Pinch punch, first of the month! The summer has flown past and suddenly it’s September. Organic September! An annual campaign celebrating all things Organic led by the Soil Association and supported by Organix.
Organic September is a month-long campaign which aims to raise awareness of Organic products, and the brands, producers, and farmers that bring them to us in the UK. It encourages people to make small changes to their purchasing habits and aims to help raise awareness of the true meaning and benefits of organic products. Food products that are labeled as Organic must meet strict regulations on how they are grown and produced and must meet the high standards required under European law.
The Soil Association encourages people to switch to organic if possible, saying that by switching even one item to organic we will help contribute to changing our food system. If we buy more organic foods we are supporting organic farms which in turn means fewer pesticides are used, benefiting our wildlife and ensuring more animals are raised under higher animal welfare standards.
We are fully behind the campaign as we have been using organic products for years, including purchasing Organix snacks for our children. Organix launched a nationwide junk busting campaign last year that we were proud to support. Organix believes in giving children the best start in life and believe that everybody, no matter how young deserves to eat well. The Organix No Junk Promise is a stamp of reassurance and means that all of their ingredients will always be organic.
Organix asked a UK leading food safety expert, Professor Vyvyan Howard for his thoughts on pesticides.
“It is widely accepted that young children are considerably more vulnerable from toxic chemicals than adults. There is still much debate amongst scientists about the safety of pesticides. However, the truth is, we simply do not know what the effect is of lifelong exposure to a cocktail of man-made chemicals. We just know children are more vulnerable”
Since our son Teddy was born, we have been very careful with the foods we have introduced to him. Jen has always been very aware of the foods she eats but I had never really thought about it before becoming a parent. Becoming responsible for the diet of my children opened my eyes to food products in a way they had never been opened before. It became extremely important for me to know where the food I chose for the children came from and ensure that I was providing a high quality, healthy and balanced diet.
My wife Jen is a vegan and she does most of the food shopping. It has always been important to her to have a healthy, cruelty-free diet and the products in our home largely represent those beliefs. Our diet is vegetable and pulse heavy with small amounts of dairy, meat, and fish for me and the children. Being a vegan means that Jen is very aware of animal welfare. We will only buy animal products that are cruelty-free. That is why Organic products are part of our weekly food shop. Organic products ensure high standards of animal welfare and are always free range. Buying organic also means fewer pesticides, no artificial additives or preservatives, no routine use of antibiotics and no GM ingredients.
This is extremely important to us as a family.
We shop on a tight budget, and although not all of our products are organic, we have made decisions as to which foods to prioritise when choosing organic. Some foods are worse for containing pesticide residue than others so switching the foods most affected by chemicals is an option if all organic shopping isn’t possible. Organix have provided “worst’ and ‘best’ lists so that you can easily make decisions on which food products to switch for Organic.
Some organic items cost the same or similar to non-organic items and in those instances we always chose organic. Because our food shop budget is tight we always meal plan. On a Sunday evening, we sit as a family and we plan the meals for the week. This way we can plan and chose our products carefully as well as reduce waste. We try to avoid as much pre-packaged food as possible and are very aware of reducing our purchases of products packaged using plastic. Where possible we buy fresh, unpackaged local farm produce.
Teddy is starting school this September and he will be having packed lunches for the first couple of weeks. We will be using organic foods as part of his lunch, including lunchbox-friendly snacks from Organix. Their range includes mini cheese crackers, cheese and chive breadsticks, puffcorn, carrot stix, cheese and herb puffs, gingerbread men, animal biscuits, soft oats bars, fruit bars, raisins, gummies and fruit and seed bites. More than enough to keep his lunch box varied and exciting as well as tasty, nutritious and organic.
We will be supporting Organic September and have already planned this week’s meals to include organic meat for our weekly roast dinner and spaghetti bolognese and switched to organic fruit for Teddy’s lunchboxes as apples, grapes, pears, and oranges are all on the Organix ‘worst’ list for containing more pesticide residue than others.
Organic foods are important to us as a family and although we cannot shop fully organic we always make small changes where we can. If you would like to find out more about Organic September then check out The Soil Association and Organix.