Archive for March 29th, 2014

Beyond organic

posted by Gudrun @ 14:32 PM
March 29, 2014

small farm

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.

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