I [Paola] was born and raised in a country where our only option was organic food. In Colombia, they don’t have the money to use pesticides. Organic is the ordinary, not the trend. Most of your fruits and vegetables in Colombia come from the trees in your own backyard! Growing up, I was used to having fresh, colourful produce at the tips of my fingers. The “perfect” fruit or vegetable did not exist—they were not modified or injected with toxins to fit a superficial commercial standard. The produce is grown organically and that is the standard. Coming to Canada in 1999, where the easiest and cheapest food options are fast foods and supermarkets, made me appreciate the abundance of fresh produce I enjoyed in Colombia. I grew up with the luxury of eating purely organic food and I want to share that love of nourishing food with those around me; this is why I am completely committed to using only organic ingredients in my shop!
At any given time, produce bought from commercial non-organic growers may contain between 47-67 different pesticides, many of which have been shown to disrupt immune function, hormonal production, and feed cancer cells. Non-organic produce may contain any (or all) of the following : synthetic chemicals, GMO’s, radiation, fertilizer with a petroleum base, antibiotics, and growth hormones. It often feels overwhelming when our food production system is so deeply flawed that the above list of toxins is the normal processing procedure, yet as consumers, we have a choice. We have the ability to put our money where it matters and control what we are putting into our bodies.
Calgary actually has an amazing local organic community in place. Some organic growers have not acquired the official certification, as it is a very expensive license for such a short growing season that we have here, but you will find them at seasonal farmer’s markets and can talk to them about their processes. Organic farmers do not use GMO modified seeds. Certified organic fruit and vegetables are grown without pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, or chemical fertilizers. In the summer, it is easy to tap into the local organic market community. In the winter it is definitely more of a challenge to keep buying fresh organic produce. When buying non-local produce in the winter, always look for the distributor with the certified label—this means the produce has been cultivated according to strict uniform standards that are verified by independent states or private organizations. Certification includes inspection of farms and processing facilities, detailed record keeping, and testing of soil and water to ensure that growers and handlers are meeting government standards.
The sale of organic food has become a multi-million dollar industry as more people become educated about the widespread use of pesticides and herbicides, and their long-term negative effects on our health is being studied. Organic food is becoming increasingly in demand! Consumers are putting their vote on organic produce and we couldn’t be happier about it. While organic foods are always the best option to avoid toxic pesticides, many studies are showing that organically grown produce also contains a higher concentration of vitamins and minerals than those cultivated inorganically! Researchers say there is now firm evidence that choosing organic foods helps to avoid toxins and promote better health. Especially when cleansing your body, it is essential to avoid ingesting pesticides and other toxic substances. Your body regenerates itself from the food you eat, so why consume food that is less than 100% safe, nourishing, and nutrient dense? With organic food, you can be sure that you are giving your body the best chance at optimal health! I have experienced the beauty of organic food my entire life, studied its healing properties, helped others realize their true health potential, and all it takes is making conscious decisions about what you buy and what you eat.
Food is fuel!
Here are some statistics for those number-minded people out there:
After reviewing over 150 papers on organic vs. non-organic meat and dairy products, a team of 25 scientists published their findings in the British Journal of Nutrition, with very clear differences between the two growing processes. What they found throughout their study was that the amounts of omega 3 fatty acids in organic meat and dairy products was consistently about twice as abundant in organic food as opposed to non-organic. The numbers showed organic milk products to have an average of 56% more omega 3’s and organic meats to have an average of 47% more than non-organic. Omega 3’s play a role in a wide variety of bodily functions. Because of their apparent ability to help the heart beat at a steady rhythm, having an adequate intake of omega 3’s can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. They also help lower blood pressure, improve blood vessel function, and in higher doses can ease inflammation, reducing the risk of atherosclerosis. Considering the human brain is made up mainly of omega 3 fatty acids, having enough in your diet positively impacts neurological function and development.
A similar study was also published in the British Journal of Nutrition also supporting pro-organic, where a team of 18 scientists found that switching to organic fruit, vegetables, and cereal would provide additional antioxidants—the equivalent of adding 1-2 extra portions into your daily diet. Fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants, which prevent and delay certain types of cellular damage. Because of their ability to interact with and neutralize free radicals, observational studies show that antioxidants play a role in treating and preventing cancer, though no controlled studies have been conducted.
“Higher PUFA and omega-3 PUFA, CLA, a-tocopherol and iron, but lower iodine and selenium concentrations in organic bovine milk: A systematic literature review and meta- and redundancy analysis”. Carlo Leifert et al. British Journal of Nutrition
“Composition differences between organic and conventional meat; a systematic literature review and meta-analysis”. Carlo Leifert et al. British Journal of Nutrition