Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Get back to basics

Its amazing how quickly the weather can change, in the blink of eye its gone from being warm and sunny, to wet and humid.  It's these weather conditions that bring with it its own challenges, increased humidity means some crops prosper other wither, and if we were to imagine that this weather change was quite permananet that would mean that the crops that used to grow in our regions, would no longer, or certain pests would flourish attacking our crops.  What am I getting at you may ask...  the importance of crop diversity and indeed earth biodiversity, you see at the moment four food crops provide half the worlds food energy requirements, they are rice, corn, wheat and potato, and in the last century we have lost over 75% of our crop diversity( UN Food and agriculture organisation). Now less than 30 crops feed 95% of the worlds population.  What that translates to is 1000's of varieties of produce lost to a time gone by....it's that same time gone by that share's the wisdom of the Irish potato famine, in which millions of people died as a result of a reliance on a crop that failed.  The potatoes in which was the staple of their diet's.  
This is called monoculture farming, agricultural practices of growing a singular crop.  This kind of farming is more susceptible to devastation from pests and other factors. So imagine what would happen if the world over was growing the same strains of seeds..sounds crazy, but its true and its happening.  Writer Michael Polllan maintains that 'preserving biodiversity is like an insurance policy, by growing multiple varieties of a crop, we increase the chances that if one fails, another will have the genetic traits that enable it to thrive.'  Its this diversity that we as consumers need to preserve, for our health and for the health of every generation to come.  Sounds dire..it is.
So get to it, we've got 6 EASY ways to preserve the biodiversity of our food and get back to basics.

This week I want to share with you some of my families traditional recipes, please feel free to share yours online on facebook with us all or email them through and we will put them on the website.

So this week, my wish for you is that you mix it up, get outside of the box try new things, new flavours, cuisine, our food is so precious and the culture and food security it represents are worth preserving.

Forget to place your order, register for our SMS reminder service and never miss getting the best organic produce delivered each week. REGISTER HERE.  Once you are registered you can then text through your seasonal box orders whenever you like.  How easy is that?  

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So Autumn is nearly upon us, and so are all the amazing autumn flavours. 
Zucchini flowers, local and delicious.  Grown in the Yarra Valley and a sensational price. No pesticides, no chemicals 
Organic Leeks, locally grown and fantastic sauteed 
Organic lettuces, coming in from Macclesfield are getting better and better each week. 
Organic Corn, we have a special on local organic corn, this one is only .88c each.  Incredible value, please note that these corns are smaller.

"We human beings are part of 'biodiversity.' We are dependent on the whole food chain down below us."
Darrell Merrell

We thank you for your support as always, we are very grateful that you are making your body healthier, your kids stronger and the world a better place to be.

 Thanks you are awesome, look forward to serving you

Angela Gioffre 
(Your nutritionist) and the team at Organic Empire


Monday, February 27, 2012

5 Ways to promote biodiversity in our food

1. GET TRADITIONAL: sit down with your grandmother and or father and find out their time honored meals were, where did they source their local foods from, seek out the ingredients, find the source, find the artisans and farmers that still grow them and support them.

2. GET DIFFERENT: Try new foods, I am not talking about the packaged and processed varieties but the obscure fruits and vegetables you have never heard of, seek them out, ASK US we will source them for you.

3. BUY LOCAL:  Source local foods from us, we have an amazing array of heirloom varieties of produce every week, locally grown.  Try your local farmers markets, support these amazing people in their quest to foster food security.

4. TALK: talk about these foods, to your friends and family, share the wisdom, promote these foods.

5. GET EDUCATED: What are you eating, what variety is it? Are there other's available? Ask the questions.  This way you nourish you mind and body at the same time

6. PLANT SOMETHING DIFFERENT: Probably the most significant thing you can do is plant something different, something that will feed your family, something that you can enjoy together.

We have a farm plan for some amazing heirloom varieties, our latest to go in, is Italian celery, not seen very often anymore except for the  little villages of Italy where time has stood still.  It looks like continental parsley and eats like celery... AMAZING!  Share you treasures that you find with us...


Friday, February 24, 2012

Featherless Chickens are not OK!

I really dislike being a bad news bear, preferring to appreciate the positive, but there are something's that I need to share...like how disgusting it is that they are breeding featherless chickens to make it easier to process them after slaughtering, and how they are genetically modifying mosquito breeds, or how the new genetically modified corn is killing our bees.  I am not sure how exactly we got to this place....
C'mon people make a change, we can't create a world like this for our kids.  GET ORGANIC, GROW YOUR OWN, SUPPORT ORGANIC FARMING, LEARN LEARN LEARN ,EAT WELL and LIVE WELL
 Read more on what's going on in the world of genetic modifications on the BFA website


Get juicy with us

I want this week to be all about feeling good. Feeling good is SO important, because how you spend your days..you spend your life.  SO we are all about feeling good the majority of the time, and we know the power of food to exert those good feelings. When the body is balanced and nutritionally sound everything works perfectly, you sleep well, you feel full of energy, your skin glows, your  are eyes clear.  This all sounds dreamy and divine, but then the reality of a hectic lifestyle reminds us of why we are the way we are, consuming foods on the run, forever busy.. 
This is the story of my life, so I can sympathise with you all, and as a nutritionist I know the importance of sound health and good food. I would like to encourage you all to do one thing this week for you, for your health. Something you can take in the car, make it in a flash and revitalise your body with, helping the body obtain all the nutrients it can.  They are tasty and delicious and the kids will love them too.  Intrigued ??? 
Its organic juices and smoothies, these powerhouses of health can be made to provide all the nutrients we need.  All you need at home is a blender/juicer and we will supply the rest in the form of amazing organic produce, just be sure to place you order now.            

We want to help you, so this week we have all the juicing essentials on special, as well as the juicing box discounted to $20 for only this week, CHECK OUT OUR ORGANIC STORE NOW.

There is more, we are also going to provide lots of recipes for juices and smoothies updated daily on our site, so check back daily and let's get juicy.

 There are lots of ways that we can work on improving nutrition so stay tuned on Facebook and on the website for meal ideas, green smoothies and juices this week.  Together we will build a program a lifestyle that cleanses and energises the body and mind.  So plan your menu out this week to try and include a vegie juice or smoothie a day!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Ignite some kitchen chemistry

We all know the power of food to heal, but did you know that certain foods posses aphrodisiac qualities, ones that can transform a non existent libido to a sexual prowess.  Some of these unfounded, but science knows one thing for sure, undernourishment results in a loss of libido and decreased fertility. So go organic, get the most from every bite, flavour, nourishment and excitement  ;0

In ancient times, foods that beared a physical resemblance to genitalia were deemed foods that would promote procreation, this was when the connection between food and fertility began.

There are so many different foods that we could include in this list, but for the sake of seasonality and availability, lets go with the ones we have available this week.

So what do we know

Almonds; the aroma is said to induce passion in females.  Interestingly the almonds is one of the oldest symbols of fertility.  In Indian medicine the almond is used to stop premature ejaculation and increasing sex drive.  Eat them RAW. Great source of protein, fibre, zinc, selenium, copper, potassium, phosphorus, biotin , riboflavin, niacin and iron.

Avocado; the Mayans and Aztecs revered the avocado fruit as one of the most powerful, naming it Ahuacuatl- translated means testicle tree. Rich in fibre, folate, Vitamin K, E C, potassium.

Bananas; you can understand why the humble banana has been heralded as the aphrodisiac fruit, its phallic shape earning this title.  Rightly so, an organic banana contains high amounts of potassium and B vitamins, both of these nutrients are essential for sex hormone production.

Chocolate; ok so who can go past this...an ultimate aphrodisiac and researchers agree finding a higher degree of sexual satisfaction from those that consumed chocolate daily.  In no way is this an endorsement or encouragement to over indulge, nether less interesting.  Make it dark and raw.  Chocolate naturally contains both serotonin and phenylethyamine, both these are mood lifting compounds.

Figs; a true food of the gods and incidentally in stock this week.  Visually figs are thought to look like the female sexual organs.  A great source of  calcium, copper, potassium, manganese, iron, selenium and zinc.

Honey:  In ancient times, Sterility and impotence were treated with honey, also as a source of concentrated energy.  During the medieval age, a drink called 'mead' made with fermented honey and was given to newlyweds, and seducers hoping to get lucky.

Rocket; was recognised as an aphrodisiac since the Roman times AD. Dioscorides warning that eating it raw stimulates lust and sexual appetite. A great source of vitamin A, C, beta carotene, calcium folate, fibre and phytonutrients.


Putting LOVE into your food

This article written by our own Angela Gioffre, Nutritionist about the importance of putting love in your food.
Download it here

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Ethical Meat

So in light of today's media coverage of an abattoir in Sydney, in which animals were beat prior to slaughter has heavily reinforced the need for us as a community to become more connected with our food.  Its such a tragedy that these creatures are killed so inhumanely, in a country with enough knowledge and resources to make more informed choices, instead choosing willed ignorance.  The mistreatment of these defenceless animals is just another example of the problems associated with mass business riddled with moral and ethical ambiguities.  It hasn't always been this way, in a time before mine, families reared loved and killed their own animals, only taking what they could eat, with integrity and respect for the animal.  This symbiotic relationship equated to healthy animals, and healthy people.  On a recent trip to Italy we visited my aunties farm, where she keeps pigs.  Everyday we would go and visit the pigs, where she would feed them, rub them and kiss them.  Perplexed, I asked her why she was kissing her pigs, and as absurd as it may seem, she proceeded to inform me it was because she loved them.  I told her that perhaps you could love a pig, but she didn't need to kiss it. She answered she loved the pig because it would feed her. The penny dropped, this profound respect for the pig, her connection with the animal meant that the love that reared and worshiped it would take it's life with integrity.  This makes me wonder, if we all had to look after the animals which we wished to eat, how different our lives would be.  Its also a realisation that this disconnectedness with our food creates the world in which we live, where animals can be beaten before slaughter, that can cry for their fellow creatures when they see them killed on the kill floor. Is it not enough that they have given their lives to be consumed by humans?

The truth is we vote for the world we want with every dollar we spend.  Demand ethical treatment of animals, demand a world where your food is produced humanely.

Do you think that humans have the right to treat animals badly? You owe it to yourself, as well as to the animals to make informed choices.   What are the consequences of your eating decisions? Trace your food, can you find a farmer that loves and cares for his animals?  If you are aware of a local farm in Victoria that we should all know about, please let us know, comment below.  Thanks

PETA.  People for the ethical treatment of animals
Humane Society


Monday, February 6, 2012

Back to school

So its back to school and routine for the majority of us this week, and although its quite stressful to leave the bliss of summer holidays behind, where the only rule was that there were no rules, dinner at 9pm was ok and so was sleeping in till 10.   I think its nice to have routine again, and however stressful and hectic your lives may be, it can be made better by looking after yourself.  I know that when we feel overwhelmed the last thing we think about is eating well, but its truly the most important thing.

Never before have we been so busy, our western lives driven by haste and in turn convenience mean that the majority of the population turn to processed quick fixes in order to feed the body.

With a little organization, this can be different, your story can read like this ...' the kids lunch boxes were the envy of the school yard, my lunch was amazing and I felt fabulous and nourished after enjoying it'..
All it takes are some simple tools, knowing what it is you are making, having the ingredients on hand, and taking the time to make it. The truth is, it's usually quicker than going to the lunch bar...

So what can you do differently this week, what can you have in your lunch that will make you feel amazing?. Organic fresh produce is a great start, and so is increasing the amount of fresh produce. Why not try varying your diet and including new foods, making sure that everyday you and your family eat a rainbow. (that is a variety of different coloured foods).

If time is truly against you, nature have the answer, making lunch orders easy by perfectly packing produce in its own delicious skin.  Just grab some carrots, some cucumbers (add a pinch of salt for perfection), grab a couple plums, bag of grapes and a banana...delicious, nutritious and easy.  Nuts for afternoon tea, with some goji berries...

These actions, however small will ensure that your life is changed for the better.

So what's for lunch? How about some....

 Rice paper rolls, made in a flash, the kids will love them, let them fill them with their favourite vegetables.
  Avocado Salad, this can be made with whatever you have on had, diced with avocado, and dressed.
 Vietnamese Salad, make extra for dinner and take it to work the next day

Beetroot and pumpkin salad,roasted the night before, makes a divine lunch.  just be sure to wait to dress it before you eat. 

or perhaps make up a big batch of raw or cooked muesli bars,either way delicious, try them for yourself

Forget to place your order, register for our SMS reminder service and never miss getting the best organic produce delivered each week. REGISTER HERE


To ensure you receive your delivery, why not ORDER NOW


Organic Iceberg lettuce are sensational at the moment, and perfect for hydration.
Organic Pineapples are sweet and delicious and perfectly in season.  
Organic Green beans, crispy and sweet in great supply with amazing colour.  
Local organic zucchini are in abundance, and an amazing addition to your meals.  
Organic continental cucumbers are a great buy at the moment too, grown locally they are a great addition to every meal

"The doctor of the future will no longer treat the human frame with drugs, but rather will cure and prevent disease with nutrition” Thomas Edison


Friday, February 3, 2012

What's for dinner??

So it's Friday night, deciding on the cuisine for the night, is usually the hardest in most homes, but tonight I am feeling exceptionally inspired with an organic summer bounty to rival any harvest.  Where to start, the organic and biodynamic produce at the moment is sensational.  The organic iceberg lettuce with their slight cosmetic imperfections an example of true organic farming, full of flavour, crunch and juicy with water to hydrate.  The flavour of organic tomatoes is exceptional, this is one fresh item I refuse everywhere unless its organic, I think why waste my time chewing and digesting something that hasn't that flavour, most conventional tomatoes just taste like a textured water ball.

So on the menu tonight, eggplant cutlets, tomatoes salad, peas with a tomato salsa, corn, green salad, sweet potatoes and roasted pumpkin mmmm buon appetito.

Need some inspiration for your feast tonight or any other night, check out some healthy fresh recipes here