I have been a big fan of organic food for some time. For real nutrition and quality food, however, it's probably worth considering more than just the organic status of the food. As much as possible, I try to take the following factors into consideration when buying and/or growing food; how local the food is, how fresh it is, was it grown according to the principles of organic and biodynamic gardening, is it seasonal produce and is it a natural whole food. I aim for as much of the food we eat as possible, to follow these principles.
Most of us are aware of the factors involved with eating local food. It's not just the carbon footprint issue. Food that has come from a local source is fresher and simply looks like it has more vitality in it. If you were to put two apples in front of a person sensitive to energetic vibrations, one local and one that has travelled a long way, they will be able to pick out which one is local because its vibrancy will be much higher than the one that has travelled.
Freshness is an important factor in healthy food also. The best time to eat fruit and veg is moment they are picked. Twenty minutes after produce is picked it begins to lose its vitality and nutrients. So if a tomato is eaten weeks after it was taken from the vine, most of the nourishment has probably gone. I love picking herbs from the window sill or outside the front door and taking salad leaves and tomatoes from the garden. Of course, this is not always possible, so I eat the freshest produce available.
I like to eat organic food because I like the natural approach to growing food. I like it that my food doesn't have any GMOs and it isn't covered in harmful pesticides. I like organic gardening because it takes care of the soil. I love it that my food has lots of flavour compared with veggies grown conventionally. For those of you who are unsure just grow some tomatoes at home following organic principles and you will see the difference yourself. My children love home grown veggies because they really do taste great.
Biodynamic farming/gardening is a type of organic farming. To help me with my veg patch, each year I buy an amazing gardening calender from Lunar Organics, here is their explanation of biodynamic farming.
Biodynamic farmers and gardeners believe that the farm, or allotment should be managed as a self-contained organism, self-sufficient in compost, manure, and animal feed, and as closely integrated with its environment as possible:
~ Sprays and compost are produced from organic waste and used to improve the well-being of the soil, plants and animals.
~ Biodynamic farms are diverse and a number of balanced crops are produced to ensure the whole ecosystem thrives.
~ Crops are planted and harvested in accordance with Moon Gardening techniques to further connect the growth with the environment.
There are many things I like about biodynamic farming but especially I like how it requires less water and space to produce higher yields and tastier, more vibrant veggies! I am not sure exactly why it works but in my experience it does. I am fortunate in that there are several farms close to where I live who sell produce grown biodynamically to cater for those times in the year when I haven't grown our own. When I lived in Spain I would observe the Spanish farmers frantically harvesting their grapes on the full moon because years of experience had shown them that was the best time. I'm not sure whether they were aware of biodynamic gardening but they were following some of the basic principles. I'm guessing that in years gone by such practices were normal and natural and for good reason, it ensures great tasting, wholesome food.
I used to love having tomatoes available all year round but I stopped buying them some time ago. I was born and raised in southern England. Nature knows what my body needs to keep it healthy and provides these nutrients in the form of the produce that is available in this part of the world, at any given time. Of course this does mean that my choices are more limited but this has ensured that I am more creative with what I have. I don't believe it's part of nature's plan for those living in one part of the world to be eating food in season in another part of the world. If it were, nature would provide those foods in those areas. I like to eat what my body needs rather than what my taste buds think they want. Sometimes I still buy bananas because they are so handy to have around when you have children but for the most part, I buy locally and try not to buy produce grown in other countries.
Just because a food item is organic does not necessarily mean it will nourish you. So many products are marketed in a way to make us think they are healthy but do not really nourish us. There is a lot of clever marketing aimed at the growing numbers of people taking an interest in wholesome living. The best food is unprocessed food, natural whole foods. We know it but we also know it takes more time and effort to work with unprocessed foods. They take time and effort to prepare and many people do not have the time or inclination to prepare all meals from scratch. I understand that, I appreciate that as I am a busy homeschooling mum with my own business but it is possible and with a little organisation can actually be quite achieveable.
I started off slowly moving away from the processed food, the boxes and convenience. After a while I found I was motivated to prepare from scratch simply because unprocessed meals tasted so good. Your body knows when it's given wholesome, quality food, it responds differently and so does your mind, your emotions even. To some this may sound a little bizarre and so with all things, I encourage you to explore yourself. See how you and your family feel and behave after one week of eating fresh, organic, unprocessed food. You may enjoy the positive changes you experience so much that it motivates you incorporate more often this way of eating.
I found a grocery shopping receipt from one year ago and am surprised by how many changes I have made in one year. I haven't done this because I should or because it was healthy for me. It's happened naturally because I enjoy feeling vibrant and healthy after eating quality, wholesome, living foods.
As much as I try to plan well, sometimes I am out and do not have food with me and so I make the best of the situation. To stress about how unhealthy convenient foods are will probably do me more harm than just eating food and enjoying it. As long as I am doing my best and ensuring that the majority of my food is local, organic, fresh and seasonal, then I'm taking good care of family's needs and we will be healthy and enjoy vital energy.
As with all food considerations, I suggest you do your research, explore and discover what will work best for you and your family. Do your best and then let it go. Be grateful for the food you have and enjoy it. This is probably more nourishing than anything else!