by Susan
on 24 February 2017
with

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!

by Susan
on 17 February 2017
with

We have all seen the stickers and labels that adorn fruits and veggies at the store, but what does the word “organic” mean? We understand that organic isn’t just a label, for most customers, it’s a lifestyle. Part of our job as an organic company is to play a role in informing the public about the organic lifestyle and the positive effects it can have our their lives. Step one is knowing what organic means and why it is important.

As customers, we often see the word “organic” plastered all over food in the store, as well as bags of seeds and soils. Some of them don’t understand the difference and what the label “organic” entails. Part of this is due to the fact that organic foods and products are still fighting to get an equal representation in stores. While we understand this is a process that will gradually accelerate over time, we believe we’re meant to play a role in this health movement.


Come On, What Is “Organic”?

We believe part of our job is to inform people that the word “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. This is the basis of what “organic” means, as well as the standards used to regulate certified organic products. Believe it or not, organic food regulations can be quite strict. In fact, the United States, Canada, Mexico, Japan and even the European Union require producers to obtain special certifications to market their food as organic within their borders. For example, all of our Pefferlaw Peat and Delicious dirt organic soils are Pro-Cert Certified Organic products. 

The organic farming movement arose around the 1940’s in response to the industrialization of agriculture. The honest truth is, all food was organic before the 1920’s. That's right, non-organic foods have been around for less than a century! Which proves organic food is not a just trend, it has been around long before humanity very planted our very first seed.


Is Organic Food Different?

The method used to grow organic foods and non-organic foods is similar, except organic foods have to follow stricter regulations. In fact, organic foods are only organic if they are grown in organic soil and only used organic pesticides and fertilizers during farming. Organic foods also do not use industrial solvents or synthetic food actives in their products. Organic meat is very similar; the animals should not receive any antibiotics or growth hormone and must be raised on organic feed.

There are contradicting studies on whether or not organic foods are more nutritional than non-organic foods. However, it has been proven that organic foods contain less chemical residue than their non-organic counterparts. This residue often found on non-organic foods is due to the widespread use of synthetic pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, fungicides, preservatives, and additives. According to a study by the University of Maryland, long-term exposure to these chemicals residues can pose a threat to human health. Thus, eating organic food will help you avoid ingesting toxic chemical residue, making it a healthier choice that its non-organic cousin.

 


The argument of whether or not organic food is nutritionally better for human consumption is still out for debate. However, we believe that organic food does have health benefits for consumers due to the avoidance of harmful chemicals, such as pesticides and additives, that are commonly used in non-organic food production. As we said at the beginning, organic is more of a lifestyle than a label. This is because you can buy organic seeds, but if you plant them in organic soil or use non-organic pesticides and fertilizers… the fruit (vegetable) of your labour won’t be considered organic. To learn more about the benefits of organic foods or to find out more about Pefferlaw Peat and Delicious Dirt’s organic soils, please feel free to contact us today!

by Susan
on 10 February 2017
with

At Pefferlaw Peat, we believe that anyone can grow a garden! All sorts of people around the world grow their own botanicals and foods. Whether you have a few house plants or a whole backyard full of vegetables, gardening is a hobby that anyone can enjoy. Even celebrities enjoy gardening! in fact, there are quite a number of famous people who enjoy gardening in their free time. Here are a few of our favorite celebrity gardeners.

 

Oprah Winfrey

A love of gardening runs in Oprah’s family. She was raised on her grandmother’s farm in Kosciusko, Mississippi, where they grew everything they ate. In recent years, Oprah has returned to the lifestyle of eating the food she grows. She has a 16-acre organic farm in Maui, Hawaii where she grows over a 100 species of fruits and vegetables. Some of this food she even donates to locals. She hopes her farm as an example for other residents of Hawaii, which currently has 90% of its food flown into the island. 

 

Mindy Kaling

The director and star of “The Mindy Project” is an avid gardener when she’s not writing for the show or working on set. You can even check out her beautiful organic, botanical garden on her Instagram page. She often talks about gardening and how it is a relaxing hobby that she thoroughly enjoys. She recently tweeted, “Gardening is so fun, it is fashion for your dirt patches.” Gardening doesn’t have to be growing your own food. Many people choose to grow botanical gardens to bask in their beauty and scents. 

 

Prince Charles

Even royalty can discover their green thumb! Prince Charles has dedicated over 25 years to developing and cultivating his sustainable, organic garden at the royal Highgrove estate. He has even transformed part of the garden into a mystical playground for the youngest royals, including a unique treehouse. In fact, every week Prince Charles whips out a red ink pen, writes his all of his garden ideas out, and has it passed along to the head gardener at Highgrove. The estate even hosts and an annual festival for people to tour the elaborate gardens.

 

Ellen DeGeneres

Ellen DeGeneres is another famous person who loves to garden. She talks about her organic garden all the time on her show, as well as during appearances on other shows. Her garden and her home have been featured in a number of magazines and their associated online outlets. She has even taken her love of gardening to the next level with her rusting garden decor line. For her gardening isn’t just a hobby, it’s creating a calm, relaxing environment as well. This is one of our favorite benefits of gardening too!

 

Gardening really can be done by anyone! These four celebrities are only a few of a long list of celebrities with organic gardens. You can choose to have a botanical garden or to grow your own food. Either way, your garden is a limitless medium for you to passionately express yourself. For garden ideas, more facts about gardening, or to find out where you can purchase Pefferlaw Peat and Delicious Dirt, feel free to contact us today. 

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