Thomasina’s Top Tips for Shopping Organic

soil association organic vegetables-laid-across-table
Image: Soil Association

The founder of Wahacca’s tips on shopping organic — quickly, easily and cheap.

Organic food is great for so many reasons. Organic farming helps look after the planet by nurturing the soil instead of depleting it, by allowing nutrients to go back into the earth, rather than stripping them out. Buying and eating a little organic is therefore a neat way to take action and start caring for the health of our soil. Soil is everything – without healthy soil, growing food becomes increasingly difficult.

That’s why I enjoy shopping and cooking with organic produce as I know that I’m not only creating tasty nutritious food for my family, but helping the environment too. Here are my top tips for shopping organic to show just how easy and accessible it can be:

Organic is now available across the UK in over 8,000 outlets, from supermarkets and independent shops to box schemes, markets, restaurants and online. So, if one option doesn’t work for you – try another!

Eat less, but better meat, from animals grazed in a truly free-range environment and fed a natural diet. Pop into your local butcher for advice on the best value cuts.

Use a specialist box delivery scheme – from fruit and veg, to eggs, meat, herbs and honey, hundreds of organic farmers offer healthy, seasonal, organic food, delivered to your door.

Staples like pulses, pasta, rice and whole grains are often the same price as non-organic, many of these can be bought in bulk and often have a longer shelf-life if they are organic – so what’s not to love!

Try the basics – Milk is widely available and often costs only a fraction more than non-organic milk. Organic milk and dairy also contains around 50% more beneficial omega-3 essential fatty acids than non-organic.

Choose organic wine – not only will you be supporting a more sustainable system of farming, you’ll also be consuming less sulphur – which is rumoured to lessen the chances of a hangover!

Organic eggs are more than free-range: Soil Association organic standards specify a maximum flock size of 2,000, while there is no maximum flock size under free-range legislation. This means chickens have much more space to roam and exhibit their natural behaviours, like dust bathing and ranging.

Buy your food as close to the producer as possible – there is a wide range of farms shops and markets across the UK that stock organic produce.

Cooking and eating seasonally is a great way to ensure a more sustainable diet and gives the best value for money.

Visit your local independent retailer – these shops are the experts in organic and will often stock exclusive new products that are not yet available in the supermarkets.

You can find out more about the Soil Association Certification BOOM Awards 2019 and vote for your favourite organic product here:

https://www.soilassociation.org/organic-living/boom-awards/