FARM FRESH LIVING
             
Celebrating the New Healthy and Organic Lifestyle
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HEALTHY LIVING
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What does organic mean?

Everyday we see and hear the word “organic”, but what does it mean and why is it so important? Going “organic” is a change in lifestyle, a change in perspective that will eventually result in increasing your personal health and that of the planet.

Organic defined: Organic requires that products are produced according to certain production standards. For crops, it means they were grown without the use of conventional pesticides, artificial fertilizers, human waste, or sewage sludge, and that they were processed without ionizing or food additives. For animals, it means they were raised without the routine use of antibiotics and without the use of growth hormones.

Stargazer Perennials, the farm / nursery of Farm Fresh Living is a sustainable,Stargazer Perennials at local farmers market environmentally responsible farm that operates using only organic methods. Although we are not a “certified” organic farm, we have been “organic” for over 30 years. First time visitors to our farm are always amazed at the abundance of wildlife present and how healthy our plants and produce are despite the fact that we use no chemicals. These visits allow us to educate people on the reason that we have such an abundance of bees, butterflies, birds and beneficial insects is because we do not use chemicals. In turn, our beneficial insects and wildlife take care of any pests which may occur, thus the natural cycle of life goes on. Choosing to live an organic lifestyle is not fad, but rather a conscious choice to live a healthier and happier life.

Most Common Organic Food Myths

  • Myth: Organic food tastes like cardboard.
  • Fact: This stereotype is as outdated as the hippie connotations that follow it. Today many organic snack foods taste the same as their conventional counterparts, while most people agree that fresh, locally grown organic produce is far superior in taste and texture to the alternative.
  • Myth: Organic food is too expensive.
  • Fact: In general, organic food costs more than conventional food because of the laborious and time-intensive systems used by the typically smaller organic farms, but the benefits of organic agriculture off-set this additional cost.

  • Myth: Eating organic food is the same as eating natural food.
  • Fact: Natural foods do not contain additives or preservatives, but they may contain ingredients that have been grown with pesticides or are genetically modified (GMO). In other words, the ingredients in the ingredient panel will look familiar, but they have not been produced organically. Natural foods are not regulated and do not meet the same criteria that organic foods do.

 

Most people are aware that organically grown food is free from exposure to harmful chemicals, but that is only one small part of what organic is about.

A larger part of organic agriculture involves the health of the soil and of the ecosystems in which crops and livestock are raised. Organic agriculture is born from the idea that a healthy environment significantly benefits crops and the health of those consuming them. In addition, organic practices are also viable in the long term, since they are efficient in their use of resources, and do not damage the environment and local communities like large scale "chemical agriculture" does.

Visit HardyGardening.com to learn how you can use mycorrhizal fungi in your soil to help establish healthy soil in your garden

Top 10 Reasons to Support Organic Agriculture

Source: Alan Greene, MD, Bob Scowcroft, Sylvia Tawse


1. Reduce The Toxic Load: Keep Chemicals Out of the Air, Water, Soil and our Bodies
Buying organic food promotes a less toxic environment for all living things. With only 0.5 percent of crop and pasture land in organic, according to USDA that leaves 99.5 percent of farm acres in the U.S. at risk of exposure to noxious agricultural chemicals.

2. Reduce if Not Eliminate Off Farm Pollution
Industrial agriculture doesn’t singularly pollute farmland and farm workers; it also wreaks havoc on the environment downstream. Pesticide drift affects non-farm communities with odorless and invisible poisons. Synthetic fertilizer drifting downstream is the main culprit for dead zones in delicate ocean environments, such as the Gulf of Mexico, where its dead zone is now larger than 22,000 square kilometers, an area larger than New Jersey, according to Science magazine, August, 2002.

3. Protect Future Generations
Before a mother first nurses her newborn, the toxic risk from pesticides has already begun. Studies show that infants are exposed to hundreds of harmful chemicals in utero. In fact, our nation is now reaping the results of four generations of exposure to agricultural and industrial chemicals, whose safety was deemed on adult tolerance levels, not on children’s. According to the National Academy of Science, “neurologic and behavioral effects may result from low-level exposure to pesticides.” Numerous studies show that pesticides can adversely affect the nervous system, increase the risk of cancer, and decrease fertility.

4. Build Healthy Soil
Mono-cropping and chemical fertilizer dependency has taken a toll with a loss of top soil estimated at a cost of $40 billion per year in the U.S., according to David Pimental of Cornell University. Add to this an equally disturbing loss of micro nutrients and minerals in fruits and vegetables. Feeding the soil with organic matter instead of ammonia and other synthetic fertilizers has proven to increase nutrients in produce, with higher levels of vitamins and minerals found in organic food, according to the 2005 study, “Elevating Antioxidant levels in food through organic farming and food processing,” Organic Center State of Science Review (1.05)

Gaiam.com, Inc

5. Food Tastes Better, has a Truer Flavor and is Better for you
Scientists now know what we eaters have known all along: organic food often tastes better. It makes sense that strawberries taste yummier when raised in harmony with nature, but researchers at Washington State University just proved this as fact in lab taste trials where the organic berries were consistently judged as sweeter. Plus, new research verifies that some organic produce is often lower in nitrates and higher in antioxidants than conventional food. Let the organic feasting begin! Scientific data has now also established that organically grown food is also better for you. Click here to view the article.....

6. Assist Family Farmers of all Sizes
According to Organic Farming Research Foundation, as of 2006 there are approximately 10,000 certified organic producers in the U.S. compared to 2500 to 3,000 tracked in 1994. Measured against the two million farms estimated in the U.S. today, organic is still tiny. Family farms that are certified organic farms have a double economic benefit: they are profitable and they farm in harmony with their surrounding environment. Whether the farm is a 4-acre orchard or a 4,000-acre wheat farm, organic is a beneficial practice that is genuinely family-friendly.

7. Avoid Hasty, Dangerous and Poor Science in Your Food
Cloned food. GMOs and rBGH. Oh my! Interesting how swiftly these food technologies were rushed to market, when organic fought for 13 years to become federal law. Eleven years ago, genetically modified food was not part of our food supply; today an astounding 30 percent of our cropland is planted in GMOs. Organic is the only de facto seal of reassurance against these and other modern, lab-produced additions to our food supply, and the only food term with built in inspections and federal regulatory teeth.

8. Eating with a Sense of Place
Whether it is local fruit, imported coffee or artisan cheese, organic can demonstrate a reverence for the land and its people. No matter the zip code, organic has proven to use less energy (on average, about 30 percent less), is beneficial to soil, water and local habitat, and is safer for the people who harvest our food. Eat more seasonably by supporting your local farmers market while also supporting a global organic economy year round. It will make your taste buds happy.

9. Promote Biodiversity
Visit an organic farm and you’ll notice something: a buzz of animal, bird and insect activity. These organic oases are thriving, diverse habitats. Native plants, birds and hawks return usually after the first season of organic practices; beneficial insects allow for a greater balance, and indigenous animals find these farms a safe haven. As best said by Aldo Leopold, “A good farm must be one where the native flora and fauna have lost acreage without losing their existence.” An organic farm is the equivalent of reforestation. Industrial farms are the equivalent of clear cutting of native habitat with a focus on high farm yields.

10. Celebrate the Culture of Agriculture
Food is a ‘language’ spoken in every culture. Making this language organic allows for an important cultural revolution whereby diversity and biodiversity are embraced and chemical toxins and environmental harm are radically reduced, if not eliminated. The simple act of saving one heirloom seed from extinction, for example, is an act of biological and cultural conservation. Organic is not necessarily the most efficient farming system in the short run. It is slower, harder, more complex and more labor-intensive. But for the sake of culture everywhere, from permaculture to human culture, organic should be celebrated at every table.