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Why your pets deserve organic too

Why your pets deserve organic too

You already made the switch to an organic lifestyle for yourself and your family, but did you ever think about your pets? If you’re seeing the benefits, then there’s no reason that your pets can’t too!

DIET

Pet food is much like any processed food. It may contain synthetic chemicals, pesticides, added hormones and a whole bunch of ingredients that really aren’t beneficial for your pet. There’s been much debate over recent years about pet food standards (especially for canned or dried dog and cat food), but what should you really be feeding your pet?

Vets are seeing a rise in a plethora of health conditions in pets – from obesity, diabetes, skin conditions and various digestion issues – and most of these derive from their diet. Take a look at it this way, if you lived on a junk food diet 24/7, you wouldn’t be feeling so great on the inside either. The same goes for your pets. Although some claim the best diet for your pets is fresh vegetables, meats and wholegrains, it just isn’t doable all of the time. So, if you are opting for canned or dried food, making sure that its partly organic or completely certified organic will guarantee that it contains the best of ingredients for your pets – without the addition of added synthetic chemicals, hormones and other undesirables.

The same goes for fresh produce for your pets. Certified organic fruit and veg will have been produced without harmful pesticides, and certified organic meat will have been ethically and sustainably raised on an organic diet, free from synthetic chemicals or added hormones.

Feeding your pet a higher quality, balanced diet will make them happier on the inside, and you’ll soon see the benefits on the outside.

SKINCARE

Along with digestive issues, many of the rising problems in modern day pets are skin-related. With the increasing amount of allergens and synthetic chemicals in our home, added to the fact that many pets now spend less time outdoors, it’s no wonder that skin problems are becoming more prevalent in our pets.

Although a high quality, balanced diet is one of the best ways to boost your pet’s immune system, reducing the amount of allergens in your home will help to ease those skin-related concerns.

Regularly vacuuming and letting fresh air into your home will reduce the amount of dust, allergens and dust mites and provide a healthy air-flow. Using organic cleaning products will reduce the amount of synthetic chemicals and irritants which may be flaring up skin problems, and will also relieve the worry of your pet consuming something they shouldn’t (you can even try making a homemade non-toxic cleaner).

Washing your pet regularly (on a monthly basis) with organic products may also help to soothe skin irritations, without synthetic chemicals or harsh ingredients that could cause further irritation.

We all love our pets, so offering them the best we can will make both you and your pet happy.

Australian Organic at Northey Street City Farm Organic Markets

Australian Organic at Northey Street City Farm Organic Markets

Australian Organic were up bright and early on Sunday morning to welcome visitors at the Northey Street City Farm Organic Markets in Windsor, Brisbane, QLD.

Hosted every Sunday from 6am – 11am, produce sold at the Northey Street Organic Markets is required to be certified organic or be ‘in conversion’ to certified organic. The market recognises certification from Government-approved certification bodies and is hoping to gain certification itself in the future.

Australian Organic thoroughly enjoyed meeting members, stall holders and talking to consumers interested in organic produce, all enjoyed in the wonderful Queensland sunshine.

Many Australian Organic members were proudly displaying their Certified Organic market signs to let customers know that they are certified and dedicated to providing truly organic produce.

If you have an event that you’d like us to be a part of, or want to know where we’ll be heading next, feel free to contact our team: events@austorganic.com

Luke Hines Organic One-Pan Cookie

Luke Hines Organic One-Pan Cookie

“How would you feel if I told you that you could make a giant cookie in a pan? Well, hold onto your socks boys and girls… things are about to get real. Introducing the ultimate one-pan cookie. You can thank me later.” – Luke Hines, Australian Organic Ambassador

INGREDIENTS

200g organic butter, chopped
125ml honey
2 cups almond meal
1 tsp vanilla powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 egg, beaten
3 tbs crunchy peanut butter
100g dark chocolate, chopped
coconut yoghurt to serve

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Melt the butter and honey in an ovenproof frying pan. Remove the heat and leave to cool slightly.

Stir in the almond meal, baking powder, vanilla, and cinnamon.

Whisk in the egg to form a batter.

Dollop the peanut butter over the batter and scatter over the chocolate pieces, then transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy on the outside.

Serve warm in the middle of the table for everyone to share, topped with a generous dollop of coconut yoghurt.

This is a recipe from Smart Carbs by Luke Hines.
Published by Plum/Pan Macmillan Australia.
Image by Mark Roper.
Food styling by Lee Blaylock.

Tips to living a more sustainable life

Tips to living a more sustainable life

Want to live a more sustainable lifestyle but just don’t know how? We’ve put together some great ways to get you started!

Try making your own environmentally friendly cleaning products instead of buying them. Bicarbonate soda, water, lemon juice and vinegar used in varying amounts can pack quite a punch to household grime – and you’ll save on the plastic packaging!

Use cold water when hand-washing dishes and utilise the cold wash setting on your washing machine. Using cold water saves on electricity, good for your wallet and the environment.

Avoid using single-use disposables in your facial care routine. Swap single-use wipes or pads for a gentle cleanser and damp facial towel or linen cloth, saving single-use products from landfill.

Install a water-saving shower head into your shower. Some states will do this for you for free, saving money on your water bill and reserving water in your area.

Be mindful of leaving the water running unnecessarily. Turn off the taps when brushing your teeth or washing your dishes. You’ll be surprised how much water is wasted.

Pick a nice sunny day to do your washing, so you can hang everything on the line instead of using the clothes dryer. As a bonus, the sun’s UV rays have an anti-bacterial effect, killing any bacteria that might have survived the cool wash.

Try growing your own herbs, or even better, start your own veggie patch! It can be a little tricky getting the knack of it at first, but definitely worthwhile. Eating plants that you’ve grown yourself can be both rewarding, money-saving and will reduce your carbon footprint.

Buy local and organic produce from the farmers market near you, taking your own reusable bags to save on plastic packaging. Buying local not only supports your local community, but reduces the amount of energy and fuel used to transport produce to stores.

Pay attention to the labelling on your food products. For example, look for Fair Trade, natural and certified organic labels and if you’re an avid coffee drinker look out for “shade-grown”. These labels tell you that the product is paying labourers a fair wage, is sustainable, have reduced exposure to synthetic chemicals and pesticides, and are produced sustainably.

Avoid buying disposable single use items, such as vegetables wrapped in plastic, plastic forks and knifes and single use coffee cups. Keep metal or reusable cutlery with you and use a reusable coffee cup instead.

When you’re out and about, say no to plastic straws. Instead, bring your own metal or bamboo one. Simple!

If it’s your birthday, keep all the gift bags, ribbons and if possible wrapping paper and reuse these. Reuse and recycle where possible.

Go paperless. If you haven’t already, contact your bank or utility company and ask to make the switch. If you have a wedding to plan, give electronic invitations a go! Reducing the need for paper will help our forests and the animals living within them.

To further limit the extent of paper used around you, put a No Junk Mail sign on your letterbox – no more unhelpful flyers please!

Instead of buying a brand new book, try borrowing from your local library, reading electronically or purchasing second hand. Once again, save on paper and save on trees!

Turn the lights off. How many times have you accidentally left the lights on after you leave a room? Make sure you turn off the lights and save on electricity. If it’s a habit you can’t break, try installing a timer or a sensor to turn the lights off for you.

Collect rainwater to use on your plants or garden. Recycling rainwater can help sustain precious water reserves in times of drought.

Reduce food waste by buying in bulk and planning ahead. Yes, it seems like a hard task at the time, but meal prep can help you to save time, money and food waste when you’re at your busiest. Set the time aside now and reap the benefits later!

Walk or cycle that extra mile. For short journeys, try walking or cycling instead of taking the bus or a taxi. Try walking up the stairs instead of using the elevator. Or even get off the bus a stop early and walk the rest of the way. Not only will this help with your fitness goals but also conserve energy and fuel.

Keep a sustainability journal. If you’re unsure of how much of an impact you’re making, try keeping a sustainability journal to jot down all of the ways you’ve tried to be sustainable throughout the day. You might have walked or cycled to work, used your own keep-cup and metal water bottle, brought lunch in reusable containers and purchased some certified organic ingredients for dinner. Every little helps in when it comes to being sustainable, and all the little things add up over time – you’ll be surprised and proud of what you can achieve.

We love to hear your stories on sustainability. Make sure you keep in touch on our social media pages and tag us in your photos and stories.

Luke Hines Zucchini Breakfast Pizza

Luke Hines Zucchini Breakfast Pizza

AS SEEN ON STUDIO 10!

Yes, you heard correct. Pizza. For. Breakfast. This is one of my favourite recipes for when I feel like eating something that tastes like a naughty treat but which – in fact – is really, really good for me!

INGREDIENTS

2 zucchini, grated and squeezed of excess liquid
3 tablespoons coconut flour
1 teaspoon dried Italian herbs
pinch of salt
4 eggs
1–2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, butter or coconut oil, plus extra to serve
2 streaky bacon rashers
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 roma tomato, sliced
2 tablespoons chopped basil leaves
1 handful of rocket leaves

METHOD

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Add the zucchini, coconut flour, Italian herbs, salt and 2 of the eggs to a bowl and mix together well to form a batter. Mould into a large pizza tray lined with baking paper and bake for 6–8 minutes, until par-baked.

Remove the base from the oven and spread the tomato paste evenly over the surface of the base. Lay over the tomato slices and bacon, then carefully crack over the remaining eggs towards the centre to ensure they don’t drip over the side. Transfer to the oven and bake for a further 5 minutes, or until the eggs are cooked.

Remove the pizza from the oven and top with the basil and rocket. Drizzle over a little extra olive oil and serve this up on the table in the pan, or transfer to a serving platter using a spatula before serving.

SERVES 2

This is a recipe from Smart Carbs by Luke Hines.
Published by Plum/Pan Macmillan Australia.
Image by Mark Roper.
Food styling by Lee Blaylock.