The A-Z of organics: how to make your life more 'natural'

The A-Z of organics: how to make your life more 'natural'
The organic movement is nothing new - in fact, we have everything from organic
sheets to organic produce readily available to us. But why exactly is it such a big
deal? Why does ‘organic’ equate to ‘better’ in the realms of our
health? We have done some digging to highlight the benefits of going organic,
and a bunch of ways you can get on board the organic train.

What’s all the fuss about?


The term ‘organic’ refers to the way agricultural products are grown and
processed. They’re free of synthetic pesticides, herbicides, fertilisers and GMOs
(bioengineered genes). There are a number of rules that need to be followed to call
yourself an ‘organic’ producer, and plenty of reasons why organic can better
support your health.
For starters, organic farmers use natural methods to control pests and fertilise seeds,
keeping your food free from the many synthetic chemicals used in pesticides.
There have been studies showing certain herbicides, such as Roundup,
are “probable human carcinogens”, can affect sperm quality,
and may contribute to the prevalence of ADHD in children.
In 2014, the British Journal of Nutrition also found that organic crops were less
likely to test positive for cadmium, a toxic heavy metal that accumulates in
our kidneys and livers.
But let’s move away from the scary stuff for a moment.
Organic-grown food also means they don’t use preservatives to make their food
last longer and as a result they’re usually grown a lot closer to home.
Supporting local farmers - Yes please!
Organic farming practices can also help reduce pollution, save water and
energy, help prevent soil erosion, and actually ramp up the fertility in the soil.
The animals coming from organic farms are treated better, with more of a
free-range lifestyle, not to mention reducing health risks by cutting out antibiotics
and growth hormones.
So not only does your choice to go organic nourish your own health, but it also
sustains the health and longevity of our environment and farming practices.
The world of organics also goes beyond just food.
From the skincare products in your bathroom, to the textiles in your clothing
and bedding, natural products are no longer confined to just your kitchen.
Meanwhile, cutting back on beauty products that use parabens,
hormone-disrupting phthalates, and artificial fragrances can help make your
home more natural. Byrdie does a great job of breaking down the
‘Toxic 20’ chemicals that pop up in beauty products.

Switching to organics: Where do I start?


Find a local source: Whether it’s a community garden, a local growers market,
or a grassroots-type supermarket, find somewhere that offers organic food and
access to the growers behind them. If you find farmers who are transparent
about their growing process but can’t afford the organic seal of approval,
you could save yourself some money while still buying from a pesticide-free
source. This goes for your butchers as well - it might be time to ask good old
Google for a butcher that is fully open about their natural farm-to-store journey.
Look for co-ops + bulk stores: Places like Honest to Goodness and wholefood
co-ops are a dime a dozen in big cities, and becoming more common in regional
towns, with delivery options also available. The focus of these kinds of stores
are organic, locally-grown food - and if you buy your most-used items in bulk,
you can also score some savvy savings!
Go home-grown: Try your hand at growing a veggie patch or herb garden in
your backyard. You’d be surprised at how fun it is to throw some seeds in soil
and watch them grow. Why not seek out some local chook owners to get fresh,
free-range eggs or join a community garden with a friend?
Start cooking more: With so many packaged products and processed foods
full of preservatives and unknown ingredients, the best way to support your
organic habit is to start cooking your own snacks with fresh, organic produce.
Here’s a sneaky little incentive: packaged organic products cost more and come
with the 10% GST add-on, whereas produce is GST-free, so by cooking your
own food, you’ll instantly save 10%. Search delicious, easy organic recipes on
What’s in your wardrobe: Try opting for pure organic cotton, wool, silk or hemp
clothing where possible for future purchases. At the same time, try and avoid
synthetic materials like rayon, polyester, nylon, acrylic, and acetate. It might cost
more, but consider the higher quality and longevity you’re investing in.
Switch up the organic bedding: What’s on your skin is just as important as
what’s going in your body, so consider the type of bedding you’re sleeping on for
⅓ of your day, every day. Organic and all-natural materials are the top choice
for healthy,sustainable bedding, and lucky for you,
we have a whole range of organic options.
and low tox pillows, it might be time for an eco-friendly upgrade.
Wash your clothes + veggies: If you’re not able to completely switch to
organics, then make sure (for your own health) that you wash your veggies with
some apple cider vinegar and wash your new clothes at least once before
wearing. Sure, this puts any unknown chemicals back into the waterways,
but while on your journey to more organic choices, it’ll keep those chemicals
from coming into contact with your or your family.
    Shop in season: ever noticed the sky-high prices on certain organic foods at 
the shops? It’s usually because they’ve been imported to keep customers eating
their favourite foods year-round. If you want the $5 organic strawberries instead
 of the $15 ones, keep in mind which produce grows in which season. Check out
Sustainable Table’s handy seasonal guide.
Opting for more natural and organic choices is a process, and you don’t need to
make grand changes overnight. Start small with your fridge, then start to explore
the rest of your home. Making gradual changes and looking for affordable
options is the best way to make this journey a sustainable one - and one that
continues long-term!

What are some organic changes you’re excited to be making?