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Top Tips to help you go Organic

by Daphne Lambert

Food budgets are tight at the moment so here are a six tips to help you make a few small changes to add organic ingredients to your diet.

Few people, with the cost of living, have the ability to pay the extra cost in buying 100% organic food. But the true cost of non organic is hidden, for every £1.00 spent at the till it costs another £1 to mitigate the environmental and health related costs. So in reality organic is not expensive non organic is too cheap. Organic farming practices reduce pollution in the air, water and soil. help conserve water, reduce soil erosion and use less energy. Producing food without the use of chemicals is better for wild life, biodiversity and human health. Food budgets are tight at the moment so here are a six tips to help you make a few small changes to add organic ingredients to your diet. Tip 1 avoid the dirty dozen If you can't afford to buy all your food organic - learn which fruit and vegetables are the least contaminated with pesticides. Everyday foods like cabbage, onions, frozen peas and mushrooms are less likely to be grown with chemicals. Certain fruit and vegetables, however, are particularly bad. PAN the UK Pesticide action network have produced a dirty dozen list of the fruit and vegetables with the most pesticides. Grapefruit is the worst but most citrus are bad as are strawberries, spinach and herbs so start buying these as organic It is very easy to grow your own herbs in pots on the windowsill, doorstep or in the garden. Tip 2 grow your own Growing your own vegetables and fruit is a fantastic way to save money, and the gentle exercise is good for your health. If you don't have a garden you could go for an allotment and if the thought of that is too onerous you can share an allotment with friends. Other options include participating in a community garden or joining a CSA, (community supported agriculture) Tip 3 eat seasonal Fruit & vegetables are cheaper when in season. Its fresher, healthier - better for you and the planet. If you do not know the UK food season check out the eat the seasons website. Sometimes there is an over abundance of certain crops - so buy in bulk and learn to preserve Tip 4 learn to preserve Preserving food is a fantastic way to stretch your budget, help the environment and live a healthier life all at the same time. A well stocked larder will ensure that you have something to eat and share whatever shock befalls our food system. Join Daphne on a Return of the Larder workshop - one bursary available on every workshop. Tip 5 eat less meat (or no meat) If you decide to include meat in your diet organic is essential for you and the planet. High animal welfare is integral to organic farming systems. Organic meat has greater nutritional benefits, no antibiotics, synthetic growth hormones, GMO's or pesticides Tip 6 use local markets Get to know your farmers and growers and buy some of your weekly shop from a local market. Not all will be organic but many will be growing as regeneratively as possible and need your support. In supermarkets go for own brand organic ranges which tend to be cheaper.

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