It’s National Organic Week from 4-13 October, so we chat with Sophie Speer, marketing manager at five:am organic yoghurt, about why eating organic is important.
five:am was founded by surfer, long-time yogi and successful entrepreneur David Prior with the help of Gippsland Organic Dairy Farmers Cooperative farmers Peter and Wendy Wallace. None of their organic milk products contain any nasties, meaning no chemicals, pesticides, preservatives, synthetic fertilizers, antibiotics and hormones.
The five:am philosophy is that you get a unique view of the world at 5am. There’s those who embrace this time – to cycle, surf, do yoga – or otherwise greet the new day with a purity of mind, body and spirit. Ever employee lives by this philosophy, kick-starting each day with either yoga, meditation, gym, a wee-hours surf or a bike ride to work – don’t you wish your workplace embraced this philosophy?
Why is eating organic so important?
There are so many reasons but it all boils down to organic food being better for the environment, better for our bodies and ultimately our health. Organic farming restores the earths nutrients and keeps toxic chemicals out of our soil and water ways. Eating organic means we’re keeping all sorts of nasties out of our bodies; not just chemicals but artificial colours and flavours, hormones and antibiotics too. If you’re eating any animal products, organic is also a guarantee that the animals have been treated humanly.
What do you say to people who think organic is too expensive?
It’s true, generally organic products do come at a premium. I think we’ll see this price gap reduce over time though as more farms convert to organic techniques and the industry manages to achieve greater economies of scale. But if you weigh up the costs of eating conventional food on your long term health, organic doesn’t come up as more expensive at all! What’s more, having seen first-hand the lengths organic farmers go to achieve and maintain organic certification and their dedication to producing the highest quality produce, I think organic is worth every cent.
What are your favourite ways of eating yoghurt (apart from straight out of the tub!)
I love a breakfast (or dessert) parfait with layers of fruit, yoghurt and nuts. Smoothies are another great way to get a few dollops of calcium and protein rich yoghurt goodness into your day. I blend protein powder, almond milk, frozen fruit and five:am natural no added sugar yoghurt. Yoghurt is also great as a base for dips. I just add some finely chopped cucumber and mint plus a squeeze of lemon juice to some five:am greek style yoghurt and drizzle it over meat or fish.
What are your best tips for living a healthy lifestyle?
Regular exercise is definitely key but I think the trick is to find something that you enjoy doing and not get hung up about whether you’re really good at it or not. It’s just about getting out there and having fun, if you enjoy yourself you’ll keep going back for more.
When it comes to healthy eating, I like to do a six-week detox every spring. It’s a great way to reinforce healthy eating patterns year round. Generally though I’m not a fan of the extreme fads that encourage people to completely cut things out of their diets. ‘Everything in moderation’ is my mantra.
What is your favourite piece of inspiration?
My favourite piece of inspiration would have to be a graduation speech called ‘This is Water’ written by award winning America writer David Foster Wallace. The speech has been made into a nine minute video that you can check out on YouTube. It’s truthful, funny and so inspiring! One of the main points David makes is that the way we experience our lives is up to us. We have the power to choose how we see the world. He gives a really simple and very funny example of standing in line at a supermarket at the end of a stressful day. He makes the point that in that moment we can be impatient, judgemental and self absorbed or we can choose to see the positives of our situation. We just have to make the conscious effort to see the positives and the more we do, the easier it becomes.
Is eating organic food important to you?
Julia has lived and worked in London, Amsterdam, and New York, and is obsessed with food. She's either cooking or thinking about what to eat next. Follow Julia on Twitter.