WHEN I HAD my $25 organic coffee and organic egg (just one) and organic beetroot salsa on quinoa toast (just one piece) in Sydney, I thought it was all a bit of a hipster joke.
Almost needed a $3 McMuffin to stave off hunger. Just as well I wasn’t fencing for the day.
Then at the supermarket the daughter was considering the range of organic baby food. The organic range was the biggest length of shelf in the baby food section.
What happened to smashed boiled pumpkin and sweet potato our kids were weaned on?
Maybe it comes from reading carefully the instructions on chemical bottles, but I like to read the sides of the bottles and cans of baby formula and food for my precious grandchildren.
So there’s the best selling baby formula which, in big print, says ‘Product of Australia’ and in smaller print ‘made from imported and local ingredients’.
But read the even finer print — the bulk of the product is organic milk produced from cows in Austria — that’s the Sound of Music country in Europe.
All that is done in Australia is pour a bulk bag of Austrian organic milk powder into cans.
All so yummy so that mummy can say her baby is organic.
Which is a joke, because the environmentally nasty plastic nappies and chemical-laden and non-biodegradable wipes are used by seemingly the pallet load.
So, the great bulk of Australian babies are being force-fed imported organics (the organic bottled food was imported from the USA, New Zealand, Ireland and the juice from England) and kept germ-free by a mountain of non-biodegradable nappies and wipes.
But it is organic (yes, the soft stuff inside the nappies is organic cotton) so it must be good, and the children must be going to be morally and intellectually superior.
The stuff might be ‘organic’ but the whole baby process is not sustainable.
And that’s the problem with many modern mums, especially in the cities. They can’t distinguish between the mountain of marketing about organic, and what’s really sustainable and healthy.
If a pumpkin or sweet potato has been grown with a bit of spray to keep down the weeds and increase productivity, then the vegetables are washed (as even organic veggies would be, so no more water), without harm to the babies.
Certainly a heck of a lot less food miles — and if you grow your own, a huge saving in packaging in those bright plastic (non-organic) labels.
Of course, we should use the least chemical or fertiliser per kilo of veggies or fruit. That’s only smart farming.
Smart consumption is to buy not what the flashy label says is ‘organic’, but what is the most sustainable.
Including sustainable for local farmers able to produce wonderfully healthy and fresh milk and produce, at least as good as ‘organic’ milk from Austria.