It’s organic September, so we thought we should meet the producer of ALL of our organic produce…. Mother Nature!
To shop organically in our webshop either look out for products marked organic in the product name, tagged with an organic symbol or use our filter on the left-hand side of the shop and pick organic (you can also filter the shop by vegan, gluten free and Fairtrade). We are particularly proud of our organic fruit and vegetable selection, the only things not organic are wild foraged mushrooms and some locally sourced berries, everything else is Soil Association certified and can be found here in our webshop.
Originally mentioned around the 13th century B.C.E (before common era) in a Mycenean Greek tablet, Mother Nature (or Ma-ga, Mother Gaia) has been around for centuries providing a personification of the earth embodied in the ideal of the mother. As an idealisation of nurturing, life-giving and creating, Gaia was the giver of birth to the earth and all the universe, the gods, the Titans and the giants. In Roman mythology she’s known as Terra, whilst in the Malay archipelago she’s known as Dewi Sri, the Rice-mother of the East Indies. In Incan mythology she’s known as Mama Pacha and presides over planting and harvesting, is known to cause earthquakes and is in the form of a dragon.
In Bolivia, Mother Earth is defined (by law) as “a collective subject of public interest”. She is classed as having the following rights; to life, diversity of life, water, clean air, equilibrium, restoration and to live free from contamination. To ensure the exercise and protection of her rights, representatives (or humans as we’re more commonly known) can bring an action to defend her rights.
Ecuador was the first country to establish the rights of nature (in their 2008 constitution), they not only recognise the inalienable right of ecosystems to exist and flourish and give people the authority to petition on the behalf of ecosystems. They also require the government to remedy violations of these rights. The Rights of Nature movement seeks to expand these laws internationally to protect Mother Earth as a living being.
Organic September is run by the Soil Association with the motto: small changes, big difference and aims to promote eating and buying organically produced products. The campaign is about the big difference a little change can make and they're encouraging people to switch one household item to organic and make a positive impact on the environment. For example, if 20 families switched to organic milk, another cow will be free to range on clover rich organic pasture.
To encourage this the Soil Association are offering the chance to win a year's free electricity from Good Energy to all mainland UK customers who've bought organic in September. Sorry, Northern Ireland, Good Energy don't supply electricity in your area so you can't enter. The competition is open from 10am on the 1st of September and runs for the whole month. Follow this link to enter the competition on the Soil Association's website.
The Soil Association say “Organic Agriculture should be based on living ecological systems and cycles, work with them, emulate them and help sustain them. It should also sustain and enhance the health of soil, plant, animal, human and planet as one and indivisible and should build on relationships that ensure fairness with regard to the common environment and life opportunities. In addition, organic agriculture should be managed in a precautionary and responsible manner to protect the health and well-being of current and future generations and the environment.” Here at Real Foods, we’re members of the Soil Association because we share their commitment to the principles of organic agriculture; health, ecology, fairness and care (and not just because we do what Mother Nature tells us, honest!)
So what does Mother Nature think about the role of organic food production in restoring her inalienable rights? Well we’d love to say we got some pithy summation of the situation, but we didn’t, because Mother Earth may talk to you (or anyone else) but it’s difficult to quantify exactly what she says! However, here are some tips from our collective grandmother’s knowledge that may aid communication…
Go for a walk. How can you speak to her, if you don’t even know her? OK so you get physical and mental health benefits, but you also get to see nature, in full flowering glory.
Cook from scratch, that’s what all grandmothers used to do, it’s not a bad idea to know what exactly is going into your meal and the sense of nurturing others can give great pleasure.
Nurture a garden, if you have any outside space, the joy that comes from watching food grow can be yours!
By Kim Betney