It’s Organic Week, one of our favourite times of the year!
The Canadian Health Food Association, Canadian Organic Growers, and the Canadian Organic Trade Association organize Organic Week every September.
Nature’s Emporium was built on the promise to bring ingredients for living well to our communities, including organic foods.
In celebration of Organic Week, we’re sharing facts and information about organic farming and food to help you better understand all of the benefits of choosing organic for you and your family.
Rudolf Steiner and Walter James paved the way for the resurgence of organic farming. Rudolf Steiner’s agricultural principles and methods would be the first development in what we now refer to as organic farming.
The term organic farming itself wasn’t coined until 1939 by Walter James in his book, Look to the Land. James described the importance of a more holistic and natural approach to farming. He based it on Rudolf Steiner’s biodynamic farming development. These principles were based on the idea that a farmer plays a vital role in contributing to how the animals, soil, and plants interact together.
Furthermore, it’s believed that these things work together in a cohesive way that mutually benefit each other. A healthy form of any of these cannot exist without the health of the other.
What makes a food organic?
For something to be labelled as organic in Canada, it has to be grown and processed according to strict regulations and standards. These guidelines are set forth by the government for both domestic and imported products:
- All products are made without or with limitations on the use of chemical pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, the routine use of drugs, antibiotics or synthetic hormones, animal cloning, genetic engineering (“GMOs”), sewage sludge and irradiation
- All products are free of artificial food colours, flavours, sweeteners, preservatives.
- All products are free of other processing aids and ingredients in processed foods that would no longer make them organic.
Organic products made outside of Canada will have a logo similar to Canada’s identifying certified organic. Fruits and vegetables will likely come with a sticker with a five-digit number on it that begins with 9. This indicates that the crop is organic by these standards.
Benefits to eating organic
Good for overall health
Some studies state that organically grown crops contain more antioxidants than conventionally grown produce. Antioxidants are essential in fighting off free radical damage in our bodies regularly for several reasons. Free radicals cause our bodies to age more rapidly as our cells accumulate them.
Another added benefit of consuming organic, whether produce or livestock, is it reduces the number of chemicals you are putting into your body. These chemicals can contribute to many different issues in your body. They can be carcinogenic, endocrine disruptors and delay/impair development in children, etc. It’s always best to avoid whatever chemical exposure you can due to the potential adverse effects they can have on your body.
Did you know organic foods tend to taste fresher? This is because they are not covered in preservatives to make them last longer. Fresher produce tends to be much tastier.
Good for the community
Organic farmers are often a big part of the communities they help feed. By supporting local organic farmers, you support them and their families, as well as those who are employed by them. On average, organic farms hire more workers than conventional farms, which means you are helping to create job opportunities for people in your community.
Good for the environment
When we choose organic, Mother Earth strives in a way that conventional farming tends to hinder. Organic farming contributes to healthy soil because the practices used allow for a more nutrient-dense soil. This results in a healthier microbiology of the soil.
Just as the food grown is inspected, so is the water surrounding the farm. This ensures that there are no synthetic chemicals from fertilizers, pesticides, etc. This makes sure that water systems safe and free of toxins that would likely end in our soil, food, and ultimately, our bodies.
Studies have shown a 30% decrease in water usage in organic farming than conventionally grown crops, which is huge when we talk about freshwater reserves and our lack of resources.
Lastly, the air we breathe also benefits from organic farming. This is because chemicals are not freely being sprayed onto crops and into the air. These would get absorbed into the atmosphere surrounding them.
Interested in learning more? Check out organicweek.ca for organic events happening across the country that you can get involved with to further your organic farming knowledge! https://organicweek.ca/events/
At Nature’s Emporium, we strive to provide healthy organic options for our customers, so our produce department is 100% organic. Often, our produce items are the same price of conventional produce found at other retailers. Stocking up and freezing these items when they are on sale is a great way to save money when trying to eat organically!
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