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CERTIFIED ORGANIC

What?

This journal is composed of articles that start with the word, "what?":

Monday
Feb202012

What is GMO?

GMO is an abbreviation for "Genetically Modified Organism". Genes from other species are transferred by "gene-splicing." The term refers to any genetic plant (or fish or animal) type that has had a gene, or genes, from different species transferred into its genetic material.

The idealistic goal of GMO producers is to become more productive with their products, that the products be more pest resistant, or to create "better" and "different" products than that created by previous plant or animal generations. The goal of the sponsors of GMO's are to grow vegetables and fruits that can have a longer life-span, increase profits by decreasing spoilage, increasing yield, etc.

However, long term studies have not been done on these new crops and animals to ascertain the effect they will have on the environment at large, on the lives of genetically-modified animals, or on the entire biosphere.

The current tests, show that GMO's spread more rapidly than anticipated, contaminate wide spread areas, greatly affect the biosphere, and, once released into the environment, are difficult to curtail or control, if possible at all.

Foods that have been genetically modified have been found by Russian and Canadian studies to negatively affect the organism doing the consuming, including humans.

Current GMO Crops: Soybeans, Corn, Tomatoes, Potatos, Sugar Beets, Farm-Raised Salmon, Cotton, Wheat, Rice, Coffee, Onions, Canola, and now, Grass, Peas, Alfalfa, and even Goats and Silk. For updated genetically altered crops, visit the following websites: Greenpeace USA, NewScientist, or Organic Consumers Association.

GMO crops are more prolific than you may think. Over 80% of all corn and soybean grown in the USA has been genetically-modified. Read more about GMO.

Sunday
Feb192012

What can I do?

Wouldn't it be great if the food we ate was safe, healthy, free from pesticides and affordable? We deserve to be able to purchase safe and healthy food, especially for developing children, people seeking wellness and expectant mothers. But what can you do?

Fight for the right!

Following is a list of some of the things that you can do to support the "green revolution":

  • Grow your own: It does not take a lot of space to begin to grow some of your very favorite vegetables, herbs or fruit (especially if you use hydroponics). They just need sun, water and organic mulch. Do not use pesticides or chemicals on your plants. These are poison, to the bugs and yourself. For natural ways to control pests from eating the fruits of your labor, click here.
  • Request that your local supermarket carry Organic foods. Von's sells Organic produce, canned (Organic™ brand) and frozen Organic foods. Albertsons sells Organic foods under their Wild Harvest® brand. Ralphs sells Organic produce, greens and herb under their "Private Selection" brand.
  • Shop at local farm stands and your local farmer's markets. Use the Local Harvest website to find farmers' markets, family farms, and other sources of sustainably grown food in your area: Where you can buy produce, grass-fed meats, and many other natural and Organic goodies.
  • Join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program in your area (such as the Inland Empire CSA).
  • Buy fresh, in-season Organic produce whenever possible (and affordable): In season = In-sync with your body. Local = Less gas, less cost, lower carbon footprint.
  • Purchase your foods from markets that specialize in organic foods: Whole Foods Market, Jimbo's, Henry's Farmers Market, Sprouts Farmers Market, and Trader Joe's, to name a few.
  • Eat at Restaurants that use Organic ingredients in their recipes, and that support local farmers (such as Earth Bistro).
  • Join the "revolution" of encouraging the use of healthy and Organic foods in your children's schools (such as Revolution Foods).
  • Pack a healthy lunch box for your children, as suggested by KidsOrganics.
  • Encourage the use of Organic foods in your work place.

When you have no other option but conventionally-grown produce, make sure you wash off any residual pesticides with "Kompletely Kleen", our non-ionic fruit and vegetable rinse: Gentle on the earth, your produce and your self.

Monday
Jan022012

What is "Organic"?

That which is considered to be "Organic", has varied from State to State and producer to producer. The toughest definition of organic has come from the state of California. When a grower or processor claims that its' product is Organic "According the the California Foods Act of 1990", that grower/processor is claiming that there were:

  • No Pesticides or fertilizers used in their products, and that the soil was tended to in a natural and beneficial manner.
  • No transgenic ingredients, or ingredients where genes were transferred across species, were used. (aka, No GMO's!)
  • No irradiation was used.
  • No processed human sewage/sludge was used as fertilizer.

However, as of October 21,2002, the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) defines organic as follows:

Organic food is produced by farmers who emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations. Organic meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products come from animals that are given no antibiotics or growth hormones. Organic food is produced without using most conventional pesticides; fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge; bioengineering; or ionizing radiation. Before a product can be labeled "organic," a Government-approved certifier inspects the farm where the food is grown to make sure the farmer is following all the rules necessary to meet USDA organic standards. Companies that handle or process organic food before it gets to your local supermarket or restaurant must be certified, too.

We highly recommend your reading the entire ingredients on a product before purchase, regardless of what that front label may say. And that you avoid non-organic products and by-products of the crops listed under GMO above, until someone can prove that they will not harm us or our environment in the long-run.