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Home > Resources > Why Organic

Why Organic

"Now that I've got kids, it's become really important for me on the health front to try to buy as much organic produce as possible. It seems to me that more people are getting ill and suffering from allergies, which no one can properly explain. So good, fresh, preferably organic, flavoursome food is my first choice."
**celebrity chef Jamie Oliver


Organic Defined
Organic produce is grown and handled without the use of synthetic chemicals, artificial fertilisers, food irradiation or genetically modified ingredients (GMOs). Organic farming focuses on the health of the soil and utilises the best of both traditional agriculture and modern techniques to produce nutritious fruit and vegetables with minimal intervention. Organic farming also cares for our environment through the use of renewable resources and a commitment to the conservation of energy, soil and water.
Buying certified organic means that the produce has passed the stringent requirements of a 3-year certification process, ensuring integrity for the consumer. Our organic produce is fully certified by Australian Certified Organic (ACO).

Conventional produce is grown and handled with regular commercial methods which may include the use of synthetic chemicals, artificial fertilisers, food irradiation and genetically modified ingredients (GMOs).

Why Choose Organic?
We all know that we are what we eat. When we eat organic, we are eating optimum food produced in the best conditions.
Organic fruit and vegetables contain more nutrients and minerals than the mass-produced variety and are also more intensely endowed with scent and colour. Organic meats are produced from animals that are treated humanely and reared on certified organic feeds and pastures. And the bonus- we think they taste so much better!
Organic is healthy for the planet. Organic farming and production practices are designed to work in harmony with nature and the seasons. These practices are sustainable and independent of harmful chemicals, pesticides and fertilisers. Buying organic supports the future of our precious environment.
All authentic organic foods and products are certified. The certification label ensures that a stringent set of tests and standards have been met at every stage of the product's movement from the farm to the store shelf.

Australian Regulations
The Biological Farmers of Australia (BFA), otherwise known as Australian Certified Organic, is a common certification (the ACO certification 'bud' logo is often seen on organic foods and produce), although six other bodies are permitted to certify organic produce including NASAA and ORGAA.
Organic foods are permitted to contain a maximum of 5% of uncertified ingredients from a restricted list, and those ingredients must be labelled on the product. Most organic processed foods such as sausages and dairy foods do not contain preservatives.
Organic foods and products typically cost more than their conventionally mass-produced, chemically farmed counterparts; that's because they represent the real cost of growing and producing at high quality.

How do I know it’s really Organic?
In Australia, Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) accredit the organic industry agencies that qualify to certify organic (listed below). They accredit the farms and their produce, ensuring the stringent organic farming criteria are implemented.
Your food is "clean" - if it carries the following certification:
• Australian Certified Organic (ACO) the certification arm of the Biological Farmer's Association (BFA)
• Bio-Dynamic Research Institute (BDRI)
• National Association of Sustainable Agriculture Australia (NASAA)
• Organic Food Chain (OFC)
• Organic Herb Growers of Australia (OHGA)
• Safe Food Qld
• Tasmanian Organic-dynamic Producers (TOP)

Why is Organic a better choice?
Organic food and products are better for you because:
- No hormones
- No pesticides
- No toxic chemicals, antibiotics or fertilisers
- No food additives
- No mould retardants
- No irradiation are used in their production in Australia.

Organic food also:
- Tastes and smells better
- Contains significantly more nutrients and minerals
- Encourages sustainable farming methods
- Reduces negative impact on the environment
- Requires stringent controls from paddock to plate
- Unites and empowers rural communities

Some Key Facts
An international study shows that chemical farming has removed an average of 40% of the vital nutrients originally found in the vegetables our grandparents ate, has removed 29% of of the vital ingredients originally found in their meat and removed 20% of the vital nutrients originally found in their fruit.
"1940 vs 1990' McCance and Widdowson, 1940; 1991, "The Composition of Food', RSC, MAFF.

The affects of pesticides on human health is extreme - and is linked to illnesses such as cancer, reproductive problems and neurological disease.
'Systematic Review of Pesticides Human Health Effects' (OCFP's report), Ontario College of Family Physicians in Canada (OCFP)

Exposure to pesticides may increase parental risk of infertility and threaten pregnancy outcomes.
Environmental Health Perspectives, Vol. 112, pages 703-709 (2004).

'Richard M. Sharpe, research physiologist with the Medical Research Council in Edinburgh, hypothesised that oestrogens in the environment (includes any chemical that can mimic hormones eg pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers and solvents) can disrupt the body's hormonal balance, possibly explaining phenomena such as early puberty, lowered sperm counts and other reproductive anomalies exhibited by late 20th Century females and males of any species. "Dr Sandra Cabot - www.liverdoctor.com"

80% of all cancers are connected, directly or indirectly, to environmental factors and are therefore preventable.
International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) of the World Health Organisation

An Australian study shows that Australian mothers are transferring invisible pesticides and organochlorines to their babies via their breast milk. These chemicals come from the fruit and vegetables they consume as part of their so-called healthy diet.
"Persistence of Organochlorines in Breast Milk of Women in Victoria, Australia" Ed Chem Toxic Vol.33. No 1 pp.49 - 56, 1995, PM Quinsey, DC Donohue & JT Ahokas.

Organically grown foods have higher cancer-fighting chemicals than conventionally grown foods. Fruits and veggies grown organically show significantly higher levels of cancer-fighting antioxidants than conventionally grown foods, according to a new study of corn, strawberries and marionberries. The research suggests that pesticides and herbicides actually thwart the production of phenolics chemicals that act as a plant's natural defence and also happen to be good for our health.
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, American Chemical Society (the world's largest scientific society) Feb. 26, 2003

Organic milk contains two thirds more omega-3 essential fatty acids than conventionally produced milk. Dr Richard Dewhurst reported that milk samples from organic cows contained at least 64% more omega-3 fatty acids.
Journal of Dairy Science published by researchers at the Institute of Grassland and Environment, Aberystwyth, Wales.

Pesticides and toxins linked to Parkinson's Disease. After studying 8,000 subjects over 34 years of observation, researchers at the University of Honolulu found that that increased fruit and fruit drink consumption predicted an increased Parkinson's risk, after adjusting for other known risk factors. "We speculate that this increased risk may be due to plant borne toxins, pesticides or herbicides, rather than the fruit itself," notes study author Andrew Grandi.

There are claims that organic food is expensive, yet Australians spend more than twice as much each week on junk food and fast food combined, than they do on fruit and vegetables.
Average Weekly Household Spending, ABS 2000 (selected categories)


Organic Foods for Preconception, Pregnancy and Child Development
A new scientific review released from the US, supports the theory that organic food is better for you than conventionally produced food. The review by Dr Charles Benbrook from the Northwest Science and Environment Policy Centre, found that on average organic crops contained about one-third higher antioxidant and/or phenolic content than comparable conventional produce. Research indicated that organic food had two to three times the level of specific vitamins and higher levels of antioxidants than food grown with synthetic fertilisers and pesticides. Andrew Grandinetti, PhD, of the University of Hawaii


Organic is a healthier option for reproduction, pregnancy and children
An Australian study shows that Australian mothers are transferring invisible pesticides and organochlorines to their babies via their breast milk. These chemicals come from the fruit and vegetables they consume as part of their so-called healthy diet.
"Persistence of Organochlorines in Breast Milk of Women in Victoria, Australia" Ed Chem Toxic Vol.33. No 1 pp.49 - 56, 1995, PM Quinsey, DC Donohue & JT Ahokas .

287 chemicals were found in the umbilical cords of 10 randomly chosen newborns, including mercury, pesticides, flame retardants, and incineration pollutants
US Study, 2005.
5-14 out of 35 common chemicals were found in the umbilical cords of 30 newborn babies and their mothers
University of Groningen, Netherlands.

The maturation process of bodily organs and systems make children more susceptible to pesticide toxicity as they move from infancy to adulthood
Wargo J: Our children's toxic legacy. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1998.

Some of our most toxic but most widely used pesticides target the central nervous system, with chronic exposure causing changes in normal development
Wiles R, et al. Overexposed, oganophosphate insecticides in children's food. Washington: Environmental Working Group, 1998.

Some of fruit and vegetables that are most commonly consumed by children have the highest levels of pesticide residue, eg: apples, peaches, pears, strawberries, green beans
Hettenbach T, Wiles R: A few bad apples... pesticides in your produce. Washington: Environmental Working Group, 2000.

Children under 2 might be 10 times more susceptible than adults to certain chemicals, and children between 2-16 might be 3 times more vulnerable
US Environmental Protection Authority, March 2005.

Findings suggest significant changes in children's hyperactive behaviour could be produced by the removal of artificial colourings and sodium benzoate from their diet.
Archives of Child Health study, led by Professor John Warner, Southampton University.

The proportion of children with high levels of hyperactivity was halved when additives were removed from their diet. Professor John Warner of the development of child health at Southampton University, who led the study published in Archives of Child Health, said: 'The findings suggest that significant changes in children's hyperactive behaviour could be produced by the removal of artificial colourings and sodium benzoate from their diet.' Professor Warner said the doses of additives used in the study were 'on the low side of normal,' and the effects were felt across all the children, regardless of their sensitivity to allergy-causing substances.
Shane Heaton, Food Additives Are Bad News in Clean Food Organic: Your Complete Australian Organic Lifestyle and Shopping Guide, McGuire Guide, Coogee NSW Australia, 2006 page 14.



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