Monday, December 21, 2009

Have yourself an Organic Christmas

An Organic Christmas is a wonderful starting place to plan your perfect seasonal celebration- healthy, environmentally friendly and delicious. Who could ask for more?

Support your planet, your community and your health with an organic, locally sourced Christmas dinner.

Organic farming typically uses 27 per cent less energy than non-organic agriculture. Organic farmers avoid using climate-boosting artificial fertilisers and pesticides, thereby reducing carbon dioxide emissions, producing less dangerous wastes and protecting wildlife on farms. Instead, they use natural processes such as energy from the sun to fix nitrogen in the soil, crop and livestock rotations, using natural predators for pest control and focusing on animal welfare which reduces the need for drug treatment.

Research from the Soil Association shows that 68 per cent of people in the UK want to avoid food grown with pesticides (over 300 are routinely used in non-organic farming, compared to only four allowed under Soil Association organic standards). Eating an organic Christmas dinner means people can avoid consuming pesticide residues, GM ingredients or unnecessary food additives.

Eat meat with the highest levels of animal welfare.

Get to know your local turkey or goose farmer this Christmas. Organic turkeys are free-range and spend their lives running about in the open air, this is reflected in the quality of the meat. Try to make sure your ham is free-range too!

More carrot in your Christmas carrots

Organic brussel sprouts, carrots and other vegetables have higher levels of vitamin C, more minerals and cancer fighting antioxidants than non-organic varieties. There is considerable evidence that, on average, organic fruit and vegetables contain higher levels of primary and secondary nutrients than non-organic food. An independent review of the evidence in 2001 found that in general organic crops had significantly higher levels of all 21 nutrients analysed compared with conventional produce; including vitamin C (27% more), magnesium (29% more), iron (21% more) and phosphorous (14% more).

Artificial fertilisers used in non-organic farming increase the water content of vegetables, which dilutes their nutritional content. A warming lentil and tomato soup will provide great nutrition during the festive season and a University of California Davies study found 79-97 per cent higher levels of flavonoids in organic tomatoes; the researchers stated that these antioxidants have been linked to reduced rates of cardiovascular disease, some forms of cancer and dementia.

Eating delicious organic roast potatoes like the Sebago and Desiree varieties means you can avoid pesticide residues. In 2003, the government tested 144 potato samples for the residues of the pesticide aldicarb (used to kill worms and insects in non-organic farming; classified by the World Health Organisation as 'extremely hazardous'). Nearly two per cent had detectable levels, which suggests over 25,000 tonnes of potatoes may have been eaten containing pesticides.

From your roast potatoes and brussels to your cranberry sauce, make sure your Christmas dinner is loaded with all the right nutrients.

Christmas stuffing - read the ingredients on the label.

One of the key ingredients in Christmas stuffing is the egg so make it an organic one. More and more people are choosing organic eggs and the combined sales value of free range and organic eggs exceeded that of cage eggs for the first time last year. Animal welfare organisations recommend that organic eggs are the best alternative to intensively produced eggs. Compassion in World Farming Trust said, "Organically reared chickens must have plenty of space, space to run, to scratch and dust, to spread their wings, to enjoy the open air and the sun on their backs, and generally behave naturally. Organic standards guarantee all this and more for all organic eggs. This is why Compassion in World Farming Trust rightly says that organic eggs are the animal welfare-friendly alternative to battery eggs."

Only 32 of the 300 food additives approved for use across the EU are permitted in organic food. Controversial additives like aspartame, tartrazine and hydrogenated fats which have been linked to health problems such as heart disease, migraines and hyperactivity, are banned in organic food. Choosing organic ingredients means you can relax and enjoy your Christmas meal knowing you aren't harming your body with unwanted extra ingredients.

Getting into the Christmas spirit.

Indulge guilt-free with the huge range of organic wine, beers, ciders and spirits available, which are kinder to the planet and kinder to you. Organic wine is produced using a natural system of farming and limits the use of sulphur to control fungus. Organic regulations also limit sulphur dioxide which is added to wine as a preservative. On average organic producers use just one quarter of the legal maximum of sulphur dioxide allowed for non-organic wines, which appears to lessen the chances of a hangover.

Organic beer is made from organic malt and hops. The average non-organic farmer is estimated to spray hops up to 14 times each year with an average of 15 pesticides. Organic spirits are available through specialist suppliers and some supermarkets. The main difference lies in the use of organic raw materials, non-organic vodka is made from grain produced in systems usually reliant upon multiple applications of pesticides and artificial fertilisers

Where have your nuts been?

The globally sourced nut bowl appears on most people's coffee table at Christmas and they are certainly a healthy treat. Yet, pesticide residues were found on 29 out of 48 non-organic samples of nuts tested by the government's Pesticide Residues Committee in 2004. Residues from methyl bromide were found, which is banned from organic food and used to kill rats, mice and other pests while non-organic nuts are in storage.

To reduce your food mileage this year, why not choose nuts that are grown in Australia such as macadamias, walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts

Gift giving

* Give a gift that makes a difference - and lead a planet friendly life style! Give your family and friends a child to sponsor from World Vision or perhaps buy someone in need a crop of vegies.

* Organic health and beauty products There are hundreds of health and beauty products available but look for the Organic Certification stamp of approval - currently health and beauty companies are not legally required to obtain organic certification to make organic claims!

* Local, organic box schemes Sign a friend up to an Organic Empire local organic box scheme for a few weeks in the New Year and help reduce food miles! Fresh, seasonal, locally grown organic food delivered to their door will provide all the nutrients they need to feel great in the New Year.

* Organic food hampers Introduce a friend to organic produce and buy them a luxury organic food hamper full of seasonal produce such as red cabbage, sprouts, cheese and vintage chutney. We will pack your gifts in re-usable hemp, jute or organic cotton carrier bags - think about all the plastic bags you'll save in the New Year.

* Organic chocolate Organic cocoa bushes are grown without the use of pesticides. Our certified organic chocolates tend to contain more cocoa solids than non-organic chocolate and does not contain hydrogenated fat, which is known to be harmful to health. Further more, the soya lecithin will never be made from genetically modified organisms. Give the gift of chocolate this Christmas, sans pesticides!


ORGANIC EMPIRE, organic home delivery melbourne, local organic foods

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Food Inc

I have just watched the documentary, Food Inc. Apart from feeling quite nausea I feel equally empowered to spread the goodness of organics. This documentary opens the can of worms on the trade that is food processing, the mass production of the food that feed our kids. You may be able to seperate yourself from this because it is an american made documentary, but the truth is that we are not seperate from this. Most of the fast food trade that exists in Australia takes a leaf out of the American systems. This is a dangerous system and one that we should be aware of. Although I believe that the food systems in Australia are alot better in respect to food standards, the truth of the matter is that Genetically Modified Crops are infiltrating our amazing soils, animals are being treated inhumanely and food is being mass produced, full of chemicals, refined food stuffs. There are better ways to produce foods, better ways that dont need Genetic modification, animal cruelty and mass production. What we think is cheap food, ie fast food, packaged processed foods, is so much more expensive. It costs our us in doctors bills, the environment and ultimatley our health.

You see I am not one to talk doom and gloom, but perhaps sometimes its necessary to see where the problems are, talk about them and work towards a solution. There is always a solution to our problems, and there defintley is when it comes to food.

Eating well is an obligation to yourself, your family and the environment, we as a whole are a system that is we are not seperate from oneself. The formula is quite simple you see, healthy systems=healthy soils=healthy plants=healthy animals= healthy humans=healthy environments=healthy life.

We need to demand that our food is produced ethically, humanely, we need to learn to read labels, get educated about GM crops, oppose them, support local farmers, eat seasonally, learn about how your food can heal your body, if your a meat eater choose free range, choose fresh, chose organic! Vote with your dollar, your money is the most effective and persuasive tool we have at our disposal. Our dollars are the power that determine how things happen and if enough people choose healthy organic foods, fresh organic produce then change will happen. The large food conglomerates will see that's whats wanted

I hope that you become inspired to learn about your food, where does it come from, how is it made, if its meat, how is it produced. Contact us for more information on your food production.
To get more information on the documentary

Monday, December 14, 2009


The idea of eating Gingerbread at Christmas time comes from Germany, primarily because at one stage Germany was the centre of the spice trade market and ginger was in abundance, but more romantically because ginger was good for the body and the medieval women used to give it their knights as a sign of their love!

Now gingerbread has a place in the westernized world, hence these recipes today. One traditional, one wheat free and two RAW! Hope that you enjoy!!


  • 125g organic butter, at room temperature

  • 60ml (1/2 cup) organic honey/molasses

  • 2 tbs raw organic sugar

  • 300g (2 cups)Wholemeal organic plain flour, sifted

  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

  • 1 tbs organic ground ginger

  • 1 tsp organic mixed spice

  • 1/4 tsp organic ground cloves

  • 1 free range egg white

  • 150g (1 cup) pure organic icing sugar

  • 2-3 tsp fresh organic lemon juice

  • Pure icing sugar, extra

  1. Use an electric beater to beat the butter, honey and sugar until pale and creamy. Add the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger, mixed spice and cloves, and stir until well combined. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently until smooth. Press into a disc. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 1 hour to rest.

  2. Preheat oven to 160°C. Line 3 large baking trays with non-stick baking paper. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface until 5mm thick. Use an 8cm-long bell-shaped biscuit cutter to cut bells from the dough. Place on the lined trays. Use a clean drinking straw to cut a hole from the top of each bell. Bake in oven for 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

  3. Whisk the egg white in a bowl until foamy. Gradually whisk in the icing sugar until well combined. Gradually add the lemon juice, stirring until a smooth paste forms.

  4. Use a palette knife to spread half the icing over half the biscuits. Add enough extra icing sugar to the remaining icing mixture, stirring, until a firm paste forms. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a 2mm plain nozzle. Decorate the remaining bells with different designs, such as dots, stripes and snowflake patterns. Set aside until set.


½ cup brown rice flour ½ cup barley flour ¼ tsp bicarb soda ½ tsp cream of tartar ½-1 tsp organic ground ginger ½ cup pecans ground till oily 1 tbsp organic and raw honey 1 tbs organic maple syrup 2 tbs organic orange juice 2 tsps organic grated orange rind

Sift the dry ingredients. Rub in the ground nuts. Add honey, maple syrup, orange juice and orange rind. Knead lightly and divide in halves. Roll out thinly on a floured board. Cut into shapes. Place on a lightly greased tray and bake for 15-20 mins in a moderate ove. Makes 2 doz thinly rolled cookies or 5 x 13cm thick men.

This recipe is from Recipes to the Rescue,J Bonner, L Kingsmill and S Morrow


1 cup ORGANIC Coconut pulp or shredded coconut
1 cup Ground walnuts
10 organic Dates
1/2 cup Ground flax seeds
1/2 tsp. organic Vanilla
1/4 tsp. organic Nutmeg
1/4 tsp. organic Cloves
1 Tbs. organic Cinnamon
Pinch Salt
1 Tbs. organic Shredded Ginger

Puree all of this in the food processor. You may need to stop the machine and mash the mixture down and re-pulse it.
Then form your cookies onto the teflex sheets and dehydrate for around 10 hrs or so, maybe longer. This recipe

Or for raw to eat right now

1/4 c flax seeds & grind
1/4 c walnuts (or pecans)
1/3 c almond meal (or 1/3 c whole raw almonds that you grind)
1 Tsp Cinnamon
1 Tsp Ground Ginger (or fresh ginger if you have it)
1 Tsp Mixed Spice (a blend of cinnamon, ginger, cloves, lemon peel, & cardamom)
3 Tbsp Agave

Form dough into Balls & Refrigerate. The more days/time that elapses that the dough stays in the fridge, the dryer it will naturally become... YUM

ORGANIC EMPIRE, organic home delivery melbourne, local organic foods


Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired?

Do you jump out of bed every morning with a spring in your step? Or do you drag your body out of bed and struggle through your day? With our stressful, busy lives, many people are tired. However, for an increasing number of people, persistent unremitting tiredness is a major problem. If you have to drag yourself out of bed and struggle through your day, then you may benefit from some natural supplements to help give you an energy boost.

What causes fatigue?

Things that may lead to fatigue include

• Low iron levels

• Inflammation

• Infection

• Hormonal imbalances

• Digestion and liver issues

• Excess body fat

• Unstable blood sugars

• Stress and mood changes

As you can see, there are multiple reasons why you may feel fatigued. A common reason people get fatigued is poor energy production. To keep your energy levels up, you need to ensure that all your body systems are in balance and working effectively. You also need to make sure that the energy centres of every cell in your body, the mitochondria, are working effectively.

The energy "powerhouses" – the mitochondria

Every cell in your body contains energy centres known as the mitochondria, which require certain nutrients to work efficiently. No matter what else is going on in your body, if mitochondrial function is impaired, you will have reduced energy production. Support of healthy mitochondrial function is essential for optimising your energy levels. If you experience fatigue, improving mitochondrial function is an important first step toward improving your energy levels.

Would you like to know the key to unlocking the energy centres in your body?

Nutrients are the key to increasing energy in your body, as they are used to support the mitochondria. The important nutrients required include coenzyme Q10, N-Acetyl Carnitine, lipoic acid & magnesium. These nutrients are helpful in the management of fatigue as they enhance cellular energy production in one of the following ways: by transporting dietary fats directly into the mitochondria to be broken down and burnt as fuel for energy production, by crossing the blood brain barrier to assist with mental fatigue, by converting carbohydrates and proteins into energy whilst protecting the mitochondria from damage (as it is a potent antioxidant), by providing integrity and stability of the mitochondrial membrane in the body, by stimulating the growth and size of the mitochondria, along with helping to lower stress levels, which overall can contribute to higher energy levels.

Five key steps to get you bouncing out of bed

To get you bouncing out of bed, first and foremost, you need to ensure that you lead a healthy life. By following these five simple steps, you will be on your way to better energy, and a new lease on life.

1. Get adequate, regular and consistent amounts of sleep each night.

2. Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet, organic where possible and drink plenty of water throughout the day.

3. Exercise regularly.

4. Learn better ways to relax.

5. Avoid stimulants or excess alcohol.

Optimising energy levels can significantly improve your quality of life and help you regain your enthusiasm for living. If fatigue is affecting your life, come in and see me to help you to determine which diet, lifestyle and nutrient factors are letting your body down and causing your fatigue.

Marisa Camilleri - Naturopath
Melbourne Suite 15 / 12 Collins St 9663 5940
Williamstown 95 Douglas Parade 9397 7885

* Specialist in Fat Loss, Wellness & Preventative care * Naturopathy * Herbal Medicine * Homeopathy * Nutritional & dietary advice * Ear candling * Bioimpedance Analysis (BIA)

ORGANIC EMPIRE, organic home delivery melbourne, local organic foods

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Tart 'n' round

I would love to introduce you all to a fantastic gluten , egg and dairy free cafe and manafacturer. The company is called Tart 'n'round and they are located at 839 High St, Thornbury. Call them on 9480 0818. Their range is unbelievable and Andrew the owner does an amazing job of preparing this food. Gluten free never tasted so good! They also have vegan cheese, vegan ice-cream and so many goodies. Try them out for lunch or dinner, they have such an extensive menu, it is a vegan/vegetarian delight....

The master of Raw food

For the first time ever, David Wolfe will be gracing the shores of Australia to talk raw foods and health. He is an educator, inspirer, he is a world authority on raw foods, natural healing, longeivity, acclaimed author and a health and well being expert. Will keep you posted on where he will be appearing in the meantime be sure to check him out…. EMPIRE, organic home delivery melbourne, local organic foods

What’s in season in Melbourne right now!



















Sugar snap peas


ORGANIC EMPIRE, organic home delivery melbourne, local organic foods

Monday, December 7, 2009

Heir looming

'Heirloom' or 'heritage' fruit and vegetables are essentially old varieties that have stood the test of time; these varieties are not used in modern large scale agriculture. So these plants have been engineered by nature. They are living artifacts and living history exhibits

Before the industrialization of our fresh produce, an enormous variety of crops were grown for humans to eat. Through time and with the modern agriculture in the industrialized world, most crops that are grown conventionally use large monocultural plots, which is the practice of growing one variety of crop over the whole farm. This is great if you are a farmer, easier to tend to your soil, but growing the same crops year in year out in the same soil leads to soil deficiencies, and in conventional farming, increased fertilisers, and increased pests because of the deficiencies in the soil.

These varieties that are mass produced are generally chosen for the drought/frost tolerance, crop yields etc.

Heirloom varieties are enjoying a new resurgence in our society, being chosen for the taste, visual appearance, their adaptability to grow in different environments and increasing the genetic diversity of the plants that exist. These plants have adapted through time, and as such are often resistant to local pests, diseases and extremes of weather. Flavor is one of the key reasons people like to preserve heirloom seeds. Their flavor is exceptional

We have some amazing heirloom Italian variety of zucchini, these are delicious, grown locally, certified organic and simply support to biodiversity of nature. Stay tuned for the heirloom tomatoes that are about to become available, black Russians, yellow, purple....

If you would like to organic goodness contact us and we can deliver it to your door, or perhaps you would like some heirloom plants for yourself contact us.

ORGANIC EMPIRE, organic home delivery melbourne, local organic foods