The idea for this came from my 86 year old Grandmother. She is a great no hold back lady that still lives on her own, has had two husbands and still enjoys a glass or glasses of red wine. During a visit she made recently to my place we where talking about my garden and how I like to try and do things that are natural in my vegetable garden and that I had tried some organic seed types this year that didn’t turn out. My grandmother says “I’m 86 and I have never purchased organic food my whole life and I’m still alive” Good point I wanted to debate this more but figured not worth the effort she has a good point. I have another Grand mother that lived to be 89 same types of women but with out the red wine.

 So it made me start to wonder about the whole organic food and product idea is it just a different way to market product and charge more?

 I know that these are two women and not a fare sampling of the North American but it dose make me wonder about it. I’m not a scientist by any means, but I’m open enough to admit that yes there is some link between environment and health. And yes we absorbed, ingested, and breathed in lots of nasty compounds every day.

 Over the last 15+ years I have seen the catch phrase “Organic” or “Natural” appearing on packaging, grocery store signs and advertising, and of course the Media has talked about the benefits. Even seen John and Kate plus 8 talks about organic produce. Is it new thing? No it has been around since planting of Crops began.  Because this blog is more focused on gardening then on general thing I will attempt to keep my research more to that focus then organic products.

 What is Organic horticulture?

 This as normal is my first stop http://en.wikipedia.org here is the link to what they say about it http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organic_gardening So in general it is the use of natural mean and product to build soil grow plants and control pest and diseases in the garden. There are lots of source on the net for how to do this some you must pay for and some you can get for free.

 Why Organic?

 Good questions and one that seems to be more routed in a personal choice and belief than anything else. The idea that if I purchased organic it will make my family more health or less prone to sickness is a compiling who doesn’t want to do the best for their family. But the pessimistic side of me says but is it truly better; maybe more care has gone into its growing and less focus on yield per acre. But if soil is capable of filtering water to make is safe to drink dose it not also stand true that it will reduce the impact of chemicals on are food. So at the grocery store or the farms market you see a sign “Organic Carrot” couple of question come to my mind do we trust the sign? Do we look for proof? If you are at the farms market then we can ask the grower some question but at the grocery store you don’t have that unless you research everything you purchase and eat. And yes their might be a label advising you that the grower is certified but what does that mean.

I took a humble carrot out of the blue and found an article on the BBC about you guessed it humble carrot. Here is the link for you to read http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/906530.stm in there finding they found no different between the two, but this is a heated issue as you can imagine. But it dose make you questions the facts of organic or not. Plus when you don’t have a common certification board for Organic produce in North America; United States having several and Canada havening several and no common ground between them. You then add in other country having different ones you have to wonder how certified that banana grove? And how do you know they are shipping organic produce and not sending non-organic and reaping more profit. Did the Banana grove meet the US standard for Organic or is it called organic based on it countries certification. Their seems to be a lot of what if’s and trust in them doing the right thing and being responsible?

 When Organic?

 I read some articles that refer to the “Dirty Dozen” this are a list of fruit and Vegetables that you should consider buying Organic due to their higher risk. I haven’t got to the source and the science of it but here is a link http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/13737389/page/2/ it seems that the list is mostly made of produce that has thinner skin then others.

 Were Organic?

 If you are committed to going organic part or fully then I would make a local farmers market my choice or grow your own. At the local farmers market you will be able to ask the grower questions about his methods and use of pesticides, you support local, and save in pollution due to the reduce use of transportation to ship good to the grocer store. Plus the nutrition quality will be better since produce will be more recently pick and delivered to your market.

 Conclusion?

 So after all of that I have learned a some new things and hope you have also. If I return to my Grandmother know there are some similarities to these two women that may or may not explain some part of their long lives. Both women have grown up as kids and adults working on a farm, raising their own vegetables and animals. Plus a less global access to food which is an interesting point. So they have had access to good quality and nutrias food that they know how it was grow and cared for. Or maybe it was just their outlook on life that has given them along life.

 My choice is to continue to grow my own food and start to visit the farmers market. I also plan to continue to experiment with more Organic growing principals and using the tools we have used for century’s to bring good health food to my family. You are the best judge of what is right for your family and what your belief is.

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