have mentioned before when discussing where our food comes from.

My hope is that reading these posts will help you make a slightly more informed decision on whether organic as is best for you. If you should choose to do more research into this matter I would love to hear what you find or already know. 

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