Welcome to Organic September…
Launched by the Soil Association, it’s a celebration of all things organic. ‘Organic means working with nature, not against it,’ says a spokesperson. ‘It means higher levels of animal welfare, lower levels of pesticides, no manufactured herbicides or artificial fertilisers, and more environmentally sustainable management of the land and natural environment.’
Vegetarian cook Anna Jones is one of the ambassadors of Organic September. She likes creating simple recipes and is a fan of using good organic ingredients. To mark Organic September, she’s sharing one of her favourite dishes, inspired by the local Turkish cafés near to where she lives in East London.
‘They turn out charcoal-baked flatbreads and insanely good salads, and although meat is front and centre in Turkish food, there are some amazing vegetable dishes too,’ says Anna.
You can find her Turkish flatbreads recipe here.
Still not sure whether organic is for you?
Try signing up to an organic box scheme. They’re a convenient way to find out if you think organic is worth paying extra for – and they now offer greater choice than the brassica-heavy boxes of the 90s. Simply order online and have the produce delivered to your door. You can make seasonal selections and include meat, baked goods and dairy, too. Here are our top 3:
Widespread: Abel & Cole
One of the biggest box schemes in the UK, Abel & Cole can fill your kitchen with a wide variety of goods, from organic meat to natural cleaning products. You can tailor your own fruit and veg boxes, too.
Farming co-operative: Riverford Organic
This is the brainchild of Guy Watson, who started out delivering veg to 30 local friends. Now 47,000 boxes are delivered each week to UK homes from regional Riverford farms.
London local: Growing Communities
This Hackney-based community project doesn’t deliver, but buying a weekly box from one of its 13 pick-up points helps to fund local producers. You could volunteer, too.
For more ways to add organic produce to your daily diet, check out the HFG team’s favourite products.
A word to the wise
If you are considering making the switch, any potential health benefits from going organic remain a grey area. ‘Until research proves otherwise, in nutrition terms it’s quantity that counts,’ says Healthy Food Guide nutrition consultant Juliette.
‘So if you’re on a budget, it’s still better to choose conventional over organic produce because you get far more for your money. And, although pesticide residues found in fruit and veg sold in UK supermarkets are a concern to some people, they’re highly unlikely to cause you harm. Not eating enough fruit and vegetables, on the other hand, can lead to the kind of health conditions that will.’