In pursuit of sustainability (part two): choose organic.



What’s the recipe for a sustainable diet? 


To prepare a tasty and nutritious meal you need to use more than one ingredient and this is also true with a sustainable diet.

We have already seen what advantages we have by following the seasons and buying local for us (healthier, cheaper, tastier produce) and how this is also an advantage for the environment (less energy used). 


But you also want to eat food that is not laced with chemicals whether coming from farming (pesticides or antibiotics) or from processing and packaging (phthalates and other hormone disrupting compounds). You also want to make sure that water and soil were not polluted in order to produce your food.


So you need to add to your recipe the ‘choosing organic’ ingredient.


one of the Haarlemmer Kweektuin greenhouseOrganic farming respects natural life cycles and minimises the impact on the environment. 

Crop-rotation, manure and biological pest control are just some of the practices  used to keep both the soil and the crops as healthy as possible and avoid the use of fertilisers and pesticides. And of course no genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are used.

As to animal welfare livestock are raised in a free-range, open-air environment and are fed on organic fodder.



[in de pic one of the greenhouse of the Haarlemmer Kweektuin - growing food in the city]


As if this wasn’t enough, there is mounting evidence that organic produce has a higher nutritional value and contains more antioxidants and more omega-3 , and it also has the plus-factor of not contributing to your daily intake of chemical pollutants.


Good for you, good for the planet.


Organic farming is more sustainable over the long term because it is better at preserving the quality of the soil, of the groundwater, and of the biodiversity of the surrounding ecosystem.  

As to combating climate change by not using agrochemicals - requiring large amounts of fossil fuels to be produced - organic farming is responsible for less CO2 emissions than conventional farming. Plus the “management practices used by organic agriculture increase the return of carbon to the soil, raising productivity and favouring carbon storage”(FAO).


For all there reasons, therefore, you should eat according to the season choosing organic products produced locally. This is really the basis of your recipe.  We might want to add some animal welfare and human rights seasoning plus a garnish of moderation and unprocessed foods. 


To be continued …


Did you know that organic producers in Europe share common rules and a common logo?