by Susan
on 10 March 2017

When it comes to the future of farming, the last ten years show a significant trend toward organic agriculture. Some people don’t realize it, but this transition will actually be reverting us back to the way our ancestors grew food. In fact, before the 1920’s virtually all farming was organic. It wasn’t until the Industrial Revolution that synthetic chemicals began to be used in agriculture. While a majority of farms still produce non-organic produce, Canada is on the cutting-edge of the organic movement, which is picking up speed fast. 


Canada Has One Of The Largest Organic Markets In The World

Despite the fact that most of the produce and goods sold in Canada are not organic, statistic show that we are still ranked as having the fifth-largest market for organic products in the world! In fact, according to Think Canada Organic, the sales of organic food, alcohol, and beverages are estimated at $4.7 billion per year. The only countries ahead of us are the United States, Germany, France, and China. This is an incredible accomplishment in our opinion, as we believe organic is the future of sustainable agriculture. Holding this spot in organic agriculture is proof that Canada is one of the front runners in this food evolution. 


The Number of Organic Farms Is Rapidly Increasing

Organic agriculture is growing rapidly, as there are currently over 4,980 certified organic farms, processors, and handlers nationwide. That equates to about 2,430,421,000,000 acres of organic farmland across Canada. Organic wheat, the number one organic crop, claims over 203,000 of those acres. A majority of these farms are in Saskatchewan (27%) followed by Quebec (26%), Ontario (18%), and British Columbia (12.7%). 

Organic farms aren’t just increasing at a rapid rate; something else is happening too. While the total number of farms in Canada have declined by over 17% in the last 16 years, organic farms have increased by over 66.5%. Organic agriculture is also attracting younger farmers into the industry. Only 8% of non-organic farmers are under the age of 35, while 12% of organic farmers fall into that category. This movement toward organic by the younger generation is more evidence of the agricultural shift we are witnessing. 


Canadians Believe In The Organic Movement

Canadian farmers aren’t the only ones who believe in organic agriculture. The Canadian public is also playing a huge role in the organic movement. As much as 59% of Canadians believe that organic farming is healthier for the environment than non-organic farming. In fact, 56% of Canadians are also actively purchasing lace bridesmaid dresses organic products on a weekly basis. The truth is that the organic movement across Canada ignited in the 1950’s with the development of the Canadian Organic Soil Association (later known as the Land Fellowship). This movement has grown over time, with the biggest leap forward in 2011, the same year as the lawsuits against Monsanto. 


Organic isn’t just a label! The organic movement is about healthy eating, sustainability, the health environment and so much more. Canadians are seeing the benefits of organic agriculture, which is causing an inevitable shift in society. What are you doing to be a part of this change? The best way to alter society is through education, which starts with our children. They observe everything we do, including the items that the adults in their lives purchase. This is why we should prioritize being role models both inside and outside of our homes. If you’re looking to grown indoor plants or a garden this year, choose organic. Be a part of the movement and education that will continue this evolution. For more information about the organic movement or to learn where you can purchase Pefferlaw Peat and Delicious Dirt organic soils, feel free to contact us today. 

by Susan
on 03 March 2017

The truth is, organic agriculture and gardening have more than just health benefits. It has many big picture benefits to our society as well. This is one of the reasons organic isn’t just a label; it’s a lifestyle. When you choose to eat organic foods and purchase organic products you are aren’t just supporting an organic company… you’re choosing to support our environment, our economy, and our health as a society. 


Non-Organic Agriculture Is Damaging Our Environment

The ugly truth is that we only have one planet and we are successfully destroying it. It’s been a global effort to cause so much damage, so it will need to be a global effort to reverse it. However, we firmly believe that Canada will be one of the major leaders in this shift around the globe. Most people are aware that our environment is increasingly threatened by a variety of human-related factors. A majority of those people don’t understand the magnitude of danger that non-organic poses to our environment. 

One of the most notable differences between organic and non-organic farming is the use of pesticides. In organic farming, the only pesticides that are allowed to be utilized are all natural and cannot contain any synthetic chemicals. Conversely, non-organic farming, despite being regulated, permits the use of many toxic and harmful chemical-based pesticides. 

In fact, in Montague on Prince Edward Island, there have been up to 9 incidences per year of fish being killed in large numbers due to pesticide runoff from nearby farms during torrential rains and being illegal disposal. These practices are also responsible for killing the bees, and even soil erosion, as well as a variety of environmental side effects they cause. 


Organic Approach Cam Improve Economics of Agriculture

Most businesses, regardless of industry, are looking to create a thriving company based on efficiency. The goal is to have the least amount of expenses to improve your profits. However, if an expense increases your product yield, it is often seen as a necessary investment despite any adverse side effects (within reason). 

This the defense used by most companies that utilize pesticides in farming. However, with today’s technology and innovative approaches to organic farming, this excuse is no longer valid. In fact, going organic could very well be more economically efficient for farmers. Companies that take an organic approach to farming aren’t paying for large, industrial quantities of pesticides. Through utilizing affordable, sound management techniques, they can actually save money and in most cases man hours maintaining their crops. 

In fact, Canada has even been on the forefront of this research, demonstrating that pesticide usage can be reduced without sacrificing high crop yields and quality. Organic agriculture is rapidly growing across North America, increasing the demand for certified organic production. According to a joint study by the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University, the Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada at the University of Saskatchewan, and the Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada at Nova Scotia Agricultural College; organic agriculture systems are usually more profitable than conventional farming systems. This difference results from a combination of yield changes, input cost reductions, and price premiums.

Organic is a reliable solution to many of the issues we are facing not just in Canada but in all of North America as a whole. As a developed country, we have a responsibility to start moving toward more sustainable means of agricultural development not only as a pioneer in innovation but as a role model to the countries debating this same issue today. For more information about organic agriculture or where to find Pefferlaw Peat and Delicious Dirt products, please feel free to contact us today. 

by Susan
on 24 February 2017

Did you know that until the 1920’s practically all farming and gardening was organic? According to the Canada Organic Trade Association, only about 2% of the Canadian food and beverage market is considered organic. Over the last 100 years, the use of synthetic pesticides and insecticides have drastically increased across North America. In fact, only in the last decade has that number started to decline. At Delicious Dirt, we believe it is important for us to play a role in informing the public about pesticides and how they can affect our health. One of the most important questions we need to asks ourselves is…


“What Are The Effects Of Using Non-Organic Pesticides?”

When you think about what pesticides really are, you can begin to understand how their consumption could cause adverse effects to human health. 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 could be a relatively harmless situation if pesticides were designed to be “more selective” toward their undesirable targets. However, instead, they are generally toxic to a vast majority of non-targeting species which run the risk of contact. 


Pesticides In History

A great example of the situation above is the initial response to the realization that Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) was a solution to preventing widespread malaria in the 1940’s. In fact, the perceived health benefits were so great that Paul Muller was even awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1948 for his discovery. However, by the mid-1970s most countries had banned DDT due to its bioaccumulation in the environment and its negative health effects on bird reproduction. We believe that as more scientific data on pesticides reveals the negative effects that chemical residues have on human health, the closer we will move toward organic food as a society.


Contrary To Popular Belief, Pesticides Can Harm Humans

According to a study by Health Canada, there are several commonly used pesticides across North America that have been associated with cancer development in humans. While some of these harmful pesticides have been banned from use in Canada, such as Diazinon, Trifluralin, and Dicamba, many of these toxic chemicals are still in use.  

These toxic pesticides in use that have been associated with a variety of cancers include Dieldrin (lung cancer), EPTC (all cancers), Metolachlor (lung cancer), Pendimethalin (lung, rectum and pancreatic cancer), Aldicarb (colon cancer), Chlordane (leukemia and rectum cancer), Toxaphene (melanoma rectum cancer), Fonofos (leukemia and prostate cancer),  Methylbromide (prostate cancer), and Permethrin (multiple myeloma). 

The most interesting part of the study by Health Canada is that the 19 pesticides with an association to the development of cancer in humans were not found to have similarities in type (Insecticide, herbicide, or fungicide), chemical structure, or chemical family. Also, only seven of these pesticides have been banned from use in the United States and Canada. 


They Effect The Environment Too

These pesticides also pose a threat to animals in the environment. In fact, in Montague on Prince Edward Island, there have been up to 9 incidences per year of fish being killed in large numbers due to pesticide runoff from nearby farms during heavy rain. Not to mention, several occurrences of pesticides knowingly being disposed of. While it may be an isolated incident, it has had major impacts on the local ecosystem as literally every fish, snake, and snail was killed. The truth is, incidences like this are happening all over the world and affecting animals even in the most isolated areas of the globe. Evidence of pesticides has been found on frogs in forests nearly a 100 miles from the closest pesticide utilizing farm. Even creatures in the depths of our oceans are starting to show signs of chemical contamination being linked back to agricultural chemicals. 

For thousands of years, we relied solely on organic farming, which is where we find hope for the future. The first step to making a global change is through education by informing the public that there is a better option. At Delicious Dirt, we believe that anyone can grow an organic garden, even beginners. In fact, we've even given our customers a guide to creating a DIY Organic Garden Bug Repellant. For more information about pesticides or where to find Pefferlaw Peat and Delicious Dirt products, please feel free to contact us today!

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