Organic food is a booming business in Canada, with sales reportedly rising 20% a year for the last decade. The market has grown so quickly that major supermarket are finding it extremely difficult to keep with demand. Consequently, it becomes quite evident that eating organic is no longer just a “lifestyle” choice amongst a select group of consumers. Even though it is slightly more expensive, consumers have begun to take their health seriously by critically examining what is in the food they eat everyday and by making a conscious decision to buy certified organic products.
In general, “organic agriculture seeks to avoid the use of chemical fertilizers, synthetic pesticides, synthetic veterinary drugs, genetically modified organisms and certain food processing and preservation substances”. There are a number of ways to incorporate organic food into your daily diet; however, it is best to start slowly. You might not be able to buy all your food organically grown, so start by eliminating the conventional produce with the highest pesticide levels.
The Environmental Working Group has identified a number of fruits and vegetables that should definitely be bought organically due to their consistently high pesticide levels. These include: peaches, strawberries, apples, domestic blueberries, nectarines, cherries, imported grapes, celery, lettuce, sweet bell peppers, potatoes, spinach, kale and collard greens.
Although it would be wonderful to have our own little vegetable garden – lets be realistic here. This is an implausible dream for most Londoners, but especially for students living in a high-rise apartment buildings like myself! Unfortunately, most people today do not have the time to care of a garden and grow their own organic fruits and vegetables. That’s why I think it is such a fantastic idea to join an organization like The London Food Co-operative. The London Food Co-operative is a non-for-profit, member-owned, natural food store that provides its members with organic and sustainably produced products at fair prices.
Those that are interested can become a trail member or can become a full member by purchasing shares in the co-operative, which is done by paying a $10.00 loan each quarter. I think this is a small price to pay for organically grown and produced fruits, vegetables, meat, dairy and a number of other natural products. Additionally, The London Food Co-operative gives members more than the ability to buy good food; it also allows them to become part of an active community of people who care about what kind of food they eat as well!
Ultimately, I believe this is a wonderful option for students or other individuals who are looking to incorporate organic food into their daily diet. If you still think you aren’t ready to take the plunge and join a co-operative, try to attend The Covent Garden Market’s annual Farmers’ Market, which offers wonderfully fresh, organic and local food twice a week outside on the square from May to November. For more information on how to incorporate organic food into your diet, check out The Organic Food Blog for some additional tips and tricks!