We are lucky to have a great choice of organic farms in Australia. Many of our seasonal fruit and vegetables are from the local Mornington Peninsula & Gippsland regions, like our herbs, onions, lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, asparagus, apples and much more as the season and weather dictates. Potatoes, Leeks, Kale & Beetroot are from just the other side of the bay in the Otways. The town of Robinvale in Victoria supplies us with amazing grapes in Summer and Autumn. There are also many wonderful Certified Organic farms throughout Australia and this includes tropical fruits like Bananas, Mangoes, Pineapples.
Australian Organic assures agreed standards are followed. This includes how the food is grown, prepared, transported, marketed & labelled. This assures you’re getting clean, healthy food from the farm to your table.
That is, without the use of man made chemical input to speed up growth or kill weeds and bugs. Organic farming aims to produce a stronger plant with no artificial additives.
The organic industry uses labour intensive methods to avoid use of artificial pesticides and herbicides. Organic farmers use methods such as crop rotation, hand weeding, companion and green manure planting to foster naturally healthy soil for their crops. This extra time and effort can attract a the higher price point, but also assures clean produce with no unwanted health and related environmental impacts.
Certified organic farms mean no chemical exposure for the farmers and their families, their plants and animals & the surrounding towns. Of course, organic food is the best choice to feed your family and pets. A recent study showed participants eating a mostly organic diet for 1 week saw an 89% reduction of chemical pesticides in their urine. Choosing to eat organic means avoiding an unhealthy chemical cocktail with every meal!
Certified organic only allows free-range livestock. For poultry egg production the max for hens is 1, 500 max per hectare, instead of 10, 000 per hectare maximum in conventional egg farming! Many organic farmers are more likely to have only 150 to 250 Hens per hectare. Keeping the environment as natural as possible with ample access to pasture, shade and shelter is also a pre requisite for Organic farmers. Other methods that are NOT allowed in Australian organic that are still practiced in conventional farming in Australia include debeaking, feed lots for cows, growth related drugs, GMOs, steroids, hormones or antibiotics.
While organic farming focusses on soil health, unfortunately conventional pesticides contribute to the degradation of healthy soil and release carbon into the air contributing to the greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, pesticide run off from conventional farming can lead to damage of aquatic ecosystems in nearby river, streams, lakes and dams.
All Australian certified organic farmers agree upon a zero Genetically Modified Organisms policy to assure Genetically modified foods are never part of produce or manufactured products. There is still a very real concern that GMOs and their potential impact on human health & the environment are not properly understood. In Australia GMO crops are cotton & canola oil. Food Standards Australia dictates that GM foods, ingredients, additives or processing aids that contain novel DNA or protein must be labelled as ‘genetically modified’.
Certified Organic requires at least part of the farm to be left for native flora & fauna. Organic farmers work in harmony with existing ecosystems including water conservation, fostering soil health and energy conservation.
We speak from experience when we say purchasing quality organic food & strongly focussing on a home prepared whole food lifestyle, lead us to better health outcomes and a deep gratitude and appreciation for the rich flavours and the tremendous effort that goes into growing delicious organic seasonal fruits and vegetables.
~ Caitlin & Jarek @ New Harvest
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