Why organics

The Gap Loco aims to make access to organics and other ethical and environmental products easier and cheaper for everyone in our local area, while at the same time supporting the hard work of organic farmers and workers from ethical enterprises here and in the 3rd world.

Our commitment to organics means that we only stock certified organic produce and groceries.

Organic produce generally costs more than conventionally or chemically grown produce because to grow organic produce successfully requires considerable more labour input.   The price of conventional food does not include the true costs to the community resulting from its production. The costs of health care and long-term damage to the environment are not factored into the price.  So it is the tax-payer who has to subsidize the externalities of chemical farming. 

If it was not for the price it would be hard to imagine that anyone would choose conventional over organic.  Price is a factor however for many people and hopefully by promoting the benefits of organics more people will move to support organics and they will become increasingly affordable for all. 

By trying to keep our costs down and run our business as efficiently as possible, The Gap LOCO can reduce prices so as to make organics more available to a wider group of people.

Below are some of the reasons why organic produce is better for you and for our environment and for supporting organic farmers and organics in general.

GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH

Organically produced foods are more nutritious and lead to better overall health.

  • Organic plants have higher concentrations of various elements like iron, calcium, vitamin C, antioxidants etc. and so not surprisingly many people claim to be able to taste the difference between conventional and organic produce. Healthier plants contain more flavonoids, which trigger our taste buds. 
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Conventional farming relies on the use of pesticides and herbicides traces of which are ingested and can adversely affect our health. 

Contrary to popular belief washing or peeling conventional produce only removes a percentage of the pesticides as they tend to be absorbed through the whole of the produce.  Pesticide residues have been identified as being connected to the development of cancer and other illnesses. 

GOOD FOR OUR ENVIRONMENT AND OUR FARMERS

Organic farming methods are focused on improving the health of the soil.  Healthy soil with lots of humus, trace elements and micro organisms leads to healthy plants that are more resistant to pests and other problems. 

  • Conventional/chemical farming uses artificial water soluble fertilizers to encourage quick growth but which actually weakens the soil over time and thus requires more fertilizers.  These plants tend to have higher concentrations of water and while looking lush they are very prone to pest attack and so conventional farmers then also become more reliant on pesticides.  

  • Over time the soil in organic farms becomes more healthy and water absorbant while conventional farming depletes the soil and is also more prone to erosion.  This means less harm to waterways and important places like The Great Barrier Reef. 

  • Organic farmers do not use hybrid seed and so tend to grow the older varieties that were grown for taste.  Large scale chemical farming, selects varieties that will stand the travel (food miles) so that it looks good on the shop shelf, and so taste is less of a priority.
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Organic Farming does not allow genetically modified seed or other genetically modified inputs. Given poor labelling laws the easiest and safest way to avoid genetically modified foods and inputs in ourfoods, is to eat certified organic food.

Organic farming is critical to avoiding harmful climate change:

  • Organic growing practices involve storing carbon in the soil. 

Organic farms tend to be more labour intensive rather than machine dependent and so use less fossil fuel than a conventional farm.
Instead of spraying for weeds around lettuce, for example, organic farmers generally hand weed.
Artificial fertilizers are derived from fossil fuels and so conventional farming is very dependent on the oil industry. 
Organics is a self sustaining system that becomes less dependent on outside inputs over time.