As a values-based business it is important to us to ensure that every claim we make is genuine. Throughout Organic Week you’ll see in store signs popping up to let you know why we think organics are the better for you, and our planet! Set out below is the basis for these statements.
Organic food is real food
Organic food is food as it should be. The chemicals that plants naturally produce to protect themselves against diseases can also help to protect us from getting ill.
Organic food is free from artificial colours and preservatives, contains fewer pesticides, no manufactured herbicides (like Roundup) or artificial fertilisers and no GM ingredients. Organic meat is always free-range and free from antibiotics.
Organic farmers are permitted to use just 20 pesticides, derived from natural ingredients including citronella and clove oil, but only under very restricted circumstances. Organic food is fully traceable from paddock to plate, so you can be sure of what you’re eating – and that it’s real food!
Organic agriculture protects our waterways
Organic farming methods improve the soil biology and soil structure, which means better water retention and less nutrient leaching. Organic and biological farmers make use of natural fertilizers including legumes, instead of soluble artificial nitrogen fertilizers that are more prone to leaching.
So organic farming can address the growing concern about the public health impacts of high density livestock production – especially dairy farming. 62% of monitored waterways in Aotearoa-New Zealand are unsafe for swimming, and a big factor in this is nitrogen pollution from the increasing intensification of agriculture. Organic farming can help mitigate the pollution of our waterways and the increasing nitrate levels in drinking water.
Organic farms support birds and bees
Organic farming methods work to promote biodiversity and encourage wildlife in the system. This includes protecting and enhancing forest remnants, wetlands and other natural ecosystems that support wildlife. Organic farming also includes biodiversity as a way to enhance production. Allowing for diversity in an agricultural system helps to increase resilience to climate change and market fluctuations and reduces susceptibility to pest and disease outbreaks.
Globally the rate of insect extinction is eight times faster than that of mammals, birds and reptiles. More than 40% of insect species are declining and a third are endangered. According to the first global scientific review intensive agriculture is the main driver of the declines, particularly the heavy use of pesticides.
Organic growers pay not to pollute
Organic farmers use no soluble mineral salt fertilisers and very few chemicals. Weed, disease and pests are controlled by crop rotation, the use of natural predators, biological diversity and the use of limited mechanical and chemical intervention.
Agriculture is responsible for 47.9% of Aotearoa-New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions and a big contributor is the intensive dairying industry. And, as mentioned above, intensive farming is responsible for pollution of our precious waterways.
But industrial farmers do not pay to offset greenhouse gas emissions – this cost is picked up by the taxpayer. And farmers who pollute, do not pay to clean up the waterways – this cost is picked up by ratepayers.
Organic farmers don’t use synthetic fertilisers and they don’t overstock their farms so there is less methane emitted and no run off from nitrogen fertilisers. Because they have to pay to maintain their certification (our guarantee that they are doing what they say they are doing) there is a cost in preserving our environment that conventional farmers do not have to carry.
Organic skincare avoids toxins
Certified organic skincare products are made up of 70 – 95% certified organic ingredients. The remaining natural ingredients must meet strict international standards.
This means they are free from parabens, phthalates and other controversial chemicals; they are also free from synthetic perfumes, colours and dyes and free from animal testing, GMOs and nano particles.