It’s the time of the year when nature slows down or good part of it sleeps. Just humans seem to get extra busy. Running all over to find presents, which often are not even wanted. How about to settle down and think about how we can enjoy a peaceful Holliday Season and buy in way that support good causes? For example order some nice calendars from your favorite non for profit organization as a present or donate in the name of the person as a present?
Maybe you know someone who has birds and is not so well off. Buy some toys or some good parrot food for them. Or give them a voucher for a farm basket or a delicacies store. Or a voucher for a trip to a special place near you. Sitting together with your family and brainstorm about such gifts for family and friends can be so much fun.
Happy Holiday Season
Though, corn is a good source of fiber, folate, vitamins B and C and potassium, it is also the second most prevalent ingredient in foods processed in the US today.
We find it in almost every processed food in form of Cornstarch, Corn syrup (including high-fructose corn syrup), Corn flour, Corn oil, Corn lecithin. Or corn derived ingredients like Citric Acid , Xanthan Gum and most “natural flavors”.
This is not only the case for human food, but also for parrot food.
Like with everything our a body is inundated with, it eventually develops allergies. So corn allergies seem to become more common; in humans and in parrots. It looks like corn is one of the foods which, when eaten daily, can trigger allergies. I like to feed fresh corn, when it is in season, but avoid it otherwise.
I know many people, who are convinced that only raw is the best organic parrot food. They reason in Nature there is no cooked food. Then there are parrot owners who cook and bake for their birds. Who is right?
None of them is right or wrong. It often depends on the parrot.
It is correct that there is no cooked food in nature. But what about parrots, that don’t eat raw vegetables? My Grey, for example, eats vegetables only when they are at least slightly cooked. I know people who bake birdie bread to hide fresh vegetables, to get their bird to eat them. I cook millet and quinoa to hide and get my parrots
to eat vegetables.
Warm food, for many living beings is comfort food. It reminds them of the times, when they were babies and nurtured from their parents. At that time the food baby parrots were fed was processed in the crop and had the body temperature of their parents. Also the nutrition in some veggies are easier absorbed by the body when cooked. It often is enough to cook them for a short time in steam.
I often have been challenged to get some healthy food into a parrot. With some birds we have to be quite tricky to get them to eat fresh foods. And we have to find a way to get our parrots to eat their veggies.
When it comes to a healthy diet the need of a parrots food is not that much different from humans. Some people think, if something is good, more of it is better. But a healthy diet consists of a variety eaten in moderation. This variety doesn’t have to be in one meal, but can be food consumer over several days. When we look at the seasons it can go over month.
Our and our parrot’s food does not only nourish our body, it has many more functions. In consuming regularly different foods we can help the body to break them down, assimilate and absorb nutrition. Here are just a few examples: Enzymes are very important for digestion. So, some pineapple, papaya or apple eaten on a regular base will support that part of assimilation. Bitter foods, like dandelion, arugula, nasturtiums, etc will help the body break down fats. Sour foods, like lemons, grapefruit, (and yes) apples help to break down carbohydrates. Cayenne pepper and ginger stimulate the production of hydrochloric acid to break down food and make it easier to get the nutrition. Coconut or olive oil help the body to absorb more of beta carotene.
This is just one reason why I believe no processed food (pellets) can cover the complete dietary need of a parrot. Coming from a background where this kind of a diet is normal, I apply it to the way I feed my birds.
“my bird is a picky eater” or “I took in a bird, who is a picky eater” are sentences I hear at least several times a week.
Lets have a look at that.
Our parrots are not domesticated creatures. Their instincts are pretty much full in place.
So, lets imagine how this ‘picky eater’ would work in the wild. The parrot fledges and the parents and flock take it out to show what is save food. And because there is so much and they only have to fly miles and miles to find it, they say to the young bird: “Do you like this? Or shall we fly another 5 or 10 miles to see if we find something you like better?” Can you imagine that?
Well, it rather is like this: they fly and show this is food and it is save to eat and then they eat it. Now how come they are so picky when living with us? Did you ever consider that when you put some new food in your birds bowl or chuff in its face, it doesn’t even know that is save parrot food? How can he/she?
There are several ways to teach a parrot to start eating a variety of foods. One is that you, as a flock mate, eating it.
Showing this food is save. Or you can offer the dish every day in the cage. Though that can take month with some birds, which knows a very limited diet.
But you would not live with a parrot if you would not have an infinity source of love and patience, right ;-).
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I got a call today and actually was wondering why it took this long before it came.
About 6 month ago we got told we are not allowed to use the word organic in our name Totally Organics anymore, without being certified with the USDA. We had to choose between applying for a certification (which would have led to considerable price increases) or change our name, Totally Organics.
If you are like me and read labels, you see that certified organic does not necessarily mean quality. Many of the certified organic foods contain all kind of fillers like soy, corn, etc, but little of the things they were originally made of. Some pet foods even contain chemicals, which are not allowed for human consumption.
Totally Organics has never been certified for the above reasons. Our ingredients are just real foods, not fillers and have been certified organic since 10 years.
Though, two of our original suppliers choose to not renew their certification. They still grow according to the national organic standards. I know their commitment to leave the soil, air, water, plant life, animals and people healthier with their farming practices. It’s a way of life for them.
So, now there came this call and the gentleman ask why we
Changed our name to TOP’s Parrot Food and also changed two ingredients to ‘just’ ecological and sustainable grown ones. Everybody can say that, without a certification.
And yes, he is right. But we sometimes have to make choices and just trust. I have several companies I am buying from. I researched them and do trust them, even if they are not certified.
So I can only say, Totally Organics, now TOP’s Parrot Food has never been certified, we have used only the best, highest quality, organic ingredients and will keep doing so,
Even if some are not certified anymore.
2003 Totally Organics was created to produce the best
nutritious, natural parrot food on the market. We started out with
organic, human grade ingredients. Producing pet food, we had to take the human grade off our labels. Now we are at a point where we
have to take the word ‘organic’ out of our name or go through a costly certification which would force us to increase the prices considerably.
So we chose to change Totally Organics to ‘TOP’s Parrot Food’.
Our mission is still to produce the best, healthiest and natural
parrot food on the market. The ingredients are still organic, even with two of our suppliers not being certified anymore. TOP’s is GMO free, soy free, corn free, wheat free and nut free food for you parrot.
When I grow up we ate everything organic. Though, it wasn’t called organic. It was just what we grew on our little farm. We did not have the money to buy chemical fertilizer.
Fast forward 20 years or so and our water was not save to drink anymore, because of the overuse of fertilizer from the big farms.
At the same time the first “organic” produce started to show upin little health food stores. And I decided for the sake of the environment, the water, the air and this beautiful planet to do my part and to buy and eat as much organic products as I could. It became a way of life.
There were times when it was not easy. E.g. when I lived in this little town in the cascades. Though, about 15 years ago I started to see more and more people becoming conscious about the poisoning in our food and start to grow and eat organic produce. With this development there came money to be made and bigger corporations became interested in organic. Over the last 10 years the certification became more difficult; while at the same time organic became fuzzier.
Today I often find organic products, which are just mainly cheap organic fillers (like soy something or the other) with some chemicals added. Pet food it is even worse. It is allowed to ad 5% non organic ingredients to any certified organic product. In pet foods that are often chemicals, which are not allowed for human consumption because, they are toxic. I am sure that some chemicals found in organic parrot food are if not the cause, increase feather destructive behavior.
Over the last 3-4 years I have seen that some of the farmers I buying vegetables and fruits from, even some suppliers for Totally Organics, did not renew their organic certification. I know that they grow sustainable, ecological, meaning improving the soil while protecting the air, water, and wildlife. Knowing them since many years I know also that they really care about the health of the environment. I trust them. More than I trust a lot of the certified products I find at my health food store.
So, what to do? Can we trust organic certification? I don’t know anymore. Therefore I buy as much as possible from people and companies I know, read labels very close and buy certified organic when I don’t know the producer.
Until about 70 years ago everything was grown organic. Though, it was just normal, the way food was grown. The next step was the use of chemical fertilizer, which finally was in some areas so overused that the ground water was not fit to drink anymore.
About 30 some years ago the fist small farmers started ‘organic’ farming. The last decade the organic movement got a lot of momentum. It became interesting to large corporations, because of the money it started to make. And with that ‘organic’ started to change. The list of synthetics, which are allowed to be used is growing constantly. When it comes to processed food it gets even a step further. In pet food there can be up to 5% non organic (meaning chemical) ingredients. Some of them not allowed for human consumption. And it will get the certified organic stamp.
Until not too long ago there was organic and conventional. And then something happened. I saw it at my local farmers market. Some of the
Farmers did not renew their ‘organic’ certification. Then some of our
(Totally Organics) suppliers did the same. Did they go back to conventional? NO. Far from it. They went a step ahead and went
ecological, sustainable. Knowing their attitude towards the health of the environment, their health, meaning their soil, water and air
I trust them more than some organic certified companies whose products I see in the grocery store. Also, organic doesn’t necessarily mean quality.
Nonetheless I look for organic labels when I shop in a grocery store, because it helps me to find food free of pesticides, antibiotics and artificial hormones. Though, the safest way to avoid the confusion around the organic standards is to purchase whole fruits, grains, vegetables, and meat and dairy products – and to get them directly from a farmer I know and trust. If I want to buy processed goods, I try to get these from independent, local sources as well, as these are less likely to include preservatives and additives. And I can talk to them about their practices or ingredients, even visit the farm or look in the kitchen.
I do the same, when I buy ingredients for Totally Organics, which is just now becoming TOP’s Parrot Food products. It is important to have suppliers I trust, suppliers whose ethic I know, whose attitude toward a healthy environment.
From next month one we will go back to buy from two suppliers who are not certified organic anymore, but practice ecological farming. That means also we have to take the word ‘organic’ out of Totally Organics and from the front of the labels. The ingredients are marked and you will see which are organic and which ecologically grown.
So, what does eco farming mean?
“Ecological” farming, a.k.a. “sustainable” agriculture is, generally speaking, “ecological” farming uses principles that are based on the desire to maintain harmonious relationships between food production and the environment. Central elements are sensible and prudent use of natural resources, such as soil, water and livestock; respect for biological cycles and controls; long-term economic viability of farm operations as well as enhancement of life for farmers and society as a whole.
Did you know that red beets belong to the cleansing foods category? Their main effect is on the cells, kidneys, liver and blood. On the kidneys, they have a cleaning effect; in the liver they promote the regeneration of liver cells. Beets not only increase oxygen to the blood by 400% and support cleansing by eliminating toxic waste, they support the formation of new blood cells, enhance resistance and help normalize the body’s pH.
Many studies have been done on the ingredients and effect of red beets, since Ferenczi’s discovery of their tumor-inhibiting effect. A flavonoid called betazyane seems to be the main factor, because of its ability to increase the oxygen intake of cells. Betazyane also prevents the destruction of vitamin C and works as a natural antioxidant.
Red beet juice is used for cancer patients in European hospitals as detoxification and infection defense.
This is one parrot food, eaten on a regular base, which can keep away many problems.