Organic September, the UK’s biggest and best celebration of all things organic, is now upon us. Today, 1 September 2016, the Soil Association reveals ‘top food swaps’ people can make to support our environment, animal welfare and our health by choosing organic food. Organic September is supported by Good Energy, whose 100% renewable electricity is another simple step – just like buying organic.
Helen Browning, Soil Association chief executive, explains: “Swapping everyday items like carrots, chicken or yogurt for organic alternatives can all make surprisingly large differences. If everyone makes a small change we can make a huge difference to our world. Choosing organic means helping protect our vital wildlife and reducing your exposure to potentially harmful pesticides and chemicals. You’ll also be helping to support the farming families who work hard to grow our food with care for the generations to come.”
Organic means higher levels of animal welfare, lower levels of pesticides, no manufactured herbicides or artificial fertilisers and more environmentally sustainable management of our countryside- this means more wildlife! Organic fruit, veg, meat and milk are also nutritionally different – showing the way we farm really does affect the quality of our food.
TOP FOOD SWAPS FOR ORGANIC SEPTEMBER
Yogurt: If the 24 million households that buy yoghurt swapped to organic, even just once, almost 2,000 more cows would be free to range on clover rich organic pastures. Meanwhile, organic dairy contains around 50% more beneficial omega-3 essential fatty acids than non-organic. Switching to organic yoghurt will make a big difference to the lives of farm animals.
Carrots: Recently published government data shows almost 80% of non-organic carrot samples contained pesticides. If everyone who currently buys carrots switched to organic, an extra 17,500 football pitches worth of organic land would provide a safe haven for wildlife – there would be around 50% more wildlife and 30% more species of wildlife on the farms used to produce those organic carrots.
Chicken: If everyone switched to organic chicken, around 487 million trees could potentially grow. Approximately 803 million chickens are eaten in the UK each year and the amount of soya fed to these chickens represents almost 488,000 hectares of rainforest which could be destroyed to grow their food.
The Soil Association is also working with well-known chefs and food writers Anna Jones, John Quilter and Tom Hunt. Organic September ambassador Anna Jones said; “Organic September is a month of celebrating all things organic – from the simple recipes that make eating well easy and delicious, to the people who make our amazing produce. I believe that eating should be joyful, and good organic ingredients are at the centre of this joy.”
Demand for organic food is on the up (sales up 5.2%) and more people are looking to avoid pesticides and chemicals. Organic September makes this even easier with inspiring tips and recipes and major supermarkets and independent shops involved with promotions. People will be encouraged to ‘Organic their September’ by making small changes to their everyday shopping.
Another swap the Soil Association and Good Energy are encouraging people to make this Organic September is switching to a renewable energy supplier, getting everyone to think about where the food and energy that powers their organic lifestyle really comes from.
Juliet Davenport, chief executive of Good Energy, said: “This year’s Organic September promises to be bigger and better than ever before and we’re really excited to be part of the action.
“Just like buying organic, switching to Good Energy’s 100% renewable electricity and green gas is a simple green step we can all take. Harvesting energy from the sun, wind and rain is a more natural alternative to fossil fuels – working with the planet instead of against it. By choosing local power for your home, farm or business, along with organic produce, we can create a more sustainable future for our children, our wildlife and, of course, our land and environment.”
Thousands of homes, farms and businesses, like Pukka, the Organic Herb Trading Company and Lily’s Kitchen, have already switched to a kinder, better and more ethical energy supplier and cut their carbon footprints. For more information about switching, visit www.goodenergy.co.uk/organic-september
Organic September near you!
The Soil Association is hosting key events throughout September. London’s Roman Road Yard Market will get an organic makeover on Saturday 10th September with a pop-up Organic Market. Thirty of the UK’s hottest organic food and drink brands will be there. Follow @SoilAssociation and @RomanRoadLDN on Twitter and tweeting using #OrganicSeptember. Glasgow’s Botanical Gardens will host an organic pop up wellness event on 12 September. The Soil Association Organic Beauty Week is from the 19th – 25th September, Throughout Organic Beauty Week, brands, consumers and partners will be invited to use the #OrganicBeauty and #OrganicSeptember hashtags to create an online area for all to engage in the campaign. A full list of all activities, as well as dates and locations for events, can be found at: www.soilassociation.org/organicbeautyweek