by Susan
on 09 June 2017

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 02 June 2017

Despite what some people may believe, gardening has a number of benefits to our health. In fact, most Canadians would be surprised to learn exactly how beneficial exercising their green thumb could be. Yes, gardening can cultivate a healthier diet and ultimately a healthier lifestyle, however, its benefits even go beyond that! We’ve discussed some of the other ways that gardening can benefit your life by reducing depression, limiting anxiety, adding exercise, and even increasing vitamin D. Although, today we want to talk about a more specific way that gardening can benefit you and your loved ones. There is now evidence that gardening can decrease a person’s chance of developing Alzheimer’s. 


Alzheimer’s & The Movement of Gardening

As shocking as this may be for some readers, there is a correlation between Alzheimer’s and gardening. It comes down to the movement involved in building, cultivating and maintaining a garden. According to a study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease risk of developing Alzheimer’s can be reduced by 50 percent by engaging in activities such as gardening. The same study also shows an improvement in overall cognitive functions as well. In fact, this particular study is one of the largest samples sizes studied so far in the search for methods of reducing the chances for developing Alzheimer’s. It has been incredibly enlightening for many facets of Alzheimer’s research.


Cultivating The Garden of Your Mind

Is it due to the physical activity involved in gardening that cuts the risk of developing Alzheimer’s in half? This is quite the question, as anyone who has ever gardened before, even if they’ve only planted a few seeds, knows that it takes some brain power too. It seems, the more you get into your gardening and the larger your garden grows, the more cognitive effort you must devote to the project. The truth is that studies also show that both social engagement and intellectual stimuli are also associated with lowering the risk of developing Alzheimer’s as well. 

In fact, many gardeners and doctors will tell you that the physical and mental aspects of gardening both play vital factors is its benefit of reducing this disease. There are so many factors involved in planning, growing and maintaining a garden. The ability to think through solutions regarding location, weather changes, as well as a variety of other situations truly does strengthen the overall cognitive ability of gardeners. These cognitive exercises taught by nature don’t just strengthen a gardener’s mind, they also freshen their adaptability as well. As we age, we must adapt to many things, often including health setbacks and loss. This too is a gift many gardeners receive with each harvest. 


When it comes to gardening, there is more to it than beauty and nutritional sustainability. There are countless reasons for why people choose to exercise their green thumb and preventing Alzheimer’s is one of them. The best approach to quality lifelong health is proactivity, as well as nourishing your body both physically and emotionally. In almost every way fathomable gardening accomplishes these things. If you are interested in learning more about the benefits of gardening or where you can purchase Delicious Dirt and Pefferlaw Peat products, please feel free to contact us today.  

by Susan
on 19 May 2017

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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