The day after Christmas the aisles of every grocery store was lined with all things chocolate, chocolate bunnies, big chocolate eggs, mini chocolate eggs – let’s face it it’s hard to avoid. Especially when your kids are sitting in the trolley calling out for it. It is one weekend of the year, do we really need to avoid all that delicious chocolate for the sake of our health?
The simple answer, no.
But instead of filling your trolley with – lets face it- ‘Crap’ from the supermarket, think about going organic this Easter. The benefits of organic foods have been out there for a long time.
- Fewer Pesticides and Heavy Metals: To be certified organic there is rigorous testing of soil and any sprays that are put on the plants and animal food. This dramatically reduces the risk of heavy metal contamination such as lead in our food as well as reducing harmful chemicals entering our foods from pesticides, which can lead to changes in hormone production in our body.
- Higher in Healthy Fats: Just like it can change hormones in our body, it can also cause a change in Cows. Cows that eat organic grass and grain have tested as producing higher levels of healthy aka un-saturated fat in their milk compared to other cows.
- High Levels of Antioxidants: Antioxidants are small molecules that fight at oxidation ‘aka free radicals’ caused by stress on your body. They are closely linked with reduced heart disease.
It is a common misconception that organic food is higher in nutrients. While there is evidence there is more antioxidants in some cases, or higher levels of healthy fats in organic milk, there is not much evidence to suggest organic means higher levels of vitamins and minerals in foods.
However, with that being said, have you ever looked at the ingredient lists of organic vs. non-organic product? In most cases you will find that the organic version are simple. For example chocolate will be made with Cacao, Sugar, Milk solids and emulsifier, instead of adding in ingredients simply to extend shelf life.
When it comes to chocolate, eating organic can increase the benefits that chocolate has. It can increase the level of antioxidants and healthy fats. Organic Chocolate also means that cacao beans have not been treated with pesticides and the risk of lead contamination – something that is common in cacao beans – is reduced.
In the end, chocolate like Organic Times is made from good quality ingredients, without all the nasties. That is why when it’s hot you may need to keep it in a cool place like the fridge, so it won’t melt, opposed to the big-name brands that add in unnecessary compounds to prevent melting. You will also notice that when buying organic there are no artificial colours or flavouring, leaving more room for the good stuff.
So this Easter, instead of ditching the chocolate, think about going organic instead – after all there are benefits from chocolate you just can’t ignore completely, in particular dark chocolate.
- It is high in antioxidants – helps your body manage the stress it feels when the kids beg for chocolate
- Increased satiety – aka a few bits of dark chocolate after a meal can make you feel more satisfied and stop you from reaching for seconds.
- Its causes a release of serotonin in your body, the hormone that makes you feel in love, giddy, happy – you name it.
Yes buying organic can be more expensive, so this Easter I encourage you to start small, start by buying organic chocolate for you and your children to enjoy, and then slowly start to change some of the key ingredients you cook with. The foods that are best to eat organic are meat, dairy and eggs. Go on, what are you waiting for – buy the chocolate and be the hero of the family this Easter.
View our ethical, organic and sustainable Easter range.
More about Shelley Judge…
Shelley is a passionate Melbourne based foodie photographer, and nutritionist. She studied a Bachelor of Food Science and Nutrition followed by a Masters of Public Health Nutrition at the University of Queensland. She is also a Food Revolution Ambassador for the Jamie Oliver Food Revolution. As founder of Shelley’s Good Eats, she wants to use her knowledge in nutrition to share the message of health and educate others about the importance of a healthy relationship with food – yes that means she eats cake.