The recipe calls for a sprinkling of lemon zest. As you reach for the sunny yellow fruit sitting obligingly in your fruit bowl, how great is it to know that it’s been grown organically? No chemicals or man-made pesticides linger on the skin you’re about to add to your family’s food. It’s a very satisfying and peaceful feeling.
And it’s what more and more consumers are demanding from the food they buy, prepare and eat. Once seen as the domain of a “new age” or “hippy dippy” few, organic produce is now the fastest growing food sector in the United States. In South Africa, about two-thirds of shoppers prefer to buy organic produce wherever possible.
But why is this? What is it about organic food that makes us love it so much?
Why We Love Organic Food
Before we delve into our love affair with all things organic, let’s be clear on what the term actually means. Purists will tell you that the word “organic” actually refers to any living matter. Strictly speaking, of course, they are right. But when it comes to agricultural practices, and our common understanding of the term, organic actually refers to the way food is grown or produced.
Organic farming avoids the use of any man-made fertilisers, pesticides, feed additives or growth regulators. Irradiation, and the use of GMOs (genetically modified organisms), is not allowed, and in most cases natural and healthy soil, packed full of nutrients and microbes is a must.
So, back to the all-important question: In addition to the satisfying, feel-good factor inherent in using organic produce, why else do we love it so much? Well, here are just a few reasons:
- Full Of Good Stuff – Organic meat and milk are up to 50% richer in omega-3 fatty acids and other nutrients than conventional produce. Organically-grown plants are up to 69% higher in antioxidants.
- Better For Our Bodies – Chemicals commonly used in regular agriculture can remain on (and in) the food we eat. Organic produce contains fewer pesticides, and any that are used occur naturally, such as manure and mulch. Many people with chemical allergies find their symptoms disappear when they only eat organic food. In addition, many researchers now believe organic diets could have significant benefits for our immune systems, growth and reproductive health. Organic food has also been shown to reverse the signs of aging, who would have thought? This not only means less trips to the family doctor, but also ensures that you are looking and feeling great.
- Fresh From The Farm – Because it doesn’t contain preservatives, organic food is often sold close to the farms where it was produced. Cutting down on “field to fork” time means food doesn’t have to picked before it’s completely ripe to lengthen its lifespan. When produce is picked only when fully ripe and ready, it just tastes so much yummier and has so much more to offer our bodies in terms of, vitamins, nutrients and goodness!
- Eco-friendly – Shorter transport distance is also great for our environment, as it means fewer emissions from trucks. In addition, organic farming practices use less water and energy, reduce soil erosion, increase soil fertility and are in general more sustainable. Weeds are controlled naturally, either by hand, or through crop rotation and mulching. No chemical herbicides are used.
So here’s the next question: How would you like some organic awesomeness delivered directly to your door? At the Munching Mongoose, we’re all about making organic happen for you, which is why we have a range of produce box options to suit everyone’s budget, taste and family size. We also offer a wide variety of delicious add-on goodies to help keep things interesting. Ordering your first box is as easy as clicking here.