Welcome to our 2016 Spring newsletter.
There is controversy regarding organic food – is it better for you? why does it cost more? How do we know if what we are buying is actually organic and not just some words to help the farmer sell.
Drumlin Farm is committed to being organic in every way, from practice to proof. That is why we pay the annual fee (for us, ~$1500) to hold certification. Certified organic means you keep records and that you subject your farm annually to a third party inspector. Every practice is outlined on the Canadian Organic website: Click Here
While there are some commonalities, the Canadian Organic Standard is unique and strict. Part of the issue for you, the consumer, is that while Agriculture Canada is the body that monitors and accepts such regulations, the provinces have the option to buy in or not.
Unfortunately, Ontario has NOT bought into the Federal Organic Standard, allowing organic dabblers and ‘natural’ growers to use the term organic on their labelling and claims.
Is organic better for you? Many organic only customers believe so. There is some proof, but studies in this area are difficult, due to the vast majority of university agriculture study dollars come from private industry. I think you will find this web site interesting, from the Mayo Clinic: Click Here
While there are some large North American organic certified farms, the vast majority of the organic produce available to us is from small farms. The technology for weed removal, organic fertilizing, and harvesting, is still not that advanced (or far too expensive); therefore, labour cost is a huge part of what you pay for. There are no vast fields of organic broccoli, for example, in Ontario, that are mechanically seeded, cared for, and harvested.
The only way to know for sure if the produce you are buying is by recognizing the Canadian Organic Label, and asking the farmer to see a copy of their certification.
Gerry and Sue are travelling to the northern Alberta community of the Dene Tha’ to collaborate with the Band Leaders and the local school authorities. One of the former farm managers at Drumlin Farm is teaching and supervising in that area and asked if we could help with greenhouse installation, women’s health issues, helping with some new goals for the community and overall nutrition assistance. We will take lots of pictures and update regularly; we leave on the 14th of May and return on the 22nd. Sue and I are off to the Dene Tha’ reservation in Northern Alberta for 1 week in May. We will be working on gardening, . Wish us luck!
We will still be signing up for our summer 2016 CSA, but don’t worry if I don’t reply right away to email registration while we are away; we are making room for all sign ups until June 2nd, the first pick up day.
‘Studies show that organically grown crops produce more of the things (ascorbic acid, lycopenes, resveratrol, flavonols in general, etc) that our bodies need and also have less toxic residue. Science is still catching up with this.’ J. Agric. Food. Chem. Vol. 51, no. 5, 2003. Michael Pollan ‘There’s a short chain between field and fork, and the shorter that chain is – the fresher, the more transparent that system is – the less chance there is of anything from bio-terrorism to pathogenicity to spoilage.’ – Joel Salatin