by Susan
on 16 June 2017
with

The concept of organic goes beyond grocery labels, in fact, it honestly starts in the dirt. In order for a fruit, vegetable, or flower to be considered organic, it must meet a set criteria. It may seem elementary to some veteran gardeners, but you’d be surprised how little some Canadians know about being organic, as well as the regulating standards. Simply put, for the final product to be organic all components involved must also be organic throughout the entire process. From the ground up, literally!  

 

Organic Starts In The Soil

This means the soil it is grown in must be organic. To some people, this may not make sense. How is the organic dirt in the store any different than the dirt outside their own home? The truth is that our soil, especially in heavily populated areas, as well as near nonorganic farming lands, have quite a bit of soil contaminants. These often including industrial chemicals from construction, chemical based lawn care products, and a variety of other potentially harmful impurities. Even if you don’t use these harmful chemicals in your yard, over time they have the potential to seep in when a neighbor uses them, especially if your property experiences run-off. 

 

The Seeds Themselves Must Be Organic Too

Genetically modified seeds are not considered organic. In order to grow organic plants, the seed must meet organic regulations too. The key of organic is to eat crops similar to what our ancestors ate before we began modifying them. However, many of the seeds sold in stores today are modified in some way. So ensuring you purchase organic seeds is a vital part of the process that some may accidentally overlook. The next time you are at the grocery store, compare an organic fruit to its nonorganic counterpart. Do you see any differences? There are some. Most of these visual differences came from the variations between their seeds. 

 

The Whole Process Matters

The organic status of a plant doesn’t just rely on soil and seed alone. Only organic pesticides, fertilizer, herbicides and other products can be used throughout the process. These avoid the use of toxic chemicals that can affect human health, as well as the health of surrounding wildlife.   The first thing you need to understand is that pesticides, in comparison to most chemicals we come in contact with daily, are deliberately added to the environment for the purpose of killing or injuring some form of life. These chemicals cannot discriminate between their victims, such as the 9 incidences per year of fish being killed in large numbers due to pesticide runoff from nearby farms during heavy rain in Montague on Prince Edward Island.

 

Organic is more than just a label, it’s a dedication to unaltered food. It’s a belief in consuming natural products. It’s a commitment to a healthier lifestyle. It's hoping for a brighter future. “Organic” means so many different thins to a vast variety of people. To us it means leaving the earth better than we found it, starting from the ground up. For more information on organic standards or where you can purchase Pefferlaw Peat and Delicious Dirt products, please feel free to contact us today. 

by Susan
on 09 June 2017
with

The truth is, soil doesn't it just allow us to grow food, it actually plays a vital role in human health. Now soil does allow thousands of species of plants to grow, which does replenish the earth's oxygen of which we are dependent on. However, this is not quite what we are referring to. You may be surprised to learn just how many medical benefits getting your hands dirty in organic dirt may have. In fact, you’ll quickly understand why gardening, even if it starts with a few indoor plants, is such a popular hobby among Canadians. 

 

Microbes Have Antidepressant Qualities

Many people are intrigued to learn that gardening can actually increase your happiness. The truly amazing part is that it’s not the plants, but rather the soil, that makes the difference. The Mycobacterium vaccae, commonly found in soil, actually mirrors the effect on neurons that antidepressant drugs like Prozac offer patients. This bacterium that is plentiful in most soils may simulate serotonin production as well, which can make you relaxed. This makes gardening a great solution for those who suffer from depression, anxiety, or high amounts of stress. Interestingly, the same bacteria are also being studied based on scientific evidence that they improve cognitive function, Crohn’s disease, and even rheumatoid arthritis.

 

Due To Industrial Agriculture, Our Microbes Intakes Are Limited

It may surprise some readers to learn that our body’s microbes originate in the soil! In fact, the natural process of replenishing our body’s microbes was through our food. Food absorbed naturally occurring microbes from the soil and upon consumption, so did we. However, since World War II the popularized peak in industrial agriculture that we see today has altered that process. Through the use of fertilizers and biocides (pesticides, fungicides, herbicides), we have effectively killed the mycorrhizal symbionts that had previously regulated the uptake cycle. These microbial communities were how we received the flora in our gut that help maintain healthy digestion. The high use of pesticides has resulted in the plants instead containing high levels of the nutrients added through fertilizer (typically nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium), but little to none of the other 27 nutrients that previously occurred naturally in food from the unaltered soil. 

 

Can Organic Make A Difference?

When it comes to organic soil, man people don’t realize how vital of a role it can play in the nutrients of their food. One of the main differences between organic and nonorganic foods is the use of chemical pesticides. The first thing you need to understand is that pesticides, in comparison to most chemicals we come in contact with daily, are deliberately added to the environment for the purpose of killing or injuring some form of life. This is both directly and indirectly dangerous to human health. However, organic soil allows the microbes to flourish, allowing for the natural flow of microorganisms from food to humans through consumption. This is among the many reasons that Canadians choose to grow using organic soil when given the option. 

 

As humans, our health is one of the most valuable factors in the longevity of lives. What we choose to eat directly affects our health in a variety of ways. By choosing the organic lifestyle, you can ensure that you are ingesting the foods that are the most nutrient dense and as close to what our ancestors ate as possible. Interrupting the natural flow of microbes can lead to a variety of illnesses and disease. This is why we believe part of our job is to help inform Canadians about the benefits of choosing to live an organic lifestyle. If you are interested in learning more about the benefits of microbes or where you can purchase Pefferlaw Peat and Delicious Dirt products, please feel free to contact us today.

by Susan
on 19 May 2017
with

When it comes to the organic world, things aren’t as cut and dry as some might believe. In fact, it brings up the very question of what actually is organic? “Organic” means related to or derived from living matter and produced or involving production without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or other artificial agents. Seems pretty straight forward, but it’s a bit more complicated than you may think! That’s why we believe part of our job is to help inform the public about the organic movement. 

 

What Is Pro-Cert Certified Organic?

If you purchase organic products on a regular basis, you’ve probably seen Pro-Cert logos on products you’ve bought. Pro-Cert Organic Systems Ltd, also known simply as Pro-Cert, is one of the leading certifiers of organic products on North America. Their main clientele base is compromised of producers, processors, and traders of organic products from across the United States and Canada. 

The Pro-Cert certification program is recognized globally for providing international access to their certified organic brands. In fact, Pro-Cert is one of the most reliable ways that Canadians depend on to recognize authentic organic products due to their extensive certification program. The program is proudly accredited by the USDA National Organic Program (NOP), the CFIA’s Canada Organic Regime (COR), Quebec’s Committee on Accreditation for Evaluation of Quality (CAEQ) and more. They are also ISO 17065 compliant and accredited by globally recognized accreditor, IOAS (previously known as the International Organic Accreditation Service). This means if Pro-Cert says it’s organic, it is truly organic!

 

What is The Importance of Certifications, Such As Pro-Cert?

A majority of the public doesn’t realize how precise and planned organic agriculture is. In fact, in order to sell a certified organic apple at a store the seeds must be organic, the soil it is grown in must be organic, all processes (including the use of insecticides) must meet organic standards and the farmer has to be able to prove it. A little complicated, right? Well, that’s just an apple, it gets a lot more complicated when you start dealing with processed products, such as organic soil. Why? Because the more ingredients your product has, the more areas you have to monitor to maintain the organic status of your product. 

This is one of the reasons that Pro-Cert is such an important part of the organic movement! They are part of the regulation required to maintain a consistent certified organic standard from one market to another. The truth is unless the produce or product you are purchasing is “certified organic,” it may not be as organic as you think! According to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, a product’s content only has to be at 95% organic to be labeled “organic” or bear the organic logo. This also includes claims of “organically grown”, “organically raised”, “organically produced,” or other similar renderings. If a product does not meet these standards, they may only declare that their product “contains x% organic ingredients” (with “x” corresponding to the exact percentage of organic content). So if it’s not certified organic, is it really organic? 

 

At Pefferlaw Peat, we believe in the importance of educating the public about organic products and why the label requirements are vital. This not only helps customers find the right products, it also holds the entire food industry to higher regulation standards. Pro-Cert plays a huge role in the organic industry by ensuring that their certified products meet the high levels of required standards. We encourage all Canadians to do a little of their own research into the manufacturing and labeling of products both in the organic and non-organic industries. For more information about Pefferlaw Peat and Delicious Dirt’s Pro-Cert certified organic products or where to purchase them, please feel free to contact us today!

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