Why Organic Is Good During Droughts

usda-organic-sealAs we all know, California is quickly running out of water with the state having roughly one year of water left in it. This is a very serious situation, but once again it shows the importance of having a different mindset for the food we eat. While we have become dependent on foods grown with the use of chemicals, organic can actually be better for the environment during a drought. Studies have found that organic produce and growing is better during a drought, which may help lower the cost of organic food in the long-run. In an analysis of 100 studies at the University of California, it was found that organic farming created a mix of biodiversity in the soil and the environment around it, that was nearly impossible for synthetic chemicals to mimic.

While organic farms are typically 20 per cent less productive than conventional farms, that gap is slowly narrowing as more and more investment and research goes into organic farming.

In another study done by Rodale Institute, they looked at the productivity of organic farms and conventional farms from 1981 to now. They found that organic plots on the property outperformed the conventional ones, in the long-run, especially when there was something like a drought happening. It also found that organic farms are far more resilient of droughts than conventional farms. They also handle things like frost and flooding easier.

Essentially, it comes down to what is in the soil. Organic farms build up organisms in the soil and bacteria that helps it survive during tough times. The soil, organisms and all the plants develop into a mutually-dependent relationship. For example, fungi provide channels for nutrients and water to go up into the plants from deep in the soil. This allows the plants to absorb less water and need less water overall.

As you can see, going organic is good for you and the environment, especially when droughts are causing severe problems for California.

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Written by: Yehudith Girshberg

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Know What You Buy

downloadWhen you go to the grocery store, it can be very easy to just buy what you think you will enjoy, without looking at the ingredients. Often, you choose what will taste good, even if it is bad for you. Our brains are wired for immediate gratification and we get more of an immediate gratification from eating something like chocolate chip cookies instead of an organic pear. It can be hard to fight this, but it is important that we choose not to eat food that is bad for us, and bad for the environment.

Processed foods taste great, but have you looked at the ingredients? They are not exactly made for consumption. Here is a tip, if you can’t pronounce what the ingredient is, you probably shouldn’t be ingesting it. Yes, it tastes great, but there is a huge amount of bad stuff in it that can really harm your body over the course of time.

You need to have the willpower to choose good real food that is organic. Real food is food that is just that, real. It is food you can eat right off the tree, without having to mix anything with it. It is organic, and it is good for you and good for the environment. The world is going through an obesity epidemic right now, and a big part of that is the processed food we keep putting into our bodies. Those processed foods stay with our body, in our fatty tissue, slowly harming us. Sure, sometimes eating a Twinkie tastes much better than eating a plum, but in the long run, the plum is going to do you a lot more good than if you are eating the Twinkie. Ya, you can have bad food on occasion, but your diet should be good food, that is organic. You need to know what you are buying, and what you are eating. It can do a lot to help you lose weight and feel healthier for many years to come.

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Written by: Yehudith Girshberg

Organics In Other Countries

Canadian_Organic_SealWe all know that when you buy something grown in the United States, it can be certified organic by the United States Department of Agriculture. That is great and all, but you don’t just buy your organic food from the United States. This then begs the question, of whether or not the food you buy elsewhere from other countries is actually organic. What are their certifications that prove that it is organic?

  1. In Canada, the federal government has been certifying organic products since June of 2009. Canada’s Organic Production Regulation is very similar to that of the United States and the European Union in terms of the rules it has in place to ensure proper organic regulation.
  2. In Europe, there has been organic legislation since 1992, when it was implemented throughout the continent. Supervision of certification is handled on a national level among countries, but there is an EU-wide label that is used for organic certification. It has been mandatory on all organic food since 2010.
  3. Japan has the Japan Agricultural Standard, which was implemented in 2001, and revised in 2005. It requires all organic farmers to be certified by the Ministry of Agriculture.
  4. Australia has an organic certification that is conducted by the Biosecurity division of the Department of Agriculture. All organic claims must be accredited under this program to be exported out of the country and labeled as organic.
  5. In India, the APEDA regulates all organic products under the National Standards for Organic Production. The standards of this program have been recognized by the European Union.
  6. In China, the China Green Food Development Centre gives out two standards, A and AA, to certify organic.

Buying organic elsewhere in the world is growing in popularity and more and more countries are looking to certify their products as organic so they can reach the huge market of the United States. If the food you are buying is certified organic in another country, chances are it is going to be considered organic in your home country as well.

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Written by: Yehudith Girshberg

 

 

 

Is Kosher Organic?

imagesThe thing with Kosher food is that it has to be made in a certain way, and it has to follow very strict guidelines. The guidelines are so strict that most Kosher food plants are actually exempt from inspections and certifications because the standards are so high there is no need to inspect. This then begs the question about whether or not kosher is actually organic.

Organic food is concerned with how food is contaminated with various chemicals and through the use of GMOs. Organic food is food that is not harmful to human health, and does not have anything in it that can harm the person, nor the planet, from the process of growing to ingesting.

Kosher is a bit different in that it is concerned with how the food conforms with the dietary laws of the Jewish people. Any contamination of these rules could compromise the laws, and that is why Kosher products are certified so highly. A person who only eats organic, eating an apple grown in an inorganic way, is not going to have a question of faith, but a Jewish person eating something that isn’t kosher can have that crisis.

In both organic and kosher processing of products, the equipment must be certified in a certain way. Organic food can’t have any equipment that uses harsh chemicals, while kosher products can’t be made by equipment that makes non-kosher items.

One of the biggest differences between the certifications is that organic certification is managed by the United States Department of Agriculture, and is set down in laws from the federal government. In contrast, kosher is only answerable to the rabbi at the particular kosher certification agency handling that product or processing facility.

So, is kosher organic? No, it is not. Organic food can be made in a non-kosher way, and kosher food can be made in a non-organic way. A chicken can be made in a kosher way, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t raised in harsh conditions, or with certain by-products in it.

If you want kosher, then get a kosher certified food. If you want organic, then go with an organic certified food.

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Written by: Yehudith Girshberg

What does Organic Certification Mean?

usda-organic-sealWhen a product in the United States is considered to be organic and has passed all the tests related to organic produce, it receives a sticker that says USDA Organic. This sticker, issued only through the United States Department of Agriculture, certifies that the product is organic. It is impossible for a product to receive this certification without passing the strict guidelines put in place by the United States government.

Through the United States Department of Agriculture, organic is defined as products that are made in a method that preserves the environment and avoids synthetic materials including antibiotics and pesticides. To be certified, farmers must grow their crop and manage their livestock in a way that follows the standards of the USDA. Standards can include:

  1. Irradiation, sewage sludge, synthetic fertilizers, prohibited pesticides and GMOs were not used in the process of growing the organic food.
  2. Producers must meet animal health and welfare standards. They cannot use antibiotics or growth hormones and animals must have access to the outdoors. The feed for the animals must also be 100 per cent organic.
  3. The product has 95 per cent or more certified organic content.

The USDA supports the organic trend because it preserves natural resources and the biodiversity of the country, while supporting animal health and welfare. It also supports it because organic food from livestock means that animals had access to the outdoors so they could exercise their regular and natural behaviours.

Organic is growing at a very fast rate in the United States. Currently, 25,000 farmers and ranchers get benefits from the organic certification, and they are part of a market that has reached $35 billion a year in sales.

The standards put in place by the USDA help ensure that the products you buy with an organic label on them are actually organic. That label is the best way to ensure what you are buying is truly organic and healthy for you and the environment.

De La Rosa Real Foods

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Written by: Yehudith Girshberg