“The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison” ~ Ann Wigmore
What is Real?
Something that is true and authentic; not imitation or artificial
Why Eat Real?
Real food is whole food and whole food comes directly from nature. Your physical health is a reflection of the food choices you make. Choosing to live a REAL food, i.e. whole, unprocessed and non-GMO, lifestyle will give your body the highest level of rich nutrients it needs for optimum health and longevity.
"It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold or silver” ~Mahatma Gandhi
Every year, over one billion pounds of pesticides are released into our food supply and the environment. Pesticides are man made synthetic chemicals used to control pests that can damage crops and livestock. These include insecticides, herbicides, rodenticides, and fungicides. Exposure to pesticides has been linked to health related issues which include autoimmune disease, birth defects, cancer, neurological disorders and other diseases.
How do you reduce your intake of toxins?
Your toxic burden is directly related to your lifestyle and purchasing decisions.
Choose to eat a diet of real food that is locally grown, fresh, and preferably organic. If the seed has been genetically modified (GMO) or grown with chemicals of any kind, it is not a whole food.
Choose products that are Earth friendly, animal-friendly, sustainable, certified organic, and non-GMO.
Choose grass pastured, sustainably raised meats and dairy.
What are the differences between Conventional and Organic Farming?
Conventional farming is more widespread and uses standard agricultural practices.
Conventional farmers use:
- insecticides to kill insects
- herbicides to kill weeds
- rodenticides to kill rodents
- fungicides to control fungi, mold, and mildew
- synthetic fertilizers
- manure without restrictions
- genetically modified/engineered organisms (GMOs/GEOs)
- factory farms / Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO)
- antibiotics to prevent disease due to overcrowding and unsanitary conditions
- hormones to increase milk production and growth
Glyphosate, found in Roundup, is the most toxic synthetic herbicide. Glyphosate was designed to kill plants. It works by preventing the plant from making the necessary proteins for growth. Within hours after spraying, the plant starts to wither then dies.
This is the reason why genetically modified “Roundup Ready” crops were created, to survive the toxic spraying. Once glyphosate is applied, the plant absorbs the contaminated water, it then passes through into the plant, fruit, and seeds. It cannot be washed off.
According to the USDA, in 2010, 93% of soy, 93% of cotton, 86% of corn and 90% of canola are GMO crops. More than 80% of prepackaged products contain GMOs.
When spending is a concern, choose organic especially with the following list of produce. According to the Environmental Working Group, these have the highest amount of pesticide residues: apples, peaches, strawberries, grapes, celery, spinach, sweet bell peppers, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, imported snap peas, and potatoes.
Organic farming does not use synthetic insecticides, pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, or any other chemicals.
- maintain soil health through crop rotation
- protect crops from pests and disease using insect predators, mating disruption, traps, and barriers
- control weeds with mechanical tillage, hand weeding, cover crops, mulches, flame weeding
- prevent contamination of crops, soil, and water from pathogenic organisms, heavy metals, or residues of prohibited substances
- have not applied any prohibited substances to their land for at least three years before harvest
- raise livestock in living conditions that accommodate their natural behavior and health. They have access to the outdoors, shade, shelter, fresh air, direct sunlight and access to pasture
- manage manure from their animals so that it does not contribute to the contamination of crops, soil, or water
- do not use preventative antibiotics
- do not administer hormones or other drugs to promote growth
- minimize risk to human and animal health and natural resource
- promote and enhance biological diversity
- do not use GMOs
- practice sustainable farming methods
Certified Organic and Labelling
In Canada, only certified products that contain 95% organic or more content is permitted to bear these labels:
Products that have multiple ingredients with:
- 70-90% organic content can state “contains xx% organic ingredients”.
- less than 70% organic content can only list the organic ingredients in the product ingredients list.
Products that are Non-GMO Verified bear this label:
Why does organic food cost more?
Conventional farmers practice monocropping. Monocropping is the agricultural practice of planting the same crop on the same land year after year.
What drives prices down?
- Use of land is maximized with the highest grossing crop
- The amount of human labor is reduced due to pesticide use
- Often receive government subsidies
- Intensive use of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers
- Depletes the soil of vital nutrients
- GM/GE seeds are planted
- Erodes the soil
- Loss of biological diversity
Organic farmers practice crop rotation. This practice rotates plant families from one season to the next so that plants are not planted in the same spot for at least 3 years.
What drives prices up:
- cannot maximize the use of land with sellable product. Financial yield is less.
- The amount of human labor is more intensive
- The high cost of feed (organic grains)
- Administrative costs are higher due to the detailed and strict record keeping that’s required to being certified organic.
- Helps the land to rest and rebuild
- Prevents depletion of vital nutrients in the soil
- Develops stronger soil and healthier crops
- Manages pests through natural means
- Cuts down on plant disease
- More sustainable
If you factor in the indirect cost of health issues due to the toxic overload of pesticides in our body and clean up costs due to contamination from pesticides in our soil and water, buying organic foods is well worth it and less costly in the long run.
About Organic Livestock
- Animals are treated humanely
- Poultry and pigs must have year-round access to outdoor runs and ruminant species are pastured
- Environmental and living conditions are designed so that livestock behave as naturally as possible
- Livestock is given high-quality feed that is organically produced and handled
- Manure is managed so that it does not contaminate crops, soil, or water
- The use of any antibiotic is allowed only under certain circumstances
- Organic farmers must comply with Canadian Organic Standards and are inspected annually by a federally accredited Certification Body
Locally Grown Produce
There are many small producers that practice organic farming methods but are not certified. A couple of examples are CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture) and Small Plot Intensive (SPIN) farmers.