This Week is Organic

 

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Tomorrow, September 16, marks the beginning of Organic Week. All over the country, from Saturday until next Sunday the 24th, Canadians will be celebrating organic products, food and farming practices by attending workshops, touring organic farms and participating in an array of activities that focus on sharing the organic mantra. Are you in?

A generation ago organic foods and farming practices may have been thought to be a little fringe, indulged mainly by the hippy set, but the organic movement has gone mainstream in a big way. It should be pointed out that pretty much all agriculture and farming practices were organic until the twentieth century anyway, so treating the earth right and raising and procuring healthy food isn’t really anything new. For most consumers, it all boils down to cost; industrial farming has made mass-produced/factory farmed produce a little cheaper on our grocery store shelves. But as has been asked and answered countless times, what is the real cost of cheap food? 

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Everything from the proliferation of “superweeds” to the increased use of pesticides that wreak havoc with ecosystems, a verifiable contribution to global warming  and a hazardous impact on our own health are endemic to the world of non-organic, modern industrialized farming

 “…the problem with cheap food isn’t just about the “externalities” we ignore, but it lies at the heart of how our food system is designed and requires that we take a fresh, comprehensive look at the problems inherent in our globalized food system. Those problems include the poverty and the potential civic unrest and conflicts it foreshadows, its implications for human and environmental health, and what it all portends for community well-being and the need for cultural transformation. This is one of the most comprehensive treatments of this important issue available today and can serve as a guide for everyone interested in redesigning our food system for the decades ahead.’ – Frederick Kirschenmann, Iowa State, reviewing The Real Cost of Cheap Food 

Now, more than ever, practicing organic farming protocols and choosing organic food are critical for the health and well-being of our planet. For a comprehensive look at the rules for organic food in Canada, check this out.  At the very least, organic food, by definition, is pesticide free. The effects of pesticides on human health are as frightening as they are well-documented, not to mention the damage they do to bees and the vital ecosystems that we all depend on.

 

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Organic week exists partly to raise awareness of the organic way of life, and to illustrate that it is not a fringe movement; it is, rather, a vital and important step on the road to recovery for this planet. A step we can all take. For many, examining the organic lifestyle can be a bit daunting, but they needn’t dive into it head first. Test the waters first, there are many ways that people can check it out; pretty much every food product you can think of is readily available as organic, everything from coffee to apples, from yogurt to carrot juice to breakfast cereal. Why not start by placing one or two of these items in your grocery cart on your next visit to the supermarket?

For more information on Organic Week check out their website  which includes info on being organic on a budget  and other tips and practices. They are also sponsoring a totally cool recipe challenge that has some awesome prizes, all you have to do is “cook it, snap it and share it.” Just follow @OrganicWeek and share your organic culinary masterpiece with the hashtag #ChooseCanadaOrganic.

 

Recipe Challenge prizes

Recipe Challenge prizes

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