Thanks to the cost of living crisis food prices are on the up in every supermarket aisle. Meat continues to get more and more expensive, and higher animal welfare options were never cheap to start with. Sky high energy costs tighten household budgets and when savings need to be found it would be easy to ditch ethical items first, but maybe this is the time to compromise and use the concept of “the aggregation of marginal gains”.
The aggregation of marginal gains is a concept made famous by British cycling coach Dave Brailsford, who led the British cycling team to victory at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Prior to 2008 the team hadn’t managed any significant wins. Brailsford believed that victory at the Olympics would be achieved by focusing on a 1% margin for improvement in everything they did. He decided that he and his team would focus on improving every aspect of performance by just 1% and the aggregation of all the 1% gains would bring victory. The British cycling team took home 10 gold medals, proving his theory.
So, for the sake of the environment (and despite rocketing costs) can we apply this to our household shopping. This week marks the start of Organic September, a month-long campaign founded and run by The Soil Association the UK’s leading food and farming charity and organic certification body, to raise awareness of the benefits of organic food and farming. Organic September is also set aside to honour all the people who work to make organic food possible by acknowledging the hard work that goes into organic farming and food production.
The Soil Association says that by switching just one item in your shop to organic will help contribute to changing our food system.
Buying more organic food means more organic farms so fewer pesticides which is better for our wildlife and means more farm animals raised under higher welfare standards. Other benefits include combating the climate crisis, better environmental welfare standards for wildlife and supporting biodiversity.
The Soil Association website (www.soilassociation.org) is full of information about the different shopping choices available, retailers selling organically certified products, and the certification itself.
As they rightly say:
In the face of climate change, diet related ill-health and widespread decline in wildlife, the need to change our food systems has never been greater.
Organic September is a month-long campaign to raise awareness of the many benefits of organic food and farming, which include:
- Supporting biodiversity and wildlife
- Helping to combat climate change
- The highest standards of animal welfare
- Reduced exposure to pesticides
- Food as it should be, and food you can trust
Organic products are better for the land, the soils in which much of our food originates, farm animals, and the whole supply chain from packaging to delivery and the channel in which they’re sold.
If you would like to try out some alternative organic options here’s a quick buyers guide;
Buying Organic Cosmetics
Going organic is not just about eating more naturally grown food. We can also choose organic cosmetics which have gained the Association’s cosmetic certification and passed the test in use of ingredients, formulation processes, premises and packaging.
The following retailers sell products labelled as organic:
Buying Organic Food Recipes
There are lots of organic recipes available for you to try. Whether you’re new to going organic, trying something new for a dinner party, trying to impress the kids or you’re a dab hand already, the resources below will be a fun read:
Online Organic Food Retailers
Need to buy organic ingredient? Why not check out some of these retailers:
It’s easy to get involved, just look for the organic logo and why not think about changing one or two items in the trolley.
More information can be found at https://www.soilassociation.org