I’ve been running my global organic cooking school for over thirteen years and have witnessed the rise of organics and also the trends that follow. I’ve been eating organic food since the mid nineties and would average around 75% of my dietary intake being made up of organic produce. I’m not orthoplexic about it though, but I am living proof that eating this way gives you more vitality and has anti-aging benefits – I turned 47 last month.
In today’s compelling episode of Healthtalks TV I ask Nat and Jess what eating organic means to them.
Click on the image below to watch or click this link
Organic agriculture does not use synthetic pesticides or chemical fertilizers, and may actually promote the production of flavonoids. Conventional Agriculture depends on heavy applications of chemical fertilizers, chemical pesticides and irrigation, may inhibit the natural production of cancer-fighting flavonoids in plants.
The Soil Association UK believes that organic farming is a viable alternative. Organic farming works with nature to produce food without relying on chemicals to meet consumer demand. The Food Standards Agency recognises this:
“Organic food contains fewer residues of the pesticides used in conventional agriculture, so buying organic is one way to reduce the chances that your food contains these pesticide residues.” In the long run, the problems pesticides cause will only be solved when all farming and food is organic.If you are concerned about pesticide residues in your food, buy organic.
Organic wholefoods have a quality, a vitality that refined or processed foods lack. In the Eastern traditions, there is a universal concept of the energy that flows through all things. Traditional Chinese Medicine refers to this energy as chi or qi, the Ayurvedic system of India calls it prana and the Japanese call it ki. In the West we know this as a life force or bioenergy. This chi is an important component of all foods. The chi quality of a living food is maintained in a wholefood to a much greater extent than in a food that has been fragmented or overprocessed.
Both Australia and the US boast some of the highest recorded figures of obesity and degenerative disease due to a daily intake of processed foods where the minerals and vitamins have been extracted during the refining process. The alevrone or outer layer of grains contain polyphenols called lignans which are cancer preventing coatings, yet when these are removed, the full nutritional component of the food is no longer valid and much cancer has been linked to an excessive intake of refining if foods such as these.
The refinement of foods results on over processing and can lead to the onset of degenerative disease. Refined or fragmented carbohydrates such as white flour and sugar are assimilated within the body faster than their whole counterparts. This means that they are converted into to glucose, the body’s energy fuel, more rapidly. If the body does not require fuel at that time, it will happily store the excess in fat tissues leading to weight gain and potential health hazards.
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Organic farming was developed in the first part of the 20th century in Germany, the United Kingdom and Switzerland. It was in the 1980s, however, that organic farming really took off, when the production method continued to develop, along with consumer interest in its products.
There was a major increase in the number of producers, and new initiatives got under way for processing and marketing organic products. This situation conducive to the development of organic farming was very largely due to consumers’ keen concern to be supplied with wholesome, environment-friendly products.
Study shows that conventional farming, has removed an average of:
• 29% of the vital ingredients originally found in the meat
• 20% of the vital nutrients originally found in the fruit
• 40% of the vital nutrients originally found in the vegetables that our grandparents ate.
SOURCE: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, American Chemical Society (the world’s largest scientific society) Feb. 26, 2003 1940 vs 1990′ McCance and Widdowson,1940, 1991, ‘The Composition of Food’, RSC, MAFF
The nutrients abundant in organic food are Flavonoids are plant by-products believed to protect the plant from insects, bacterial and fungal infection and photo-oxidation.
These plant chemicals are also thought to be useful in preventing cancer and heart disease and combating age-related neurological dysfunctions.
Flavonoids work by protecting the cell against damage caused by active oxygen radicals. Oxygen radicals can cause cancer and are also associated with cardiovascular disease and age-related nerve cell damage.
Biodynamics is a science of life forces. A recognition of the basic principles at work in nature, and an approach to agriculture, which takes these principles into account to bring about balance and healing. Biodynamics is part of the work of Rudolf Steiner, known as anthroposophy – a new approach to science, which integrates precise observation of natural phenomena, clear thinking, and knowledge of the spirit.
It offers an account of the spiritual history of the Earth as a living being, and describes the evolution of the constitution of humanity and the kingdoms of nature. Sustainable farming techniques that rely on phases of the moon and other specific environmental guidelines laid down by Steiner. All aspects of this agricultural method are pesticide free including the soil.
Organic certification is when an organic certifying group audits a business’ methods to ensure that they comply with national or international standards for organic farming and processing. Many people have their business certified to reassure wholesalers, retailers and consumers that their produce is organic.
Are you a smaller grower who supplies produce for domestic markets only with an annual income of $75K or less from organic sales?
You may qualify for the OGA Small Producers Program with the benefit of reduced costs and a simplified certification process.
Visit www.organicgrowers.org.au for further information.
See also http://www.aco.net.au/