The Real Meaning of Organic | Modern Mummy

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

The Real Meaning of Organic

There are a fair few things I'm uber passionate about in life and one of them (arguably the one I am most passionate about!) is good food.

When I say good food, I'm referring to delicious food, nutritious and healthy food, food purchased from local, independent retailers, excellent Michelin starred meals served to me in first class restaurants, cakes baked by my two year old and served to me on a picnic blanket in the garden. 

Food to me is all about love and sharing and enjoyment. I like cooking from scratch, and feeding friends and family. I also like to support local businesses when buying ingredients and the quality of these ingredients, along with the welfare of those involved in producing them (animals and people included!) are really important to me.

Last week Organic UK Food invited me (and some other lovely other bloggers - Michelle from Utterly Scrummy, Laura from  How to Cook Good Food and Claire & Lucy from Crumbs) down to Helen Browning's organic farm in the Wiltshire Downs as part of their Organic, Naturally Different campaign, through which they are spreading the word about the real meaning of organic.

We had a truly fab day which included a tour of the fields of cows, pigs and sheep of Eastbrook farm, a wonderful lunch at the Michelin-recommended Royal Oak pub on site and, the highlight of my day, a wonderfully informative chat with Helen about her farming practices and why she chose to follow them when she took over the farm over twenty five years ago.

Helen Browning OBE (her OBE was awarded to her in 1998 for her contribution to organic farming) doesn't just run the 1337 acre farm, she is also CEO of The Soil Association, and listening to her speak with such knowledge and passion and commitment was an absolute joy. I have bought organic meat for as long as I can remember, admittedly out of habit more than for any other reason, and it was wonderful to be reminded of the reasons why organic is the way forward.

Helen said that the saying she goes by is "live like you're going to die tomorrow, farm like you're going to live forever" which summed it all up for me really. Organic farming is all about great tasting, natural food, high animal welfare and looking after our environment. Organic farming isn't about making a quick buck - it is a way of life, and a farming practice that takes a long time to establish and requires a great deal of dedication and patience.

So why is organic the way forward?

Organic farming doesn't involve pesticides and is therefore better for the environment - the soil is looked after and wildlife is encouraged. Natural methods such as crop rotation and the introduction of clover increases the fertility of the soil which, as a result, and together with the presence of natural predators, has a stronger resistance to pests and disease. 

Organic animals are happy animals! You should have seen the amazing saddleback pigs and freesian cows that came to meet us! They are reared in family groups and are encouraged to follow their natural instincts, living 'free range' and without free access to antibiotics or growth promotors.

Organic fruit and vegetables are entirely natural; they are free from GM, hydrogenated fats and not grown using artificial pesticides.

Speaking to Helen, Tim and those that work on the farm during the course of the day was so informative and a fantastic reminder as to why the benefits of organic really are endless.

Here are a few photos from our visit xoxox

Helen Browning's Organic meat is available from Ocado, Sainsbury's and Tesco. The farm and pub are both open for visitors all year round and will be hosting Pigstock (a weekend of camping, great food and music - with pigs!) from 16-19 August. I would thoroughly recommend a day (if not a whole weekend!) visiting the farm - it is an easy journey out of London and is set in the most beautiful English countryside - a perfect base for cycling and walking holidays. Email Carolyn in the office here for more details.

Organic UK Food can be found on Facebook here and Twitter here


1 comment

  1. What a brilliant write up and I loved it too. Really great to meet you and your family. I hope to visit again with my 3 children and wish I could be around for the camping weekend.
    Loved the bacon and hot dogs too!


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