Why I choose to eat organic
By Nicola Galloway
Anybody who knows me will know how passionate I am about organic fruit and vegetables. It is rare that I miss a Saturday morning at the Nelson market, selecting my produce for the week. I can be found smelling the produce, checking for ripeness, talking to the growers and sharing cooking ideas with other foodies. This is my kind of shopping.
I choose to eat organic partly to avoid unnecessary chemicals in my food but mostly because the taste of organic produce is superior. It is how food is supposed to taste, and being a chef this is important to me. I also love this beautiful earth we live on and want to do my part to preserve it the best we can for generations to come. As my passionate gardener friend Nick Kiddey explains 'an organic garden is the perfect example of an ecosystem of plants, animals and the environment working together in harmony.'
Organic farming is a sustainable system of food production that maintains and replenishes the fertility of the soil. Organic farmers understand that the life of the soil is integral to the health of their plants. They feed the soil by returning compost and applying natural fertilisers such as rock sulphate and seaweed. They ensure the integrity of the soil is kept by practising crop rotation, selective planting and resting the soil between crops. Compared to modern farming, which relies on chemicals to artificially spur on growth for faster turnover and yield, organic produce is allowed to develop to its full potential. The result is a complex matrix of concentrated sugars, fibre and protein and a resulting flavour that just doesn't compare. There is a higher nutrient density in organic food that only nature can produce when given time to create.
Organic farming is not a new concept, until the introduction of chemical fertilizes and pesticides after World War II, it was the only way food was grown. Everything was grown locally and eaten in season. Where possible choose locally grown organic fruit and vegetables. The higher price, reflective of the more labour intensive farming techniques, is an investment in your health. Buying direct from the grower reduces the costs and helps strengthen the local economy. Visit your local produce market or join an organic produce home delivery scheme.
WARNING: once you start eating fresh organic produce going back is not an option, it simply tastes better and makes you feel ALIVE!
About the author
Nicola Galloway is a trained chef with a diploma in natural nutrition (Canada) who is passionate about the benefits of healthy and flavoursome food. Raised by two doctors, her focus on health was never far behind her love for creating good food.
She is the author of two recipe books; Alive - Food for Health and Vitality, and Cooking for your Child - healthy recipes from first foods to school lunches.
Nicola's mission in life is to inspire others to make healthy food choices and enjoy the art of cooking. She lives in Nelson, New Zealand with her family.
For more information go to www.nicolagalloway.com