Here’s when you should choose organic…

20 April 2017 by
First published: 26 August 2016

It’s Organic September. So to celebrate, here’s when you should choose organic…

This annual initiative was created by the Soil Association to highlight the benefits of adopting an organic lifestyle. A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition revealed that organic crops can contain up to 50 per cent more nutrients than non-organic produce, while there’s other evidence stating that organic fruit and veg contains more antioxidants than conventionally-grown fruit and veg. But it’s not just your diet that can benefit from making the switch. Ditching regular cleaning and beauty products for organic can also come with some health advantages. To help you decide when it’s worth splurging on organic, we’ve rounded up the most important changes to make.

1 Household sprays

Conventional cleaning sprays and detergents are laced with chemicals, so why not make your own natural cleaning solution? It costs pennies to put together. Place two cups of lemon and orange peels in a spray-nozzle bottle. Add two cups of white vinegar and store in a cupboard for a week before using to create a versatile germ-fighter.

2 Beauty products

Your skin is the largest organ of your body and what you slather onto it can be absorbed deep within. Choosing make-up, skincare and haircare products that are free from toxins are kinder to you and the environment. Read descriptions and ingredients to make sure you know exactly what goes into the products you’re buying.

3 Milk

While it’s often not possible to extend organic to every area of your diet, choosing organic dairy products is one of the main changes to make. Organic milk comes from cows that are raised without the presence of growth hormones (used to increase milk production) or antibiotics, and are fed a wholly organic diet. What’s more, compared with conventional milk, organic milk contains higher levels of good omega-3 fats.

4 Eggs

Organic, free-range eggs are produced from chickens that have lots of access to the outdoors, and studies show that chickens with lots of room to graze produce eggs with higher levels of omega-3 fats, vitamin A and vitamin E.

5 Meat

Organic meat is more expensive than non-organic, but well worth shelling out for. Organic meat comes from animals that have been fed a completely organic diet, not administered with antibiotics or hormones and been allowed to graze in open pastures – resulting in a healthier end product. Organic meat is pricey, so try to limit your meat consumption to two or three times a week.

6 Leafy greens

Research shows that leafy greens contain residues of some particularly toxic pesticides. If you can’t afford to go organic, then steam your greens as the level of pesticide residue diminishes once food is cooked, while steaming helps to keep nutrients intact.

7 Strawberries

In the Environmental Working Group (EWG’s) ‘Dirty Dozen’ list, which singles out fresh produce with the highest pesticide levels, strawberries were ranked as number one, meaning it’s worth making the switch to organic.

8 Apples

Apples came in at number two on EWG’s Dirty Dozen list, but if you can’t afford to splash out on organic apples just be sure to peel the skin in order to reduce exposure to pesticide residue.

9 Chocolate

Cocoa is one of the highest pesticide-treated crops out there. Used to boost crop yields, many conventional chocolate-makers rely on pesticides to grow cocoa beans, while organic cocoa farmers prefer to work with nature to keep bugs at bay. Look out for organic certified chocolate and remember to choose dark varieties over milk, as they come with an added antioxidant bonus.

10 Wine

There’s so many reasons to love organic wine. It gives fewer hangovers, has less chemicals and is better for the environment – organic wine is made from grapes that have been grown without the use of synthetic chemicals. Just remember to drink in moderation and choose red wine over white, as it’s a better source of antioxidants.