"Organic" – What does this actually mean?
The Department for Agriculture and Rural Affairs states that:
‘Organic food is the product of a farming system which avoids the use of man-made fertilisers, pesticides; growth regulators and livestock feed additives. Irradiation and the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) or products produced from or by GMOs are generally prohibited by organic legislation.
Any plant food, food product, or ingredient that is 'organic' or 'organically grown' means that the plant or ingredients in the product have been grown, harvested, and processed without the use of pesticides and synthetic chemicals. These include insecticides, fumigants, herbicides, and fungicides.
At Project Organic our produce is sourced from Australian Organic Certified Farms. We have full disclosure and are happy to name where our produce comes from. Further down is a list of the farms we currently work with.
Why is eating Organic produce good for us?
Eating organic reduces the amount of chemicals in your diet namely persistent pesticides. The use of insecticides, fungicides, fertilisers and weed killers are strictly monitored in organic food production.
Organic farming produces healthy food without the use of toxic pesticides.
Eating organic is the best way to avoid GMO foods, ingredients and contamination. The use of genetically modified organisms, or GMO's is prohibited in organic products. This means an organic farmer can’t plant GMO seeds, an organic cow can’t eat GMO alfalfa or corn.
No artificial colours, flavours or preservatives are allowed in organic food. Cleaner food means a cleaner diet which leads to a cleaner bill of health.
Organic farming creates healthy soil. Healthy soil creates healthy food and a healthy environment. Healthy soil is the basis for organic agriculture. Organic farmers use natural organic fertilisers and soil amendments like organic matter (things you can compost), green manures (cover crops grown specifically for soil improvement, e.g. legumes), and animal manures (with safety restrictions) to build healthy soil. When food is grown in healthy soil, crops are better able to resist disease, survive drought, and tolerate insects.
Organic food contains more vitamins, minerals, enzymes and micro nutrients than conventionally raised food. There is a growing body of evidence documenting how farming methods can influence the nutritional content of foods.
Consuming organic produce puts you closer to the source which means your eating food that has been harvested more recently, rather than food that's been in cold storage for long periods of time — that alone will have a bigger impact on nutritional value than the farming methods themselves.
What to expect with Organic produce?
Organic produce is not perfect! You may find an odd shaped carrot or some marks on your apple! This is mother nature. Conventional produce uses chemicals that can help make produce look "perfect" or shiny and last up to several months! Yep, months! Our apples don't have wax on them so now and again you may find an apple that is blemished, and sometimes you may even find a visitor inside! But.... know you are consuming beautiful Australian produce that our farmers have worked hard for without the use of man-made chemicals.
At Project Organic we also like to keep our leaves and stalks on our cabbage and on many other items as we don't like waste and like to consume all parts of the item.
What can affect Organic produce?
There are many circumstances that can affect the quality, availability and costs of Organic produce. Such as the weather, many farms don't harvest produce when its raining or wet for many reason such as eggplant cannot be picked whilst it is wet as the water drops will cause dark marks on the flesh and some farms don't have the machinery or available space to harvest and wash produce in this rain.
Drought and fires can destroy crops and fields causing availability to be low and prices to increase. We may notice the effect of this for initially and in the future.
Often the beginning of new seasons will increase the costs on that's seasons crops and the end of a season to decrease costs and the quality of some.
Current times with Covid 19 has also caused significant changes as workers in some areas are scarce and therefore produce cannot be harvested. This is terrible for our farms and causing great hardship. These circumstances has increased the costs of some produce.
How are we helping our environment?
At Project Organic we are trying to eliminate the use of plastic buy using bags that are made from corn and are biodegradable when we can. We try and buy particular products in bulk to prevent the use of plastics on individual items, though at times this may not be possible. We are constantly working on ways to improve our sustainable and Eco friendly business.