Keeping it real

Certified_organicIf the saying is true, and ‘you are what you eat,’ is it a case of organic best, chuck out the rest?


Is the hype surrounding organic food just that- all hype?

Here at Cube, we’ve certainly dipped our toes in going au naturale. Sunflower seeds, carrots, liquorice (an office winner)…  the list goes on. In fact, you name it, we’ve tried it- the ‘certified organic’ sticker has been a star feature in the office for months. 


Yet when we got hold of a University of Sydney study that showed only a slight nutritional benefit in eating organic versus non-organic produce, we Cubans started to question our nutritional ways. If going organic is no healthier, yet considerably costlier, are we just suckers to the latest food craze? When an apple tastes like an apple, is it worth the extra $1 to go organic?

Not so fast….

The Biological Farmers of Australia (the experts should know best, right?) claim that eating organic may help us live longer. What’s more, the largest study into organic food, published in 2007, found that organic fruits and vegetables contain between 20 and 40 per cent more antioxidants than conventionally grown produce.

Presented with two sides of the coin, we decided to dig deeper.  

There’s lot of confusion about what constitutes organic. In Australia, there are currently 7 different organisations that certify (and label) organic products. What’s more, up until October last year, there wasn’t even a legal definition of the word ‘organic’- as long as a product wasn’t ‘certified,’ it could be labelled organic.

Thankfully, there is now a domestic Australian organic standard, which bans the use of fertilisers, pesticides and genetically-modified material. The only downfall is that the standard is voluntary, so it comes down to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to prosecute those who don’t comply. The Organic Federation of Australia (OFA) is pushing for one standard logo.

For the moment, as long as buyers pick products displaying one of the 7 logos, they can be sure their organic pickings are chemical-free- which can’t be a bad thing.

So, after a number of internal office debates, it seems we’ve come to a collective standpoint:

We like organic. In an age when everything is overly processed, there can’t possibly be any harm in ‘keeping it real.’

So, the organic stickers continue their domination in our home and office pantries, and it seems we’re not alone in our quest to go natural. Last weekend’s Organic Expo and Green Show  saw more than 8,000 visitors venture to the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre in Darling Harbour in search of all things chemical-free.

So, if you too are considering giving organic a go, here are a few suggestions:

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One thought on “Keeping it real

  1. Perhaps skip the media frenzy and supermarket “organic” hoo haa and eat real organically grown food – from your own backyard (or balcony)!

    For the most part, less than 50 years ago, most Australian homes had a substantial veggie garden and mini orchard in the backyard – our grandparents and their parents ate real organic produce.

    Grown from seed they sowed, fertilised by compost they made. They practised seed saving and thus helped to keep the plant DNA intact.

    With the advent of the supermarket revolution in the late 1950′s early 1960′s came the niggling little doubt at the back of the housewife’s mind that somehow the produce grown at home was lacking the nutrients available from commercially grown produce. And thus began the Australian family’s dependence on supermarkets. And the farmer’s dependence on chemical fertilizers, bug repellents and GM seeds.

    Be brave Cubans,I dare you. Start growing your own veggies – it’s easy, it’s cheap, it’s healthful! Use heirloom seeds and lots of compost and you’ll be sure that the food you put in your mouth truly is organic.

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