Friday, October 21, 2011

Its Organic Week!!

Its time to celebrate and acknowledge all the amazing growers and producers  that make it possible for us to choose food  that is free of toxins and full of nutrients!! Choosing organic supports a vibrant sustainable agriculture ensuring future generations will have access to the rich farmland that exists in Canada. Organic farming is a healthier choice for you and our environment. Mother Nature has given us so much, this is how we can give her something back!!

Organic vs. Conventional
Conventionally grown produce is tainted with pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and may have been genetically modified.  Fortunately there is a healthy alternative!!!!  Certified Organic means that it is grown free of chemicals, antibiotics and GMOs. 

Why is Certified Organic Important?

1.        Protect our children:  The average child is exposed to 4 times more pesticides and at least 8 known cancer-causing pesticides from food than adults. In May 2010, researchers at Harvard University found increased risk for attention deficit-hyperactive disorder among children exposed to typical levels of organophosphates, a common pesticide found on conventionally grown fruits and vegetables. The most sensitive newborn was found to be 65 to 130 times more affected than the least sensitive adult!!!1

2.        Prevent soil erosion: The Soil Conservation Service estimates that more than three billion tons of topsoil is eroded from the United States croplands each year. Meaning soil is eroding seven times faster than it is naturally able to replenish.  Soil is the foundation of the food chain in organic farming.  In conventional farming the soil is used more as a medium for holding plants in a vertical position so they can be chemically fertilized. As a result, American and Canadian farms are suffering from the worst soil erosion in history.

3.        Protect our water quality and promote bio-diversity: Large amounts of nitrogen and phosphorous from fertilizer runoff can create massive algae blooms that suffocate aquatic life, creating large dead zones in our oceans.3

4.        “Frankenfoods” No Thank you!!!  Conventional food has been irradiated (zapped with gamma rays) and X-rayed to prevent natural sprouting, ripening and moulding processes. Organic food is your only guarantee that you are not eating Genetically Modified Foods (GMO’s)

5.        Keep Chemicals off your plate:  pesticides are poisonous and many have been linked to causing cancer.  The Environmental Working Group (EWG) found 6 different pesticides in a strawberry and peach and 5 in a carrot, grape, pear and lettuce leaf.  About 60% of pesticides currently being used are hormone disruptors!!!4

6.        Protect farm workers health:  Farmers exposed to herbicides had a 6-times greater risk of cancer than non-farmers. The World Health Organization estimates that over 200,000 people die every year from pesticide poisoning.

7.        Tastes better and has a higher nutritional value:  Organic farming starts with the nourishment of the soil which reflects in its taste.   Researchers at Rutgers University found the amount of iron in organic spinach was 97% more than the commercial spinach!!!!

Not all of us can to afford to eat 100% organic all the time.  The Environmental Working Group (EWG) offers a solution with its list of the 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables otherwise known as the “Dirty Dozen”.  According to EWG consumers can reduce their exposure to dangerous pesticides by 80% by avoiding conventional fruits and vegetables on this list.

The Dirty Dozen: a list of produce that contains the highest pesticide content
1.        Nectarines
2.        Celery
3.        Pears
4.        Peaches
5.        Apples
6.        Cherries
7.        Strawberries
8.        Imported grapes
9.        Spinach
10.     Potatoes
11.     Bell Peppers
12.     Red raspberries

Tips and tricks to make organic food more accessible for you and your family:
  •            shop at your local farmers’ market, many are open all year
  •            choose vegetarian meals more often: whole grains like quinoa, tempeh, and legumes are great protein sources
  •            buy in bulk – make friends with your farmer or a local food manufacturer, they are great resources
  •            grow your own herbs and sprouts all year round!
  •        plan your meals ahead so food doesn't go to waste

Two Girls Cooking products are made with the highest quality organic ingredients from local sources, handcrafted in harmony with our earth. Gluten-free, vegan, nut-free, and delicious! All of our workshops also feature organic whole foods!

Vasil, Adria. Ecoholic. Canada: Vintage Canada, 2007. P.66
Vasil, Adria. Ecoholic. Canada: Vintage Canada, 2007. P63-64
Applied & Environmental Microbiology, Vol. 67, page 1494 (2001). Also cited in New Scientist magazine, April 21, 2001.

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