Going Organic

“Organics is one of Australia’s top 5 growth industries, becoming mainstream,” says the Australian Organic Market Report.

“Supermarkets are fast embracing organics, with growth propelled by the average Australian,” the report adds.

There are lots of reasons to increase the amount of organic food we consume, including eating more nutrients and taking far less chemicals (poison) into our bodies. After all, the best medicine is preventative.

On the Gold Coast, sources of organic produce have been Miami’s weekly Organic Markets, bulk health food stores such as The Source, Naked Health Foods, Garden of Eden, Bliss, Your Organic Pantry and Helen’s Health and Bulk Food, as well as Wray Organic and Mrs Flannery’s.

Gold Coast Organic Meats, GJ’s at Parkwood and Southern Cross Organic Butchers in Highland Park source and sell organic meat, with supermarkets dipping a toe in the water by stocking more free-range meats.

Recently, two new organic outlets have joined the market, each noteworthy for different reasons.

Corganics is a takeaway café and grocer offering organic fruit and vegetables, a wholistic mostly plant-based café menu, plus healthy meals-to-go, fair-trade coffee from Happy Farmer Organics, freshly made cold-pressed juices, home-brewed kombucha and a range of pantry and refrigerated plant-based products and organic salmon, chicken and mince.

From breakfast Buddha bowls and muesli pots to chickpea curry, salad bowls and vegie risotto to chicken and lemongrass stirfry, the menu of Head Chef Kayleane Murphy (ex-Gwinganna Health Resort) offers wholistic organic food in the café’s casual beachside setting.

Owner, hospitality veteran Andrew McElhone (who also owns Mermaid Grocer), tells us what lured him from mainstream restaurants into organics:

“Experiencing a personal health issue provided the motivation for me to make a move to a more plant-based, organic diet,” he tells us. “I believe that there is a real demand for people to eat more consciously. As I learn more about mainstream farming methods, the facts open your eyes. I want to know what I’m eating, that it’s optimum for my health,” he says.

“Broccoli is highly nutritious, but did you know that it is sprayed eight times while it’s being grown?” he asks me.

I think of the number of times I’ve dumped a head or two of broccoli into a pot of boiling water or steamer, realising with horror that it’s been cooking in poison residue.

“My fruit and veg supplier washes his own vegies for twenty minutes before cooking them,” Andrew tells me, adding that meat’s no ‘cleaner’. “Salmon is dyed, and if you knew how chickens are farmed, you’d never eat it unless it was organic.”

Buying chemical and additive free food produced by environmentally friendly and sustainable farming methods is great reason to check out this little spot. With lots more room for growth, it’s a place to watch.

Ground Grocer has operated every Saturday in the big shed at the Currumbin Eco Village since late 2016. Creating a rustic farm shed atmosphere, the crew have created the popup shop from recycled materials – milk crate shelving filled with produce, recycled timber and hessian swathes for display. It’s beautiful in its own earthy way, grounded and communal.

Begun by Kylie and Paul Cook and Peter Aubort, Kylie tells us that because of their personal commitment to eating organic food, they wanted to form a groundswell of likeminded people.

Ground Grocer operates as both a co-op and retail outlet, with shoppers having the flexibility to join at two different levels, each one offering a discount, or to purchase at retail prices. There’s also a weekly delivery service of pre-ordered produce boxes.

Partnering with Food Connect, Ground Grocer sources produce from carefully chosen sustainable organic farms between North NSW and Currumbin Valley and Tweed, with some goods on consignment and others bought wholesale.

Of particular interest are local deli items from Local Fusion Foods in the Eco Village, dried foods from Nutra Organics in Currumbin Creek Road, and trays of baked goods from Burleigh Baker.

“It’s all about limiting our global footprint and limiting the chemical content we put into our bodies,” Kylie tells us.

So, how do we start?

“Eat as much organic food as possible. Eat as wide a variety of food as possible. Especially, eat all the colours,” Andrew McElhone says.

With more information available and healthy options all around us, there’s lots of incentive to move towards a greener lifestyle. It is simply a way of living, eating and being that’s better both for us and for the planet.

Corganics, 2471 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach Ph: 5578 6245

Ground Grocer, Eco Village, 4 Village Way, Currumbin Valley, Open each Saturday.

Breakfast Coffee & Tea Currumbin Dessert Dinner Family friendly Gluten free friendly Groceries Health & Raw Foods Lunch Main course $15 or less Main course $15 to $25 Markets Mermaid Beach Modern Australian Organic Organic Produce Produce Raw Food Restaurants Vegan friendly Vegetarian Wheelchair friendly Wholefood , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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