To live an organic life is to consciously minimize the amount of harmful chemicals that are in and on your body, around your home, and in your day-to-day life. Living an organic life initially takes a bit of effort because chemically fuelled products are cheaper and faster to make and they yield more profit. The six biggest corporations that control what you see in the supermarkets don’t want you to eat organic so organic choices are hidden from view, and go unpromoted.
If you’ve found yourself thinking, ‘I really want to eat organic’ or ‘I want to be an ethical consumer’ but you don’t know where to start, these 5 Unusual Ways to Live a More Organic Life should set you on your way.
How do you bring organic produce into your life? Know a great website that sells organic stuff? Got an amazing D.I.Y organic life hack? Care to share your favourite organic recipe? Please share your thoughts in a comment!
1. Educate yourself.
As I said, the big corporations don’t want you to have information about chem-free alternatives. There is no profit in it for them. The internet, however, is a wonderful thing, and these days, you can do lots of research and digging (‘scuse the pun) about eating organic. When you educate yourself, and use your own knowledge and wisdom, you are better equipped to make the right choices for yourself and your family. I recommend the following websites that will give you a great foundation about why you should live organically, and how you can get started:
2. Expect the unexpected when it comes to organic produce.
In the last six months I have purchased:
Organic rubber gloves
Organic make up remover pads
It’s not just meat and veg that is better when it’s organic. Many unexpected products contain ingredients that grow in the ground, and if it grows in the ground then it can be organic! What’s the most unexpected organic product you’ve ever seen?
3. Grow your own: even if you live in an apartment!
There are lots of nutritious and delicious foods that you can grow right from your own windowsill! Garlic, tomatoes, mushrooms, potatoes, leafy greens and many types of beans grow wonderfully indoors. Growing your own is cheap, satisfying and healthy – you become a producer instead of a consumer, and you know where your food has come from. Growing veg indoors is a great way to get kids interested in eating organically. I remember my grandpa’s spare room being overrun with juicy, plump tomatoes when I was a kid- it’s one of my most magical memories! Visit The Real Farmacy to get started growing your own veg – even in an apartment!
Coaxing a child to eat veg can be a tough job – especially with so many brands offering crap to your kids via catchy adverts and shiny wrappers. One good way to encourage a child to eat veg is to include him or her in the growing and cooking process. Let your child help you make dinner, make it a family affair filled with love, and your child will be happy to eat what you made together and will associate eating veg with happiness and love.
4. Aim to talk to the person who produced your food.
Of course, if you live in an apartment you won’t be able to grow all your own food. The closer you can get to the person who does grow your food, the better. Farmer’s markets and food co-ops are great places to meet the person who has the very important task of feeding you and your family. What are their methods? Do they farm/produce organically? Ask them questions until you are satisfied with the answers. Part of the consumer problem is that we often don’t know – or care – where our food has come from. Us consumers are so far removed from production that all sorts of bad things can go on behind the scenes of production without anyone questioning it. And we unconsciously endorse it by paying for it.
Joining a food co-op is a great way to meet like-minded consumers and the farmers who will produce your food. The principle behind it is to know where your food has come from and to shop with a conscious, co-operative attitude. Are you an organized perfectionist with a bit of time on your hands? Why not start your own food co-op? University of Glasgow has a great food co-op, run by friendly and helpful folks.
5. Vote with your money.
The best way that you can live a more organic life is simply to vote with your money. Whatever you buy, you endorse. When you consume an item, you validate its production. The power is in your pennies! Some people complain that buying organic is expensive. That may be the case compared to ‘beef burgers’ that cost 2p each, but isn’t your heath and the health of this planet the most worthwhile thing to spend your money on? Everything has a cost, and someone must pay somewhere along the line. You pay a little extra for a much better and healthful product. Eating organically is still a fringe lifestyle choice. As it becomes mainstream, the price of organic produce will come down as the volume of it goes up. The volume goes up by consumer demand – so the more you buy, the more the price comes down. You do not have to become a be-dreadlocked vegan who lives in a hut with solar panels and only eats roots (although that would be ideal!), just by making small changes to your buying habits and taking some pride and care in what you eat, you can make a big difference to your own health, the health of our economy and the health of the planet.
If you are a visual learner, and you like a good documentary, I recommend the following:
Vegucated (WARNING! Disturbing Scenes.)
Forks Over Knives (WARNING! Disturbing Scenes.)
What did you think of these documentaries? Share your thoughts in a comment.
Next Time: P is for ‘People Tree’: My most-loved organic clothing brand.