Pete Evans Wants You To Eat Organic: Here’s Why

Eating organic is important to celebrity chef Pete Evans. So much so, that’s he’s a proud Australian Organic ambassador, and part of a campaign to educate Australians about how to purchase 100% honest organic products.

The simple mission of the One Logo Says It All campaign is to spread the message that when purchasing organic products, look for a certification logo before buying. There are over 14,000 products on our shelves today that are classified certified organic.  However, thousands more claim to be organic yet have not passed any testing or auditing.

SheSaid chats with Pete Evans to find out why organic is so important to him and where he shops for organic meat and produce.

Why is organic important to you?
Choosing organic is important to me because I’m passionate about nutrition and I’m a keen nature lover too, therefore organic produce and livestock is the only option for my family and I.  Organic produce is free of chemical pesticides and fertilisers, it hasn’t been irradiated and it’s non GMO, so it doesn’t propose the health risks that non organic does, and also the harmful chemicals used in non organic farming can contribute to the pollution of our precious water supply too.

Organic livestock is raised in a much more humane way and is fed a natural diet that’s free of grains, hormones and antibiotics, making it an ethical and nutrient dense option.  Also by supporting organic growers you’re choosing to be ‘wildlife’ and ‘environmentally’ friendly, because a more natural ecology is obtained through organic farming procedures.  And at the end of the day organic food just tastes a whole lot better, which is of course in my mind, ideal!

What do you say to people who think organic is too expensive?
Unfortunately organic food is often more expensive, so I advise people to buy wisely and invest in a healthier future.  I believe that choosing organic meat and poultry is crucial, and because you don’t need to actually eat a lot of it, when you balance out your budget and your plate by putting more vegetables on it instead of huge portions of meat, organic meat can actually be totally affordable.

And the fact that you can rest easy in the knowledge that you’re eating an animal that’s had a natural life, rather than an unhappy, forced fed, caged life of misery is a much healthier option mentally and physically.  As far as organic vegetables and fruit go, always buy seasonal and definitely check out local farmers markets or head out to organic community farms like Common2Us, that way you’re supporting your local community as well as getting a good deal and looking after your health!

Who are some of your favourite organic food producers?
I’m fortunate enough to be involved in an incredibly community minded, organic, grass roots store called B.U Organics and we’re very proud to support predominantly Australian grown organic produce.  We love Cleavers organic meat which comes from ecologically sustainable Australian farms. And Common2Us provides us with loads of delicious veggies and fruit, especially one of my favourites – organic kale and also both of my daughters’ favourites – organic strawberries.

What are you looking forward to cooking this summer?
We actually don’t do too much cooking over the summer months as we eat a lot of salads, ceviches, tartares, green smoothies and on special occasions, raw (sugar, wheat, gluten, dairy, grain-free) homemade desserts.  So I’m looking forward to lots of refreshing summer vegetables like celery, spinach, cucumbers, lettuces, beetroot, carrots and summer fruits like blueberries and strawberries.

Do you eat and buy organic food and products?

Read our interview with Therese Kerr on why organic food and skincare is so important to her.

Why Eat Organic?

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?