'Go Organic' - what it means and where to start


September is officially ‘Organic September’

A month-long campaign designed to raise the profile of organic in the UK and shine a light on organic farmers, producers and brands who work hard to produce food as it should be.

This got us thinking, do we really understand enough about what organic actually means, and the benefits? In the noise of nutritional advice being dished out from endless sources and so-called experts, it can be challenging to cut through to what the really important points are. 

We wanted to know the facts, and in simple terms understand more about which foods are worth ‘going organic’ for - because lets face it, for many of us whilst the idea of purchasing all of our food entirely organic is appealing, it’s an ideal which is perhaps out of reach financially, or limited by the range of products in our local big supermarket chain during Sunday big shop. 


Our trusted friends at Joe's Tea, who keep it simple using only proper organic whole leaf tea in twelve tasty blends, were the ideal people to provide us with the answers.

Here’s what Rhiannon Price, their Head of Marketing had to say: 

What does it mean to ‘go organic’, and what are the benefits?

Organic ensures that food is as it should be and not grown, farmed or manufactured with nasties, and is the only way to ensure that your food isn't contaminated with chemicals (from pesticides and herbicides) or antibiotics.  For meat and dairy products the organic standards for animal welfare are much higher than that of free-range of other certification bodies. So to go organic, means the healthiest most unprocessed foods for your body, the best possible way of life for animals, and food manufactured with the least impact on the planet.

Why does Joe’s Tea support the use of Organic Produce - does this effect the quality of the product? 

We source our organic teas from Sri Lanka (Ceylon) for the delicate taste profile that the black, green and white teas offer. We buy direct from certified organic farmers who use sustainable farming methods and pay above market value for all teas and ingredients purchased that meet our tasting standards. Our Soil Association certification (Ecocert and USDA internationally) ensures no chemicals or pesticides are used in the production of our teas and Joe’s constant thirst for improvement means we’re always tasting, developing and improving our blends (and some new ones coming soon… ).

Do you have any top tips on how we can make sustainable consumer choices?

It's really important to do your research, there are so many options available to us now and so many great new companies, with sustainability and ethical sourcing as core values, entering all markets.  Don't try and change everything at once, take one element of your life and read up on the sustainable choices, then replace it when it's time to.

How can we buy organic whilst also not breaking the bank? 

Try by making a few simple changes to your shopping habits, try an organic tea, milk and a weekly veg box (often 30% cheaper than supermarket veg and always seasonal).  If you can't always afford organic meat, try eating less of it and treating yourself to it only when you can.  

If you had to prioritise buying only a handful of organic products, which do you feel are most important (besides tea of course!)? 

Do you research and work out which of the products you consume the most (food, cleaning and beauty) do the most damage to your body and the planet, and start with these first.

For more information on the benefits of going Organic, and how to incorporate into your life in a way that works for you, the Soil Association (the UK's leading food and farming charity and organic certification body) has lots of helpful resources, including recommendations on where to buy, recipe ideas and restaurant and cafe recommendations

Header image taken from www.soilassociation.org

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Abby Hubbard