Organic September: Your complete guide to sustainable eating

Embrace Organic September with our comprehensive guide. Learn the benefits, try seasonal recipes and kick-start a sustainable, nourishing journey.

September is the ideal time to embrace organic produce
September is the ideal time to embrace organic produce


What is Organic September?

Organic September isn’t just a fad or a buzzword-filled campaign; it’s a movement—a push towards better, more sustainable food choices.

If you’ve ever strolled through your local supermarket, noticed those little organic labels, and asked, “Should I choose organic?”, you’re in the right place.

Here’s the essence of Organic September:

  • Awareness: It’s a month dedicated to highlighting the value and benefits of organic food and farming.
  • Empowerment: By choosing organic, you’re making a powerful statement. Every product you purchase is a vote for the kind of world you want.
  • Sustainability: Organic farming practices don’t merely benefit your health; they also protect our planet, ensuring it’s around for future generations.

Why should I consider eating organic?

Organic foods are often viewed as premium products with slightly higher price tags. However, this investment goes beyond mere monetary considerations:

  • Nutritional value: Multiple studies have shown that organic foods can offer richer nutritional profiles. They tend to have higher levels of certain antioxidants, less saturated fat and fewer traces of harmful pesticides or heavy metals.
  • Purer taste: Without synthetic chemicals and GMOs, organic products allow you to experience the genuine taste of fresh produce. It’s nature, untampered and as it should be.
  • Better for your wellbeing: By reducing your exposure to synthetic pesticides, herbicides and artificial growth hormones, you’re taking a pivotal step towards a healthier lifestyle.

The beauty of embracing organic this September lies in the richer flavours and nutritional benefits and the immense positive impact on the planet. So, as you savour the season’s bounties, remember you’re also playing a part in creating a better tomorrow for all.

What exactly defines “organic” in terms of food production?

Organic is a word you’ve probably seen across food labels and supermarket shelves. But what does it really mean?

Delving into its definition, organic refers to how agricultural products are grown and processed. But it’s more than just a label. It’s a commitment, both to your health and the environment. Here are some defining characteristics:

  • Free from synthetic additives: This includes artificial fertilisers, pesticides and herbicides. So, when you pick up that organic apple, you’re choosing a product closer to its natural state.
  • Non-GMO: Genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, don’t make the cut in the organic world. You’re getting foods that remain true to their natural genetic makeup.
  • Natural animal raising practices: When it comes to organic meat or dairy, the animals were given organic feed and weren’t treated with synthetic hormones or antibiotics. Plus, they usually have access to the outdoors, promoting healthier, happier lives for them.
Organic meat and dairy contain no hormones or antibiotics
Organic meat and dairy contain no synthetic hormones

How does organic farming differ from conventional methods?

Now that you understand the ‘what’, let’s look at the ‘how’. You might wonder how organic farming stands apart from its conventional counterpart.

  • Soil and water preservation: Organic farming prioritises preserving nature’s assets. Techniques like crop rotation, mulching and composting enhance soil health, reduce erosion, and lead to cleaner water.
  • Reduced pollution: Without synthetic pesticides and fertilisers, organic farms don’t contribute as much to the runoff that can pollute our water systems.
  • Climate-friendly: Believe it or not, organic farming often releases fewer carbon emissions compared to conventional methods. How? Focusing on soil health can act as a carbon sink, reducing the overall carbon footprint.
  • Biodiversity boost: An organic farm buzzes with life. These farms protect local ecosystems and provide habitats for diverse wildlife, from the tiniest insects to birds and larger animals.

Why might organic products be a healthier choice?

So, you’ve got the environment checked. But what about you? How do these practices translate to benefits on your plate and, ultimately, your health?

  • Richer nutrient profiles: Some studies suggest organic crops may have higher concentrations of certain vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. This means you could be getting a more nutrient-packed bite!
  • Fewer harmful chemicals: By skipping those synthetic pesticides and herbicides, you’re consuming fewer chemicals. Over time, this can make a difference to your health.
  • Reduced exposure to antibiotic-resistant bacteria: With organic livestock not being treated with antibiotics, there’s a lower risk of introducing antibiotic-resistant bacteria into your diet.
  • Natural taste: Many people claim that organic foods taste better. Whether it’s the soil health, lack of chemicals, or a combination of factors, there’s something undeniably authentic about the flavour.

Armed with this knowledge, you’ll be better equipped to make informed choices about the foods you consume. Remember, every bite you take is an investment in your health and the world around you. So, the next time you’re out shopping, think about the bigger picture – not just for the environment, but for the nourishment of your body too.

What seasonal organic produce is available in September?

September is a crossover month in the UK, with the tail end of summer harvests and the onset of autumn’s rich bounty. The temperate climate lends itself to a range of produce, including:

  • Apples: The UK boasts various apple varieties, from the juicy Egremont Russet to the sweet Cox’s Orange Pippin. They’re not only for snacking but also for crumbles and pies.
  • Plums: As summer draws to a close, British plums, like Victoria and Marjorie’s Seedling, become ripe and ready, perfect for jams or just eaten fresh from the tree.
  • Blackberries: Wild and cultivated blackberries are a highlight. Wander through British hedgerows, and you’ll find these juicy morsels waiting to be picked.
  • Broccoli: This staple remains in season. Whether you steam, stir-fry, or add it to casseroles, its nutritional benefits are hard to ignore.
  • Beetroot: From borscht to roasted beet salads, the earthy beetroot is versatile. And let’s not forget beetroot crisps, a crunchy delight.
  • Carrots: Varieties like the Chantenay and Flyaway are crunchy, sweet, and perfect for a range of dishes, from roasted veg to refreshing salads.
  • Courgettes: The tail end of courgette season, these can be spiralised into noodles, grilled or even baked into cakes.
  • Kale: A hero in the world of leafy greens, it’s ideal in everything from green smoothies to crispy kale chips.
  • Potatoes: New potatoes give way to maincrop varieties, like the classic King Edward or the red-skinned Desiree, perfect for mash or roasts.
  • Squashes and Pumpkins: As we approach the end of September, early squashes and pumpkins start to appear. These are heralds of the heartier dishes autumn and winter promise.
  • Leeks: A quintessential British ingredient, they add depth to pies, stews and, of course, the classic leek and potato soup.
  • Runner Beans: These green beauties can be steamed or thrown into a stir fry. They’re a great addition to your plate, adding both colour and crunch.

As you shop, remember choosing organic doesn’t just give you fresh, flavourful produce. It assures sustainable practices, minimal chemical intervention, and a commitment to nurturing the land. When you bite into that juicy apple or cook up those vibrant runner beans, you’re experiencing nature at its authentic best.

Sweet and delicious carrots are just one of the delights during Organic September
Sweet and delicious carrots are just one of the delights during Organic September

How can I benefit from eating seasonal and local?

Opting for seasonal and local produce isn’t just a gastronomic adventure; it’s a decision laden with benefits.

  • Freshness and Flavour: Local produce doesn’t travel halfway around the world, so it reaches your plate much fresher. Fresher produce generally equates to better taste and higher nutritional content.
  • Nutritional Boost: Seasonal fruits and vegetables are harvested at the peak of their ripeness, ensuring you get the maximum vitamins and minerals they offer.
  • Economic Wisdom: Buying local and seasonal often means more affordable prices. You’re not paying for the transport or storage of goods over extended periods.
  • Environmental Responsibility: Shorter transport distances reduce carbon footprints, while local farms, especially organic ones, often adopt more sustainable practices.
  • Support for Local Farmers: Purchasing locally means supporting the backbone of your community – the farmers. It fosters a sense of community and keeps the local economy thriving.

So, whenever you choose organic, remember you’re playing a part in a larger ecological story. Your choices drive demand, and demand steers how our food is produced. Let’s make that narrative one of health, sustainability, and a nod to Mother Earth’s wisdom.

How can I identify and purchase organic products?

Embarking on an organic eating journey is both exciting and beneficial. It’s like taking a new road to improved health and sustainability. But where do you start? Identifying and purchasing organic products is the first step.

Firstly, look for certification labels. Authentic organic products undergo rigorous checks and often bear certification labels. In the UK, some trusted certifications include:

  • Soil Association: One of the most recognised organic certification bodies. Their logo guarantees that the product meets high sustainability and animal welfare standards.
  • Organic Food Federation: A smaller UK body that enforces strict guidelines to ensure products are genuinely organic.
  • USDA Organic: USDA is the most recognised certification in the US, and many imported organic products will carry this logo.
  • EU Organic: Goods imported from the EU will carry the EU organic logo if they have been certified organic by a recognised body.

When shopping, whether it’s at your local grocer, farmer’s market or a big supermarket, keep your eyes peeled for these logos. Remember, just because a product says “natural” doesn’t mean it’s organic.

Secondly, visit local farmers’ markets. Nothing beats the feeling of connecting directly with growers. Not only can you ask them about their farming practices, but you also contribute directly to local economies.

What tips can help me transition to an organic diet?

Switching to an organic diet doesn’t mean overhauling everything overnight. Transitioning is a journey, and every step you take makes a difference. Here are some practical tips to ease you into leading a more organic life:

  • Start small: Begin with staples like eggs, milk or vegetables. Once you’re comfortable, gradually expand your organic choices.
  • Plan your budget: Some organic products might be pricier. However, investing in your health and the environment can provide long-term benefits. Shop during sales or buy in bulk where possible.
  • Stay informed: Knowledge is empowering. Read about organic farming practices, health benefits and environmental impacts. The more you know, the more motivated you’ll be.
  • Cook at home: Preparing your meals allows for better control over ingredients, ensuring you consume genuine organic produce.
  • Join a community: Engage with like-minded individuals, either online or offline. They can offer support, share experiences and even trade recipes.
Supporting local organic farmers promotes sustainability
Supporting local organic farmers promotes sustainability

How can I support local organic farmers and producers?

Supporting local organic farmers boosts local economies and promotes sustainable farming. Here’s how you can play your part:

  • Buy directly: As mentioned earlier, farmers’ markets are a fantastic place to purchase fresh organic produce. The shorter the supply chain, the fresher the produce.
  • Subscribe to organic boxes: Many local organic farmers offer subscription boxes, delivering fresh produce to your doorstep. This way, you get a regular supply of seasonal goodies.
  • Promote on social media: If you’ve had a good experience or love the organic products you’ve bought, shout about it on your social platforms. Word of mouth is powerful.
  • Participate in farm activities: Some farms offer ‘pick-your-own’ experiences or farm days where you can witness organic farming first-hand. It’s both educational and fun.
  • Donate: Consider contributing to local organic farming initiatives or NGOs that support organic farmers.

By identifying genuine organic products, taking practical steps in your transition and supporting local organic initiatives, you’re nourishing your body and positively impacting the environment. The journey might be new, but every step is a stride towards better health and a sustainable future. Remember, it’s not just about eating but eating mindfully and responsibly.

What recipes can I try using September’s organic produce?

As September rolls in, the earth bestows upon us an abundance of fresh, organic produce. Each bite becomes a delightful experience and a testament to nature’s bounty. Let’s embark on a culinary journey, shall we?

Apple and Plum Bliss Smoothie

Imagine starting your day with a refreshing apple and plum smoothie. Apples, high in dietary fibre, can help regulate your digestive system, while plums, rich in antioxidants, offer a boost for your immunity.


  • 1 organic apple, cored and chopped
  • 2 organic plums, pitted and sliced
  • 250ml organic almond milk
  • A pinch of cinnamon
  • A drizzle of organic honey, if you prefer a sweeter note


  1. Blend all ingredients until smooth, pour into your favourite glass, and enjoy!

Beetroot and Spinach Salad with Feta

The earthiness of beetroot pairs beautifully with the fresh, vibrant spinach leaves. This salad is as delicious as it is nutritious, and a visual treat too!

Sweet and earthy organic beetroot goes perfectly with salty feta.
Sweet and earthy organic beetroot goes perfectly with salty feta.


  • 2 medium organic beetroots, roasted and diced
  • A handful of fresh organic spinach leaves, washed and drained
  • 50g crumbled feta cheese (substitute with vegan cheese if you’re dairy-free)
  • A handful of organic walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
  • Dressing:


  1. In a large bowl, combine the beetroot, spinach, and half of the feta.
  2. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients.
  3. Pour the dressing over the salad, ensuring even coverage.
  4. Serve in individual bowls, sprinkled with the remaining feta and walnuts.

Organic Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Warm, creamy, and utterly comforting, this soup brings out the best in butternut squash.


  • 1 medium organic butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced
  • 1 organic onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves organic garlic, minced
  • 750ml organic vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh organic rosemary, chopped (or dried if fresh isn’t available)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • A dollop of crème fraîche (optional)


  1. Preheat your oven to 200°C. Toss the butternut squash in one tablespoon of olive oil, salt and pepper, then spread it out on a baking sheet. Roast for about 30 minutes or until tender.
  2. In a large pot, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, and sauté until translucent. Add garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
  3. Once the squash is roasted, add it to the pot along with the vegetable stock and rosemary.
  4. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 10 minutes.
  5. Blend the mixture using an immersion blender or in batches in a regular blender until smooth.
  6. Serve hot with a swirl of crème fraîche if desired.

These recipes make the most of September’s organic produce, delivering taste, nutrition and a connection to nature right on your plate. Whether it’s a light salad for lunch or a hearty soup for dinner, there’s no compromise on flavour or health. Enjoy!

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