I’m super excited to bring to you the grand finale of Food Focus Week. I feel this themed week has been a HUGE success. Thank you to everyone for reading, liking, following & commenting on the posts this week your support is always received with much gratitude.
To wrap up we have a very special guest post from Anika at Organika Farm. Anika is so passionate about living an outdoor & organic life moved her young family 4000km to the other side of Australia to set up an Organic farm. Thank you Anika for sharing such a personal story.
Guest Post by Anika Wulff from Organika Farm:
The hardest days of my life were watching my Mum die of the aggressive and debilitating illness – Motor Neurone Disease. The day she died I crumbled and the longing to have her come back tore my heart apart. But it also brought me a very powerful lesson. My Mum died at 61 – that’s too young. The harsh lesson learned is, life is short – and now is the time to make life happen.
Zac was brought up on a farm in the Western Australian wheat belt. His life on the farm was also cut short. When Zac was 12 his Dad was diagnosed with cancer and died months later. Zac lost his Dad. And he lost his idol. Those 12 years on the farm are deep in Zac’s roots – he’s a farmer’s son and he was born to farm.
Zac and I were living in Perth living the suburban life. Weekend visits to friend’s homes in the country were our favourite way to spend time. Open space, fresh air, nature – all of these brought the best out in all of us. The most obvious case was our two year old son. Darcy is at peace in open-spaces – where he is free to explore, create and destruct.
My Mum dying was the catalyst, it spurred on every emotion, and brought us to heavily assess our lives – it brought us to the decision – let’s ‘have a crack’ – let’s become Australian Certified Organic farmers. What an amazing opportunity and what a courageous decision. The positive impact it has had on our family’s life is heart-warming and brings a tear to my eye.
Zac wanted to be a farmer. And farming organically was the option for us – due to our shared passion of organic farming and organic food. Our obsession with organic has been a gradual progression – neither of us were brought up eating organically and Zac, well he was brought up in the conventional farming world.
Organic produce provides people with what they need – a quality food that is nutrient dense, full of flavour and free from chemicals.
I have an instinctive aversion to the use of chemicals in farming. The pesticides we use against insects, worms, and microorganisms are poisons – they are designed to kill the pest. This cannot be good for human health. Since moving to a farming area, I have seen crops sprayed regularly, and in some areas there are permanent signs warning of chemical spray use.
Research points the finger at chemicals – highlighting the ill effects – most notably the links between neurological disease and some cancers. We have had workers on our farm comment that they do not go home feeling unwell with headaches and rashes, unlike while working on the local conventional farms. Statistics and research aside, my gut tells me – chemicals on our food are not a good idea. And your gut is like your second brain – so worth listening to.
Choosing to buy organic can be a big step for some. It means overcoming existing stigmas, and really assessing the value and importance of organic food on a personal level. My suggestion is, if you care about your health, then it is time to go organic! Our world is full of toxins – in the food we eat, the water we drink and the air we breathe. Choosing to eat organic food is a logical way to decrease the toxic load on the body. And it’s highly, highly recommended for pregnant woman, babies and small children.
There is the common notion and therefore deterrent with many people that organic food costs more and is too expensive. Never fear, I am here to tell you – that is not always the case. I have on numerous occasions spotted organic produce for cheaper than the conventional. Some recent examples are – mangoes, olive oil, avocados, chicken wings and milk. And there are many items that sit only marginally higher than the conventional counter-part. Some examples are brown rice, yogurt and oranges. All of these examples I found at Woolworths.
There are ways of keeping your grocery bill down. One of those is to buy direct off the farmer. You can buy whole/ half beasts/ lambs (not the best mental image) for much cheaper. Great option if you have a freezer. Also going direct to the farmer you can buy in bulk. Farmers markets always have cheaper options – and if you are lucky enough you might meet the lovely person who grew your food. Woolworths and Coles are really stepping it up. And if you keep buying organic they will keep increasing their range. Speciality stores like your smaller grocers are really good for one-off buys. I often find a good deal and stock up.
There is a lot I can say on organic food and farming. It is my passion. But the take home message is, if you are keen on improving your health and are looking for an easy and effective way to decrease the toxic load on the body – then start implementing organic food today. And like I always say, you can make changes and you can improve your health – one step at a time.