All Posts Tagged With: "pesticides"

Three Myths and Seven Tips for Going Organic

photo by: Julie

A guest article by Stefanie, founder of the Focus Organic website. Stefanie is, like many of us, trying to live a more green life herself. She shares what she’s learning with the visitors to her site, and also learns from them. She believes that, in our quest to be more eco-friendly, we can better ourselves, our lives, and the planet. Implementing even just small changes into our daily lives can make a big difference. Welcome, Stefanie!

In spite of tough economic times, people are still slowly realizing that switching to an organic lifestyle may be an important decision. While the growth of the U.S. organic food industry has slowed, down from 18.3% growth in 2007 to 15.8% growth in 2008, reaching a sales total of 22.9 billion USD, it is still growing, and seems it will continue to grow. The organic industry as a whole, including non foods, grew 17.1% in 2008, while organic non-food sales alone grew 39.4%. Organic food sales now account for 3.5% of all food sales in the U.S. (Source: Organic Trade Association )

Says something, doesn’t it? In spite of tough times, more people are still willing to pay a bit extra to ensure their health. We’ve heard it all when it comes to naysaying the organic lifestyle – "There’s no proof organic food is better for you," "We don’t know the chemicals are doing us any harm," "Organic food tastes like dirt," etc. I’m calling the nonsense police on these claims.

"There’s no proof organic food is better for you"
Besides the obvious chemical problem traditionally grown food has, which we will get to in a minute, there have also been studies done comparing nutrient value of organically grown to traditionally grown foods. One study, whose results were published in March of 2008, says, "There were 236 valid matched pairs across the 11 nutrients. The organic foods within these matched pairs were nutritionally superior in 145 matched pairs, or in 61% of the cases, while the conventional foods were more nutrient dense in 87 matched pairs, or 37%. There were no differences in 2% of the matched pairs." Want to read the full (53 page) report? "New Evidence Confirms the Nutrititonal Superiority of Plant-Based Organic Foods"

"We don’t know the chemicals are doing us any harm" Continued

Save Money and Time While Growing Healthy Food in Your Front Yard

photo (right) by: Leslie Furlong
Edible Estates is a project created by artist and architect Fritz Haeg that involves traveling around the country converting front lawns into beautiful edible gardens. He started by asking the question, if Thomas Jefferson had planted his garden on the front lawn of Monticello, what would our lawns look like today? Haeg’s project has captured much enthusiasm from families who are challenging that "estate" mentality. The idealistic picture-perfect green space is an unfortunate inheritance of the seeds planted on the plantation lawns of our founding fathers. To Haeg, the front lawn is a waste of valuable resources and the locus of mounting concerns over the effects of pesticides on human health and surrounding ecosystems. What’s most interesting about Haeg’s project is one of the first in his series of gardens was planted on July 4th, 2005 in Salina, Kansas. Part of the Great Dust Bowl of the 1930’s, Salina is also home to The Land Institute . This organization has been working for more then 20 years to find ways to restore topsoil through perennials and polycultures. Haeg’s Edible Estates aren’t just a novel idea; they are a call to action for the right to know where our food is coming from and a patriotic move to restore our homeland.

The above picture is from an Edible Estate project started April 2008 in West Baltimore. Here’s an article from the Urbanite .

Beyond Pesticides

photo arranged by: alyssa

Beyond Pesticides was formed in 1981 (formerly the National Coalition Against the Misuse of Pesticides) as a nonprofit membership organization to help keep local, state, and national pesticide policy responsive to public health and environmental concerns. With the overarching goal of leading the transition to a world free of toxic pesticides, the organization seeks to effect change through local action, assisting individuals and community-based organizations to stimulate discussion on the hazards of toxic pesticides, while providing information on safer alternatives. Their website features daily news, various fact sheets, and information on a number of issues, as well as membership.