Only Natural 26-Nov-2012
Authentic and Clean
By Gary Hands, Organic farmer of Kookaburra Organics
Authentic and Clean – this is how real food should taste! Every family deserves food grown with integrity and with appropriate labelling certification to support its origin. We need to have confidence in the food chain from farmer to plate.
The importance of a healthy and nutritious source of clean food has never been so vital for many of us. As we become concerned with the increasing numbers of “modern illnesses” which are being attributed and linked to lifestyle and the reliance on “fast foods”. Do we need to keep subjecting ourselves and our families to artificial flavouring, preservatives and other food additives?
Organic food is grown naturally and tastes the way it used to. Do you remember grandfathers’ veggie patch- the taste sensations when a carrot was a carrot, full of genuine flavour? It has been my experience with children who don’t like vegetables, soon crave them once they have the opportunity to experience the flavour of real, organic vegetables. Children have a clean palate and sensitive awareness towards things which are good for them.
When children visit our farm and pick a bean or snow pea, they eagerly eat them without hesitation.
It is no secret why many people, particularly young families are buying organic products and choose to eat in-season. Certified Organic foods provides confidence and trust for buyers, with its certifying process.
Farmers who grow Certified Organic foods or raise livestock (beef, chicken etc.) are subject to a strict code of rules and regulations. This includes adhering to an Australian National standard for Certified Organics. Requiring annual farm audits and spot checks (farm inspections) where all aspects of the farm are assessed and scrutinised. It takes a minimum of 3yrs to attain organic “A” grade certification in Australia. Consumers can be assured when purchasing Certified Organic , the products have been subject to a rigorous qualification process. This is also the case for manufacturers of organic foodstuffs and is labelled appropriately.
Eating in season is common sense. Just like a daffodil bulb knowing to break through the surface in spring. This is a natural process, consuming vegetables and fruit in season ensures you benefit from eating at the peak of the season e.g. citrus tastes superior after the cold snap or frosts to enhance the flavour and sweetness, which you would prefer?
Organic farmers do not destroy beneficial insects or soil microbes, working always with the soil to enhance the natural environment and encourage biodiversity (more bees, birds, insects etc). You won’t find toxic nasties on organic farms, such as: Chemicals, Fungicides, Pesticides and herbicides, which destroy insects, worms and wildlife.
Bees are required to pollinate fruit trees and vegetables. Up to 70% of our crops need a bee…..No Bees, No Food!
Farmers raising organic “Certified” livestock do not use antibiotics or other drugs, such as growth hormones or GM stock foods. Livestock & poultry are treated respectfully, and are truly free range, grazing on pastures in the sunshine. These animals are not imprisoned in feedlots or caged sheds.
Where do you find authentic Certified Organic foods?
- Specialist retail outlets
- Organic Farms Online (deliver to your door)
- Farmers’ Markets.
Farmers’ markets can be a good source for fresh foods however, buyer beware. Some produce sellers’ claim to be organic. Stall holders of certified organic produce should have their Certification on display. Remember if it’s not certified organic, then it’s not organic!!
It costs a farmer as little as $9.90 per week to commence the organic certification process, so think twice about the non-organic sellers saying it’s too expensive to be certified.
The best way to change to certified organic living is step by step. Each time you purchase a replacement product, choose which option is best for you: organic or non-organic.
Gary Hands, Organic farmer of Kookaburra Organics, delivers his produce from the paddock to Sunshine Coast & Brisbane homes, cafés and retailer. He is a presenter of DIY Veggie Patch workshops at the heritage listed Crohamhurst Observatory kitchen garden, and is part owner of Adoptahive project.