by Nicole Boisvert, certified holistic nutritionist, community engagement coordinator, mom
Some Canadians are still surprised to discover that organic food is regulated by the Canadian Government. This is your assurance that you are getting what you pay for. Look for the Canadian or USDA organic labels on all packaged products you buy. For produce look to the produce sticker on the fruit or veg that starts with a 9 instead of a 4. When in doubt shop with a store that you trust. Here are a few things to consider when purchasing organic food.
Seven areas to consider:
1. Organic products meet stringent standards - Organic certification is the public’s assurance that products have been grown and handled according to strict procedures without persistent toxic chemical inputs.
2. Organic food tastes great! - It’s common sense; well-balanced soils produce strong, healthy plants that become nourishing food for people and animals.
3. Organic production reduces health risks - Many approved pesticides were registered long before extensive research linked these chemicals to cancer and other diseases. Organic agriculture is one way to prevent any more of these chemicals from getting into the air, earth and water that sustain us.
4. Organic farms respect our water resources - The elimination of polluting chemicals and nitrogen leaching, done in combination with soil building, protects and conserves water resources.
5. Organic farmers build healthy soil - Soil is the foundation of the food chain. The primary focus of organic farming is to use practices that build healthy soils.
6. Organic farmers work in harmony with nature - Organic agricultural respects the balance demanded of a healthy ecosystem: wildlife is encouraged by including forage crops in rotation and by retaining fence rows, wetlands, and other natural areas.
7. Organic producers strive to preserve diversity - The loss of a large variety of species (biodiversity) is one of the most pressing environmental concerns. The good news is that many organic farmers and gardeners have been collecting and preserving seeds, and growing unusual varieties for decades.
And finally, consider the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen when shopping for organics.
Source – http://www.cog.ca