Local Organic Farms Are A Healthy Resource

You can find a variety of fresh, organic foods at local farms and farmer's markets

The summer is about to come upon us and with the ray of sunshine comes the full bloom of the local farmer’s markets.  And while this is a great time of the year to shop there for organic produce, there are stores and small farms that sell items throughout the year.

Shopping at local farms or farmer’s markets is a great way to support your city’s economy.  It also promotes healthier food choices and helps keep organic farmers in business.

Organic produce that is grown at the local level has amazing benefits that you won’t find in imported or statewide food.  It is the freshest you can get without growing it yourself in your own backyard.  In fact, there are u-pick farms available that give you this opportunity.  The soil that these farmers use is rich in nutrients, unlike that of the mass production farms, which use harmful pesticides supposedly linked to ADHD in children.

There is a variety of food available from local farms like honey, eggs, produce, homemade soap, and even dog treats.  It is well finding out about and many farmer’s markets and local farms are listed right online.  Local organic produce is a healthy and fresh choice for you and your family.

Organic Coffee On The Rise Despite A Bad Economy

The Fair Trade organic coffee industry is increasing, which is great news for farmers

Producers of coffee need to take notice of a growing demand for Fair Trade organic beans.  In 2009 alone the market sales were at 1.4 billion dollars, which blows away the standard coffee competition.

This is evidenced in the last four years where organic coffee demand has increased by 21 percent on average, compared to only one percent for regular coffee.  That is a substantial difference and is expected to continue to rise.

Organic coffee is popular for several reasons.  First, it’s healthier.  The beans do not contain harmful chemicals or pesticides.  Second, it’s great for the environment because growers use responsible practices that actually replenish the soil.  And third, it helps support small organic coffee growers, especially in third world countries, and their prospective economies.

There are around 40 countries that currently produce organic coffee, all of which are accountable to the Organic Trade Association and that guarantees to consumers that the coffee is one hundred percent organic.  These countries include Mexico, Brazil, Costa Rica, North America, Bolivia, El Salvador, and Nicaragua.  The OTA was formed in 1975 in North America and has around 1,400 members today.

Cost Comparisons – Organic Versus Conventionally Grown Produce

Farm Fresh Produce

Farm Fresh Produce

Instinctively people are driven to save money wherever they can, but does this apply to what we eat?  Typically organic produce is much more expensive to buy.  What are the differences between organic and conventionally grown fruits and vegetables and why is organic more expensive?

Organic refers to the way the produce is grown and processed.  Organic farmers encourage soil and water preservation to reduce pollution. 

They don’t use conventional methods of fertilizing, in weed control and in the prevention of livestock disease.  They use crop rotation and spread mulch or manure instead of spraying weed killer to control weeds. 

Farmers who produce more than $5,000 a year in organic foods have to comply with strict government standards set by the USDA and label their food as organic.  Organic labels mean that at least 95 percent of the foods ingredients are organically produced.

There is no conclusive evidence that organic food is more nutritious than conventionally grown food.  Pesticides on fruits and vegetables pose a very small health risk. 

Taste is a subjective point; some say there is no taste difference.  It comes down to a matter of personal preference and ideology whether or not you choose conventional or organic. 

The higher organic cost factor is due to the methods employed by the farmers such as the amount of labor they invest in weed and pest controls and smaller crop sizes.

Whether you prefer organic or conventional foods consider these tips:

            . Buy fruits and vegetable in season and try to buy them the day they are delivered for optimum 

            . Read labels, buy locally.

            . Wash all fruits and vegetables and use a brush for products where you will be eating the skin.

            . If pesticides have you concerned peel fruits and vegetables before consumption.  Some pesticides
              can reside in fat so remove fat from meats and skin from poultry and fish.