The demand for organic foods is growing at 20% per year in Canada. Consumers are more aware of the benefits for their health, for their communities and for the earth.
Top 5 Reasons to buy ORGANIC and NATURAL:
1. The taste is phenomenal! Organically grown produce tastes great and better than most conventional food. Meat and poultry is much richer and fulfilling in taste and substance.
A recent survey by the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada found that over 70% of consumers are health conscious about what they eat, and are asking for the nutritional information about their food. Individuals and families express increasing health concerns in many areas, and specifically regarding cancer. Many EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) approved pesticides were registered long before extensive research linked these chemicals to cancer and other diseases. Currently the EPA considers 60% of all herbicides, 90% of all fungicides and 30% of all insecticides to be potentially cancer-causing. Organic foods are spared the application of potentially harmful long-lasting insecticides, herbicides, fungicides and fertilizers. In addition many studies have compared the nutritional value of organic foods to conventional foods with most reports favouring organic.
2. Improve the Health of your Children: Keep pesticides off your plate! Children's bodies simply cannot handle the chemicals in their system. According to Health Canada, 80% - 90% of the toxins in our bodies come from the Food we eat - so let's eliminate the chemical cocktails!
3. Improve Your Health. Organic products are higher in vitamins and antioxidants, and therefore reduce stress and enhance your immune system. A recent study reveals a 8 - 35% decline in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants since 1950 in conventional food products.
4. Save the environment for future generations by saying "yes" to the principles that govern organic farming. According to consumer reports "Water pollution from agriculture is the chief reason that 40% of American lakes, rivers and estuaries and not clean enough for fishing or swimming."
5. Support a True Economy. Conventional foods do not reflect the hidden costs borne by the taxpayer, including nearly $74 Billion in federal subsidies to conventional farming in 1988. Other hidden costs include pesticide regulation and testing, hazardous waste disposal, and environmental damage. Pesticides costs the taxpayer billions of dollars annually.
According to many experts, there are many health dangers of pesticide residue. Some of these include: skin and eye irritations, hormonal problems, birth defects and cancer. Studies show that exposure to pesticides can result in infertility problems, birth defects and fetal death, and pregnant and nursing mothers should take extra caution. In addition, the dangers of pesticide residue pose a greater threat for young children because their bodies are smaller and require a smaller amount of toxins to bring about negative health effects.
In a recent study shared by Occupational and Environmental Medicine they concluded: " the incidence of childhood cancer does appear to be associated with parental exposure during the prenatal period" Young mothers and parents are aware of these studies, are reading them, and are wanting to ensure that their families are not exposed to harm.
Why Eat Local?
Many of our small family farms struggle to stay alive, and the majority of our grocery dollars end up in other countries. Our goal in eating local is to support our Canadian farmland, our local economy and our neighbourhoods.
Top 10 Reasons to Eat Local (from FogCity Blogs - link below)
Local food just plain tastes better. Ever tried a tomato that was picked within 24 hours? ' Nuff said.
Locally grown produce is fresher. While produce that is purchased in the supermarket or a big-box store has been in transit or cold-stored for days or weeks, produce that you purchase at your local farmer's market has often been picked within 24 hours of your purchase. This freshness not only affects the taste of your food, but the nutritional value which declines with time.
Eating local means more for the local economy. According to a study by the New Economics Foundation in London, a dollar spent locally generates twice as much income for the local economy. When businesses are not owned locally, money leaves the community at every transaction.
Locally grown fruits and vegetables have longer to ripen. Because the produce will be handled less, locally grown fruit does not have to be "rugged" or to stand up to the rigors of shipping. This means that you are going to be getting peaches so ripe that they fall apart as you eat them, figs that would have been smashed to bits if they were sold using traditional methods, and melons that were allowed to ripen until the last possible minute on the vine.
Eating local is better for air quality and pollution than eating organic. In a March 2005 study by the journal Food Policy, it was found that the miles that organic food often travels to our plate creates environmental damage that outweighs the benefit of buying organic.
Buying local food keeps us in touch with the seasons. By eating with the seasons, we are eating foods when they are at their peak taste, are the most abundant, and the least expensive.
Buying locally grown food is fodder for a wonderful story. Whether it's the farmer who brings local apples to market or the baker who makes local bread, knowing part of the story about your food is such a powerful part of enjoying a meal.
Eating local protects us from bio-terrorism. Food with less distance to travel from farm to plate has less susceptibility to harmful contamination.
Local food translates to more variety. When a farmer is producing food that will not travel a long distance, will have a shorter shelf life, and does not have a high-yield demand, the farmer is free to try small crops of various fruits and vegetables that would probably never make it to a large supermarket. Supermarkets are interested in selling "Name brand" fruit: Romaine Lettuce, Red Delicious Apples, Russet Potatoes. Local producers often play with their crops from year to year, trying out Little Gem Lettuce, Senshu Apples, and Chieftain Potatoes.
Supporting local providers supports responsible land development. When you buy local, you give those with local open space - farms and pastures - an economic reason to stay open and undeveloped.