ORGANIC PRODUCTS INFORMATIONWhat is Organic? Organic is a legally defined and monitored production method for farms and agricultural products. In general, organic agriculture is a system of farming practices that seeks to use ecological methods of production. It's goal is to learn from and mimic natural processes in order to produce the food we eat while also making our farmers better stewards of the land.
Organic farmers forego the use of certain petro-chemical fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides and weed killers in favour of more environmentally benign inputs and techniques.
In its present form as practiced organic agriculture combines both old and new ideas and practices to produce healthy, tasty, vitamin-rich crops.
The Organic Farming Process: Organic agriculture is a way of working with natural processes to solve some of the problems that all farmers' face: weed control, insect pests, soil fertility management, etc. Instead of herbicides and GMO, organic producers must rely on timely mechanical cultivation or flame-weeding techniques, good old-fashioned hand weeding, or the use of cover crops and mulch to suppress competing weed pressure.
Regarding insects - A balance must be struck between beneficial insects such as bees, ladybugs, and other predators with those organisms that are destructive of crops. Organic farming allows for these beneficial populations to co-exist and aid in control, minimizing the negative impacts of the pests to tolerable levels. Providing habitat for the beneficial creatures helps limit the population of the "other guys" while maintaining bio-diversity. Sometimes farmers intervene with approved organic methods such as BT (bacillus thurigenensis), a bacterium that effects only leaf-eating caterpillars.
Fertility of the soil is a key component of organic farming theory & practice: feed the soil and healthy crops will follow. Compost production is foremost in this strategy to build biologically active soil communities. These in turn support healthy root structures that allow plants to develop to their fullest potential. Other natural enhancements such a ground rock powders (i.e., dolomite limestone, etc.) are also a way to add and incorporate trace minerals.
What does Biodynamic mean? Biodynamic agriculture comprises an ecological and sustainable system of agricultural production, particularly of food for humans that respects all creation. It is based on the teachings of Rudolf Steiner. Biodynamic were first introduced in 1924 by Rudolf Steiner. Seventy-five years of practical application and research have advanced the method to a leading position in alternative agriculture. It includes many of the ideas of organic farming (but predates the term) and has as a core focus, the idea of the soil and the life on and in it as a living, sentient system.
The word "biodynamic" is derived from the Greek bios meaning life, and dynamism meaning force or energy. It describes a holistic way of understanding Nature, recognizing forces that regulate the growing processes in plants and animals. The ideal biodynamic farm is an individually unique ecosystem, self-sufficient with respect to soil fertility. It builds fertility through on-farm produced manures, composts, balanced crop rotations, and the use of biodynamic preparations, which stimulate the life activity of soil and plants.
Certification of biodynamic farms and processing facilities began in Europe during the 1930's under the auspices of the DEMETER-Bund, named after the Greek goddess of fertility. At present there are biodynamic organizations in 45 countries around the globe. Management of a DEMETER certified biodynamic farm is based on comprehensive guidelines that exceed all organic production standards. The Biodynamic Trade or Certification Marks assure consumers that the foods so identified have been produced and processed by dedicated people with a high level of integrity and care under environmentally and socially responsible conditions.
What does organic mean for you? Why should you buy organic? There are many reasons, from the environmental costs of chemical agriculture to the desire to support family farms. Then there is the flavour - although it hasn't been scientifically proven, many consumers say organics just taste better! Indeed, many organic farmers focus their efforts on growing varieties that are unique and flavourful, instead of durable and uniform. Many splendidly flavoured heirloom varieties that conventional agriculture deemed "un-marketable" have been preserved by organic growers and their appreciative customers.
Increasingly, organic produce is being sought-out by consumers wishing to reduce and minimize their exposure to the residues from agricultural chemical use. And rightfully so! Studies have found chemical residues in many of the foods we currently consume, the long-term health effects of which are highly suspect. While organic is not a "residue-free" claim, it has been demonstrated that by eating organically produced fruits and vegetables, consumers can avoid and reduce their exposure risk.
Argentina a place for organic production? Argentina is considered a reliable country by the strictest organic markets in the world. This is due to the professionalism and responsibility shown by our country in establishing organic production regulations in accordance with the strictest ones in the world. Standards and Regulations concerning the National System of Organic Production were created in Argentina between 1992 and 1993. This strict normative system is officially recognized by the European Union. On the other hand, Argentina has the ideal framework to make profit of its comparative advantages such as:
- Large extensions of virgin lands and naturally fertile soils.
- Climate diversity and ecological aptitude for all sort of crops.
- Counter seasons with respect of main consumption centres.
Argentina is well-known in the most demanding markets for the manufacturing and production of top quality raw materials: cereals, citric fruits, jams, minerals, oleaginous crops, soy and meat which are products that Argentina exports to the world.
What does organic mean for the consumer? Organic produce is eagerly sought-out by consumers wishing to reduce and minimize their exposure to the residues from agricultural chemical use. And rightfully so! Studies have found residues in many of the foods we currently consume, the long-term health effects of which are highly suspect. While "organic" is not a "residue-free" claim, it has been demonstrated that by eating organically produced fruits and vegetables, consumers can best avoid and reduce their exposure risk.
Buy purchasing organic food, you can:
- Support organic farmers and this environmentally sensitive production method.
- Help move agriculture to more widely adopt these sustainable practices.
- Encourage environmental stewardship of land, water and other resources.
- Protect wildlife and water quality.
- Provide great tasting, healthy food that is assured to minimize exposure to harmful residues.