Organic Summer

May 23, 2017

organic summer vegetables

Organic summer vegetables

The year gallops ahead, and as members of the Irish Association of Health Stores we measure out our time in seasonal window displays and products. For example, right now we are looking at remedies for the dreaded hayfever season, stocking up on safe and effective insect repellents, deodorants and sunscreens, loading Irish-made kombucha in the chiller cabinet, and displaying multi-coloured organic summer vegetables in many member shops.

Hay fever season

Hay fever season

Is it really worth paying the extra for organic produce? We would say for sure!

Whether the food is dried or fresh, a certified organic label ensures that the produce has not been dosed with pesticides, that the soil it’s grown in hasn’t been damaged by synthetic fertilisers, that there is no contaminated run-off to affect local water and that it is GM free. “Organic” also helps to ensure that levels of minerals and vitamins in veg and fruit are higher than in regular produce. And it isn’t only humans and the environment that benefit: there is no routine use of antibiotics, drugs or wormers in organically reared animals and poultry which are free range and humanely treated, and organic farms provide havens for birds, bees and butterflies.

That said, not everyone can afford the organic label, and at your local farmers’ market you can talk to local producers and buy the freshest of fresh produce from farmers who respect the environment and use minimal amounts of chemicals on their land.

Organic Farming

Organic Farming

Looking for salad dressings or mayonnaise?

With or without egg, gluten-free, with or without soya – we have the lot, as well as the ingredients to make your own. For a slightly different and more substantial salad, try one using chick peas, aubergines and feta. Mix a (drained) can of chick peas and an aubergine in chunks with olive oil, a half teaspoon of smoked paprika and any other spice you like. Roast in a hot oven for 15 minutes, add some chopped walnuts and roast for a further 10 minutes. Cool and season. Dress with whisked juice of ½ lemon, 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses and 1 tbsp olive oil. Mix in rocket, chopped coriander and parsley, and top with crumbled feta.

Different, hopefully organic, and so good!

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