An Organic Overview

You might have noticed that here at MACACHA we like to shake things up a bit now and again (pardon the terrible pun). Now we are aware that organic isn’t exactly a revolutionary term (some days aren’t made for re-inventing the wheel) but this is one of those instances where it’s an oldie because it’s such a goodie!

We would like our products to be as sustainable as possible and aim to limit our impact on the environment, which is why we follow organic practises. An approach that has allowed us to (very proudly!) be the most natural protein product available on the market – YAY!

So just as quick round up for those of you who might be slightly less familiar the Soil Association puts it perfectly – “Organic means working with nature, not against it.” This encompasses higher standards of animal welfare, no manufactured herbicides, chemical fertilisers or pesticides and a more environmentally sustainable management of the land and natural environment. For more information visit their website here.

Now just to clarify this post is going to stick to the plant based theme and refer to organic fresh produce (fruit, vegetables, dairy and meat) as there is another whole world when you come to talk about natural, organic cosmetics and home care products which we will guide you through another day 🙂

So how do you become organic?

To be certified as organic a product must adhere to the strict guidelines of the Soil Association (in the UK) throughout it’s entire growth or production process. This is can be associated with a slightly increased price as production may be more labour intensive whilst also being dependant on natural growth cycles as opposed to those accelerated by chemical agents.

But why should we bother?

Because at the end of it you get a totally natural product that supports the environment, doesn’t put strain on your system with foreign chemicals and studies suggest organic vegetables for example may also contain higher levels of nutrients. From a purely kitchen based perspective organic produce also tends to taste better as it has been afforded the time to mature or grow naturally.

Making organic work for you

If you find that budget is a constraint on making the move to full organic why not check out the list below fondly titled “The Dirty Dozen”. The idea is to opt for organic on these products as they are the most contaminated, so from a health point of view you want to avoid taking in as many of those chemicals as possible.

“The Dirty Dozen”

  1. Strawberries
  2. Apples
  3. Nectarines
  4. Peaches
  5. Celery
  6. Grapes
  7. Cherries
  8. Spinach
  9. Tomatoes
  10. Bell peppers
  11. Cherry tomatoes
  12. Cucumbers

Another great thing to bear in mind is seasonality. With the growth of supermarkets we have become a lot less aware of when foods are actually in season as they are readily available year round. If you’re trying to keep costs low but quality high give your local farmer’s market a go, small producers tend to be more responsible in their production process, following organic practises but without the certification. You also get the added joy of speaking to the person who has put their time and care into growing these wonderful things, along with the opportunity to discover some true gems that will never feature on a supermarket shelf; purple cauliflower anyone?

The bottom line

Opting for organic produce isn’t just a fad, it’s currently growing in popularity because it benefits us, it preserves our planet and as more of us support it the more prices can fall. So when you’re making your morning MACACHA smoothie or protein packed porridge why not give organic a go, we bet you’ve never tasted a blueberry so bursting with flavour 😀

Written by Phoebe, Nutritional Therapist BSc DipNT mBANT mNNA mCNHC