- August 31, 2017
- Posted by Claire Goldsworthy
- No comments
Our relationship with food should be similar to our relationship with fashion: slow and conscious. We live in a world where fast food is more affordable than good food; bottled water is more expensive than soft drink, a mango costs more than a Mars Bar, and a family of four can be fed at McDonald’s for just $20.00. Fast food may be cheap, but that’s all it is, and as a country, we’re in serious need of a nutritional overhaul. 63 per cent of Australians are obese or overweight, and our modern obsession with fast food is to blame.
The long-term impacts of these habits aren’t pretty, and while cheap and easy packaged foods might fill the void short term, fast food is unhealthy and unsustainable. Sarah Butler agrees, and so she should; as the Co-Founder of Melbourne-based business, Organic Angels, she’s determined to educate the public about healthy alternatives.
“Our connection with food and eating healthily (or not) begins in the home. If as kids we are not modelled how to eat healthy and honour our bodies, then we can struggle as adults to be self-governing healthy eaters. Sadly, society as a whole has lost its connection with food and where it comes from. People are becoming unconscious eaters, and in a fast-paced world, convenience and packaged foods are the go-to.”
It’s a simple equation: you get out what you put in. Sarah worked this out early, and she has her mother to thank for it. As a child, she was influenced by her fit and healthy parents who were strict about junk food. She rarely had packaged foods and her mother home-baked her cookies and cakes. There was always salad at the dinner table, and it had to be eaten before anyone left, and although it seemed stern at the time, these healthy eating habits have left a lasting impression on Sarah. As an adult now, her life is not about complete abstinence, and she knows that healthy eating is about balance.
“My relationship with food has changed over the years, and I am now more relaxed. I am a green smoothie lover and 100 per cent sold on eating organic as much as possible, but I believe food is about connection, enjoyment and freedom. If I am out with friends or having a romantic dinner with my husband Scott, I will enjoy foods I might not eat every day. You can’t hold me back from a good red wine, Crème Brûlée or almond croissant!”
And maybe that’s what we’re missing as a society – moderation. That, and an education of slow food and the process that goes into cultivating it. There’s a reason you can buy apples year-round, and it’s because they’ve been genetically modified, pumped with growth hormones, and gassed with a chemical that blocks ethylene production. And, if you thought seedless watermelons were a naturally occurring miracle, think again. Truss tomatoes, seedless grapes and corn – they’ve all been genetically modified to suit our modern fast society and our demand for perfection.
If you’re like me and just fell into a rabbit hole of research after following the above link, you’ll be feeling shocked, amazed, and a little scared about what you’ve been buying from Coles and Woolworths. But, it’s not all doom and gloom, and honouring our bodies and changing our ways is simple. Organic produce is grown without the use of chemicals, pesticides, and growth hormones, and it is GMO-free. It’s more nutrient dense, fuller in flavour, and organic farming also promotes biodiversity, conservation and helps to preserve natural wildlife.
Eating organic is more affordable than you might think too. Organic Angels’ home delivered boxes start at $46.50, and they also sell a range of eggs, bakery goods, chocolate, coffee, nuts, seeds and dried fruit – all organic of course. It’s an offering that’s been 11 years in the making for Sarah, and a busy week is now anything but normal. She’s up before her family each morning to squeeze in some herbal tea, yoga and meditation, and one day a week she’s out the door by 6 am. The other days, after the morning school and kinder drop-off, Sarah heads straight to the office, overseeing all operations and employees, as well as admin, stock orders, emails and newsletters. Sarah works around school and kinder pickups with her husband Scott, and then there’s dinner prep, homework, washing and kid’s bedtime. What sounds like a seamless and regimented routine now, has not been without its challenges.
“I studied EcoTourism after high school, so I had a deep sense to do something good for the planet back then. After recognising my passion for business, I completed some short courses on Business Management and Workplace Training and launched the business from our kitchen in June 2006. I would go to the wholesale market at 3 am in the station wagon to collect the organic produce, and Scott would help unload at home before heading off to his full-time job in his suit and tie. Slowly the business grew by word of mouth, and we eventually moved out of home and leased a separate premise, bought a second-hand van and scheduled more delivery days. There have been many challenges, and juggling a family and a fast-growing business has been one of them. I have had to redefine my role as a business woman and a mother many times, which has meant letting go of comparing myself to others, and shedding the feelings of ‘mother guilt’. There have been many sacrifices, but the rewards have been greater. I am more at peace with it now, and ultimately, we do what we do so we can live the life we envisage for ourselves and our children.”
And that she does; Organic Angels is now Sarah’s million-dollar baby built on foundations of good food, healthy eating, and hope that Jamie Oliver will one day shop from her online store. The rewards of running her own business are what keep Sarah going, and her sustainable living values are shared by her community of customers.
“I love working hard and seeing the rewards. Just being surrounded by colourful fresh, nutritious organic produce excites me! I love how we are making a difference in people’s lives, and we are influencing change in our food system by supporting organic food production. I am energised being around people, and I love working closely with our employees and engaging with our customers. They are awesome people.”
Make the switch to organic produce and feel the difference for yourself at organicangels.com.
The Fashion Advocate x