Why You Should Be Eating Organic

Glynis Barber: Why You Should Be Eating Organic

Once upon a time, in 1985, there was a furtive group of people who had a common purpose. Their numbers were small, and people scratched their heads when they heard about their ‘peculiarity’. This group consisted of some leftover ‘hippie types’ and Prince Charles. Their ‘peculiarity’ was that they wanted to eat organic food.

The naysayers in the 1980s sounded very much like the naysayers today – the main argument being that organic food has the same nutritional content as conventionally-grown food. In fact, research at Stanford University in 2012 famously showed this to be true. However, I’ve always been taken aback by this argument. I don’t eat organic food because of what it does contain, but rather because of what it doesn’t contain. It seems blindingly obvious to me that consuming chemicals on a daily basis is going to have an adverse impact on your health. And if by any chance organic foods do contain more nutrients, that’s a bonus.

Low and behold it’s now been found that organic fruit and veg contain higher levels of beneficial phenolic phytonutrients. They also contain more antioxidants which play a critical role in the prevention of diseases. Organic berries, for example, appear to suppress the growth of cancer. Organic foods also have much lower levels of cadmium, a known carcinogen that has a number of negative effects on human health. Eating organically-raised meat also reduce your exposure to antibiotic resistant bacteria which in turn may minimise your risk of illness.

Pesticides, on the other hand, are associated with a whole host of medical problems. Research has shown an increase in allergic reactions and high sensitivity to foods and the carcinogenicity of pesticide-covered foods has led to concern and debate for many years.

There’s also another big benefit to organic farming – it improves soil diversity and the communities of life that exist within the soil. These are vital to our health and to the nutritional value of the food grown in the soil – It seems like a no-brainer to me.

My top tips

1. Buy organic versions of the ‘dirty dozen’

Apples, celery, bell peppers, peaches, strawberries, nectarines, grapes, spinach, lettuce, cucumbers, blueberries, and potatoes.

2. Eat organic eggs

These have been found to be more nutritious than non-organic eggs which are also far more likely to be contaminated with disease-causing bacteria like salmonella.

3. Stick to organic meat and dairy

It’s been found that these contain markedly higher levels of omega 3 fatty acids. According to Professor Chris Seal from Newcastle University, diets high in this are linked to reductions in cardiovascular disease and improved neurological and immune function.

Rachel x 

Organic September: What is Organic?

Organic food is food as it should be

All organic food is fully traceable from farm to fork, so you can be sure of what you’re eating. The standards for organic food are laid down in European law so any food labelled as organic must meet strict rules. Unlike non-organic food production, which makes wide use of manufactured and mined fertilisers and pesticides, organic food is produced with natural fertilisers from plants, less energy and more respect for the animals that provide it.

Organic farming and food production is not easy and takes real commitment and attention to detail, and is backed up by rigorous, independent inspection and certification.

In the face of climate change, rising diet-related ill-health and widespread declines in our wildlife, the need to produce healthy food, cut greenhouse gas emissions, and protect wildlife grows more acute by the year. There is no magic bullet to tackle the challenges that face us, but the buying decisions we make every day are a simple but powerful form of direct action.

Organic Always Means

  • Fewer Pesticides
  • No artificial colours and preservatives
  • Always free range
  • No routine use of antibiotics
  • No GM ingredients

All organic farms and manufacturing companies are inspected at least once a year and the standards for organic food are laid down in European law. Getting organic certification isn’t easy and when you buy an organic product you know what you’re buying really is what it says on the tin.

Why choose organic?

Organic means working with nature. It means higher levels of animal welfare, lower levels of pesticides, no manufactured herbicides or artificial fertilisers and more environmentally sustainable management of the land and natural environment, which means more wildlife.

Whatever you’re buying – from cotton buds to carrots – when you choose organic food, drink or beauty and textiles, you choose products that promote a better world.

Organic food comes from trusted sources. All organic farms and food companies are inspected at least once a year and the standards for organic food are laid down in European law.

Why does organic sometimes cost more?

In an ideal world, organic wouldn’t need to be more expensive. A big part of the problem is that the true cost of our food isn’t reflected in the price, both the positives and the negatives. So food that is produced in ways that may contaminate our water, or lead to antibiotic resistance in people, may seem cheap in the store, but the real cost can be very high indeed.

Where there is a price difference, you are paying for the special care organic farmers place on protecting the environment and improving animal welfare. As the costs of farming with oil-based fertilisers and chemicals increase, the price gap between organic and non-organic is closing.

While organic food is sometimes more expensive than non-organic, staples like pulses, pasta, rice and whole grains often only differ in price by a couple of pence, and when you can, buying directly from farmers like through box schemes, helps too.  Organic sales are up in the UK (and across Europe and US) and more and more shops are offering a good range of organic.

Look for the logo

Going organic is easier than you’d think. Food, health, beauty and textiles products that hold the Soil Association organic symbol have been produced to the highest possible animal welfare and environmental standards.

It’s easier than you think to choose organic 

Switching to just one extra organic item really can help contribute to changing our food and farming systems for the better. Demand for more organic food means more organic farms. More organic farms mean fewer pesticides, more wildlife and more animals raised under the very highest standards.

Going organic doesn’t have to break the bank. Many organic products are the same price or cheaper than branded non-organic and most retailers also have their own organic range.

Rachel x

 

 

 

10 Beauty Tricks With Coconut Oil

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When you think about the health benefits of coconut oil, the last thing that might come to mind is rubbing the edible plant grease all over your face! Or your arms. Or coconut oil for your hair. But a growing body of research, countless experts, and an army of natural-beauty devotees swear by the stuff for just about everything!

Coconut oil is used in many natural beauty products, and for good reason: It’s naturally antibacterial and anti fungal, coconut oil for skin is an excellent moisturizer, it can penetrate hair better than other oils, and, well, it smells amazing!

Here are my favorite 10 beauty uses for coconut oil that don’t require spending a fortune on store-bought products. In fact, all you need is one thing: Raw (and preferably organic) virgin coconut oil.

1. Deep-condition your strands overnight

There’s a reason many conditioners contain coconut oil: It’s better able to penetrate hair (and prevent protein loss) than mineral and sunflower oil, according to research. Apply a 10p sized dollop to your hair, comb it, and then pile it into a loose bun. You’ll want to place a soft towel over your pillow or sleep in a shower cap. In the morning, shampoo as usual.

2. Tame frizz

If you struggle with taming your mane, coconut oil can definitely help. Calm your frizzy, flyaway strands with just a bit of oil to leave your hair looking smooth and polished. As an alternative to straightening serum.

3. Add shine

Smooth a tiny amount of organic coconut oil onto your ends of your hair to add a little shine if you have dark hair. Remember that a dab will do you: Any more and your hair might appear greasy

4. Remove eye makeup

Yes, coconut oil even works on waterproof mascara! Put a little on a cotton ball and gently sweep it over your eyes, paying attention to your under-eyes as well. The oil does a great job breaking down waxy, inky eye makeup, and leaves the delicate area hydrated, too. Once you’re done, wash your face as usual.

5. Freshen your breath

Remember oil pulling? Turns out, swishing coconut oil around in your mouth may actually pull the toxicity out of your mouth. Just swirl it around your mouth for 10 to 20 minutes until it turns a milky white color, then spit it out into the trash and rinse with water. If this sounds like a gross way to spend 15 minutes, you’d be surprised—it becomes routine fairly quickly and can even feel meditative and relaxing.

6. Soothe dry hands

This won’t work for dry hands when you’re on the go, but at home, coconut oil for skin can work wonders on your dishwashing-parched hands. You can get a jar at your local grocery store, keep a jar of organic extra virgin coconut oil by the kitchen sink and put a little on after washing hands to keep them soft. And if you cook with coconut oil—you can sub it for butter in baking recipes because it’s solid at room temperature—scoop out a little extra for your hands, too!

7. Moisturize your body

A recent study found that when applied topically, virgin organic coconut oil for skin can speed up wound healing, and found it to be effective in increasing hydration and reducing water loss in seriously dry skin.

8. Have a little rubdown

Many store-bought massage oils have either coconut or jojoba oil as their base. Cut out the middleman and go straight to the bottle. It’s slippery, skin-friendly, and moisturizing.

9. Nourish cracked cuticles

Massaging coconut oil into your cuticles and the skin around your nails can bring some much-needed moisture to an often overlooked part of the body.

10. Relieve psoriasis

Apply coconut oil to relieve itchy, scaly skin caused by psoriasis.

Rachel x

Living Nature Bee Venom Mask.

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I am currently obsessed with Living Nature’s organic Bee Venom Mask! It combines bee venom with natural botanicals of organic Manuka Honey and certified organic coconut oil to create a mask that plumps, tightens, and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, giving skin a healthy glow.

It uses a certified organic cotton fibre mask to deliver nourishment and active bee venom, providing a pleasant warming sensation once applied.

It’s formulated for all skin types and has been made from the highest quality ingredients. It is also the perfect anti-ageing treatment, made in New Zealand from 100% natural and organic ingredients.

Living Nature’s Bee Venom Mask is available as a box of six or an individual sachet.

Warning: Not suitable for anyone with bee-related allergies.

Rachel x

 

Please note I was not paid for any endorsement of this product.

Bedtime Ritual Using Corinne Taylor Products

With the clocks going back tonight, I’ll be making the extra hour count with a soothing bed time ritual using Brighton based Corinne Taylor’s handmade and organic products.

Firstly I will have a long relaxing bath using Corinne’s gorgeous ‘Calm Himalayan Bath salts’ which is made with organic Lavender, Frankincense and Patchouli.

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I will then apply the super nourishing ‘Soothe Calming Face Mask’, which is made with Pink French Clay, Rosehip and Chamomile – perfect for my sensitive skin!

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Then before getting into bed I will spritz my room and bed linen with the ‘Calm Room & Linen Mist’, which is made using a calming blend of lavender, frankincense and patchouli.

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Perfect way to relax and unwind and guaranteed to wake up looking and feeling refreshed!

Rachel x

 

All photos courtesy of Corinne Taylor.  

Please note: I was not paid to endorse any products mentioned.

 

Organic September: My 5 reasons for choosing organic.

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By now you must of heard the buzz around Organic September? It’s the UK’s largest celebration of all things organic and a perfect chance to find, try and buy organic products!

I am completely passionate about organic living and determined to only ever buy products and food that is chemical free and looks after our environment. I wanted to take this opportunity to share my top five reasons for choosing organic:

1: Unethical business practices of GM/ pesticide company’s.

2: Better for the environment. Saving our soil, which is vital for growing nutrient rich food.

3: Your body has to work and spend energy on neutralising poisonous chemicals and pesticides.

4: Avoid antibiotics, drugs and added hormones in animal products. Which can cause havoc with your own hormones.

5: Organic food has a higher nutritional value and tastes better

Rachel x