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Organic Food

Cariporter Organic Store is where you can get your local, fresh, healthy and nutritional organic food such as organic tomatoes, lettuce, salad mix, pepper, spinach, potato, squash, etc. And you may even have organic food delivered directly to you.

 All organic food are locally produced, and are grown through our own farm - Cariporter Organic Farm.

 

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So go ahead and select from Cariporter Organic food choices:

 

* Organic CSA Cariporter

* Organic Fruits

* Organic Vegetables

 

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 SHOP BY PRICE RESULTS ARE SHOWN AT THE BOTTOM, OR USE IT WHEN YOU MAKE YOUR SELECTION ABOVE

 

MORE ABOUT ORGANIC FOOD, LOCAL FOOD AND BENEFITS

 

Organic food has garnered local, national and international recognition. Organic food is also regarded as the healthy and more nutritional way to go. Additionally, it is a great way to help protect the environment.

The continued surge in prominence for organic food is led by the demand from individuals for healthier and more nutritious food, as well as greater protection of the environment.

This increase in attention is expected to go on, and especially as consumers learn more about organic food and their overall well being.

So what makes organic food organic? Well, let us examine what is organic.

What is organic?

According to the book Why Organic Farming Is Great For Canada by Leroy A. Brown, “Organic is a process within which crops are grown, animals are reared, food and beverages are manufactured using non-conventional methods, such as not using synthesized herbicides and pesticides for weeds and crops; not using genetically modified (GM) seeds; and not using growth hormones in animals, just to highlight a few. It involves the use of compost and worm castings as fertilizers; it is planting legumes to help return nutrients back to the soil; it is crop rotating and intercropping; it is growing animals like cows on grass, organic alfalfa and organic grain as food, and allowing them to grow and develop as nature intended for them, and so on.

Therefore, organic farming is doing agriculture in such a way that it protects the environment, and makes humans, plants and animals healthier.

In order to let the general public know that a product is indeed organic, if word of mouth and/or touring the farm/food operation is not sufficient, the producer will have his/her establishment assessed by an authorized certifier, before organic designation is given. This certification allows the farmer to sell not just locally, but nationally and globally.

Organic farming is more about wholesomeness rather than financial gains. And if done properly, it will result in a lot of money being earned, like what is being experienced by many of the stakeholders (such as farmers, distributors and retailers). However, if the aim is solely to make money, and to do so at any cost like in many large conventional food operations, then there will be far more losses than gains”. 

The Canadian Organic Growers (COG) goes on to define organic as “… the only type of agriculture with a set of principles that puts nature first. These principles are enshrined in industry-developed standards approved by consumers and verified annually by third-party organizations. As of 2009, federal organic standards are now backed by government regulation and oversight.

Organic standards are based on seven general principles:

 

  1. Protect the environment, minimize soil degradation and erosion, decrease pollution, optimize biological productivity and promote a sound state of health.
  2. Maintain long-term soil fertility by optimizing conditions for biological activity within the soil.
  3. Maintain biological diversity within the system.
  4. Recycle materials and resources to the greatest extent possible within the enterprise.
  5. Provide attentive care that promotes the health and meets the behavioural needs of        livestock.
  6. Prepare organic products, emphasizing careful processing, and handling methods in order to maintain the organic integrity and vital qualities of the products at all stages of production.
  7. Rely on renewable resources in locally organized agricultural systems.”[1]

 

Internationally, organic can be defined as “… a production system that sustains the health of soils, ecosystems and people. It relies on ecological processes, biodiversity and cycles adapted to local conditions, rather than the use of inputs with adverse effects. Organic agriculture combines tradition, innovation and science to benefit the shared environment and promote fair relationships and a good quality of life for all involved.”[2]

The Organic World Foundation (OWF) – an institution that supports the global development of organic agriculture, and works closely with the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) Global Action Network, has described organic agriculture as being based on the following four (4) principles:

 

THE PRINCIPLE OF HEALTH

 

“Organic Agriculture should sustain and enhance the health of soil, plant, animal, human and planet as one and indivisible.

 

This principle points out that the health of individuals and communities cannot be separated from the health of ecosystems. Health is the wholeness and integrity of living systems and it is not simply the absence of illness. Immunity, resilience and regeneration are key characteristics of health.

 

In particular, organic agriculture is intended to produce high quality, nutritious food that contributes to preventive health care and well-being. In view of this it should avoid the use of fertilizers, pesticides, animal drugs and food additives that may have adverse health effects.”[3]

 

THE PRINCIPLE OF ECOLOGY

 

“Organic Agriculture should be based on living ecological systems and cycles, work with them, emulate them and help sustain them.

 

Those who produce, process, trade, or consume organic products should protect and benefit the common environment including landscapes, climate, habitats, biodiversity, air and water.

 

Organic farming, pastoral and wild harvest systems should fit the cycles and ecological balances in nature. These cycles are universal but their operation is site-specific. Organic management must be adapted to local conditions, ecology, culture and scale. Inputs should be reduced by reuse, recycling and efficient management of materials and energy in order to maintain and improve environmental quality and conserve resources.

 

Organic agriculture should attain ecological balance through the design of farming systems, establishment of habitats and maintenance of genetic and agricultural diversity.”[4]

 

THE PRINCIPLE OF FAIRNESS

 

“Organic Agriculture should build on relationships that ensure fairness with regard to the common environment and life opportunities.

 

Fairness is characterized by equity, respect, justice and stewardship of the shared world, both among people and in their relations to other living beings.

 

This principle emphasizes that those involved in organic agriculture should conduct human relationships in a manner that ensures fairness at all levels and to all parties - farmers, workers, processors, distributors, traders and consumers. Organic agriculture should provide everyone involved with a good quality of life, and contribute to food sovereignty and reduction of poverty.It aims to produce a sufficient supply of good quality food and other products.

 

This principle insists that animals should be provided with the conditions and opportunities of life that agree with their physiology, natural behavior and well-being.

 

Natural and environmental resources that are used for production and consumption should be managed in a way that is socially and ecologicallyjust and should be held in trust for future generations. Fairness requires systems of production, distribution and trade that are open and equitable and account for real environmental and social costs.”[5]

 

THE PRINCIPLE OF CARE

 

“Organic Agriculture should be managed in a precautionary and responsible manner to protect the health and well-being of current and future generations and the environment.

 Organic agriculture is a living and dynamic system that responds to internal and external demands and conditions. Practitioners of organic agriculture can enhance efficiency and increase productivity, but this should not be at the risk of jeopardizing health and well-being. Consequently, new technologies need to be assessed and existing methods reviewed. Given the incomplete understanding of ecosystems and agriculture, care must be taken.

 

This principle states that precaution and responsibility are the key concerns in management, development and technology choices in organic agriculture. Science is necessary to ensure that organic agriculture is healthy, safe and ecologically sound. However, scientific knowledge alone is not sufficient. Practical experience, accumulated wisdom and traditional and indigenous knowledge offer valid solutions, tested by time. Organic agriculture should prevent significant risks by adopting appropriate technologies and rejecting unpredictable ones, such as genetic engineering. Decisions should reflect the values and needs of all who might be affected, through transparent and participatory processes.”[6]

 

So what are the benefits of going organic?

The benefits of going organic are numerous, and it gets better and better and as more individuals go organic. Some of the benefits of going organic are:

 

INDIVIDUALS

  • Organic food provides more nutrients that the human body needs.
  • Organic food helps to reduce the amount of toxic chemicals that enters the body through food consumption.

 

 BUSINESSES

  • Retailers such as supermarkets are having increases in overall sales as they add organic vegetables, fruits, meat, baked goods and other organic products to their shelves.
  • Retailers such as specialty stores and supermarkets may enjoy greater profit margins on organic products.

 

GOVERNMENTS

  • As people become healthier from eating organic food, there may be less pressure on the health system, as fewer people will be ill and so not requiring medical attention.
  • Because organic soils absorb more carbon, cities and countries will be able to meet their carbon emissions target(s), if other necessary actions are done in conjunction with organic agriculture.

 

HEALTH & NUTRITION

  • Individuals with allergies that are food related, may find them lessened or they no longer exist when they consume organic food.
  • Not feeding livestock with animal by-products will reduce the probability of creating ailments such as mad cow disease [bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE)].
  • Organic food has more antioxidants than conventional and natural food.
  • Using no pesticides, herbicides and insecticides reduces health risks for farmers, livestock, wildlife and people living in close proximity.  

 

ENVIRONMENT

  • As a result of organic agriculture not using conventional chemicals, there is less land, water and air pollution.
  • Organic agriculture conserves, protects and enhances biodiversity.
  • Organic farming helps to reduce air, water and land pollution.
  • Organic agriculture helps to mitigate climate change and global warming.
  • Organic farming uses less energy.
  • Many times, organic food is produced locally. Consequently, less distances have to be travelled for the organic food to get to its destination such as farmers markets, homes, retailers, etc. As such, less fossil fuel is used, and less carbon monoxide is released into the atmosphere.

 

  AGRICULTURE & FARMERS

  • Organic farms ensure better health for farmers and their families as they are not exposed to toxic conventional chemicals.
  • Organic farmers enjoy better prices for their organic vegetables, fruits, animals and other products.
  • In producing organic food, there is no need for conventional fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides and insecticides.
  • Organic farming increases soil fertility.
  • Organic agriculture allows farmers to make a better living due to better prices for their products.
  • Not using conventional chemicals such as weedicides, herbicides, and pesticides helps to reduce the emergence of “super weeds” and “super pests” respectively.

  

ECONOMY

  • Organic farming creates a sustainable livelihood for farmers, retailers, etc.
  • Organic agriculture offers many job opportunities such as being an organic inspector, organic restauranteur, organic farmer, and organic food retailer, just to highlight a few.
  • Producing organic food may involve more human work than mechanical. As such, more individuals are employed so helping to reduce unemployment.
  • Many times organic food is produced locally. And it is customary that the organic farm gets its supply and labor from the surrounding community, so keeping the money it earns in the local economy, and inevitably helps in growing and developing the district.

 

What are some of the differences among organic, conventional and natural?

               

TOXIC PERSISTENT PESTICIDES AND HERBICIDES

Organic:                                  Not allowed in organic farming.

Natural/Conventional:            Allowed in conventional farming.

 

GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISMS (GMO)

Organic:                               Not allowed in organic farming and organic food.

Natural/Conventional:            Allowed in conventional farming and natural food.

 

ANTIBIOTICS

Organic:                               Not allowed in organic farming.

Natural/Conventional:            Allowed in conventional farming.

 

SLUDGE AND IRRADIATION

Organic:                               Not allowed in organic farming.

Natural/Conventional:            Allowed in conventional farming.

 

ANIMAL WELFARE REQUIREMENTS

Organic:                               Required in organic farming.

Natural/Conventional:            Not required in conventional farming.

 

ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTION

Organic:                               Reduces environmental pollution.

Natural/Conventional:            Increases environmental pollution.

 

ABILITY TO HAVE FOOD AUDIT TRAIL FROM FARM TO CONSUMER

Organic:                               Has food audit trail from farm to consumer.

Natural/Conventional:            Not required to have food audit trail from farm to consumer.

 

INSPECTION AND CERTIFICATION REQUIRED

Organic:                               Required in order to sell food nationally and internationally.

Natural/Conventional:            Not required to sell food.

 

ANIMALS ARE REQUIRED TO BE ROAMING AND EATING FREELY IN OUTSIDE OPEN SPACES

Organic:                               Required in organic agriculture.

Natural/Conventional:            Not required in conventional agriculture.

 

MATERIALS/INPUTS USED MUST BE APPROVED

Organic:                               Required in organic farming.

Natural/Conventional:            Not required in conventional farming.

 

HAS SPECIFIC DEFINITION

Organic:                                Organic food has specific definition and requirements as to

                                            how it is produced.

Natural/Conventional:            Natural food and conventional farming has no specific     

                                            requirement nor definition.

 

What is local food and what does local have to do with organic food?

Local basically means food produced close to where you live. This may include food you grow in your backyard, food from a farm just down the street, and food grown in your community. Local has also been extended to mean food provided in your province or state and country.

Local food can also be considered a movement where a network is created to connect producers and consumers in the same area. This may be done through farmers markets and community supported agriculture (CSA) programs.

The overall aim of having and supporting local food is to try and ensure consistent supply of healthy and nutritious food, assist farmers in being in contact with consumers, and increase spending in the community/local economy.

This spending or circulation of money in the community/local economy helps businesses in that area to thrive, assist in reducing unemployment and poverty, while overall developing that particular district.

Buying local food helps to reduce pollution as food does not have to travel long distances, so aiding in reducing air pollution.

Now there are locavores who are individuals interested in eating local food.

So organic food fits well with local food.

 

How do I identify organic food?

Growing your own food is the best way of ensuring your food is organic. The second best way is to buy your food directly from an organic farmer.

There are other ways of identifying and ensuring your food is organic. These other methods have been highlighted by Leroy A. Brown in his blog, as well you can download the infographics or watch the youtube video.

The various ways to identify and to know if your food is organic are:

 

KNOW YOUR ORGANIC FARMER

Knowing your organic farmer is a good practice. You get to ask your questions directly, visit the farm and/or even pick your own food. It also ensures that your food is indeed coming from an organic farm. 

 

READ THE LABEL

Read the label so you can get information that will help you to determine if a product is organic. Not all labels have all three (3), but there are 3 main things you are looking for:

1. Organic Ingredients - know if the content of the product is organic, GMO-free, and if it is 95% - 100% organic;

2. Organic Logo – shows that the product has met the organic standards;

3. And Certification Body - know which company certified the product as being organic, and is this company accredited by the government.

 

READ THE PLU

Read the PLU (Price Look Up) code which are numbers generally on fruits in supermarkets, grocery stores, etc. They are 4 to 5 digit numbers, and they tell what type of fruit it is, and if it is organic, genetically modified or conventional. The starting numbers usually range from 1 to 9.

If the number starts with 9 (eg. 94011), it is organic; if it starts with 8 (eg. 84011), it is genetically modified; and all other numbers are conventional, eg. 4011.

 

CONTACT THE COMPANY

Contact the company directly that made the product or distributed it, and have your concerns addressed.

 

GROW YOUR OWN FOOD

Growing your own food may be the surest way of ensuring your food is organic, fresh, nutritional and available when you want it. 

 

I have seen various organic labels and terms, what do they mean?

 

100% ORGANIC

100% organic means the food is completely organic such as Cariporter organic food or all of its ingredients are 100% organic. You may click here to know what is organic.

 

ORGANIC

Organic usually means that 95% of the foods’ ingredients are organic.

 

MADE WITH ORGANIC INGREDIENTS

Made with organic ingredients are foods that generally have at least 70% of their ingredient being organic.

 

CONTAINS ORGANIC INGREDIENTS

Contains organic ingredients simply means that the food has some organic ingredients in it.

 

ORGANIC CERTIFICATION

Organic certification “… is the consumer's guarantee that all food products that use the term organic, actually are. In order to be certified organic all producers and processors must meet all requirements as set out in the Canadian Organic Standard, must apply to a CFIA Accredited Certification Body, and be able to show complete traceability of their products and be inspected by an independent third party. Once a farmer or business is certified it can use the term organic and the Canadian Organic Logo.”[7]

 

CANADIAN ORGANIC REGULATION

Canadian organic regulation "... is legislation that has been passed by the government of Canada which states that in order for a food product to be deemed organic, it must meet the requirements as set out in the Canadian Organic Standard and the Permitted Substances List."[8]

 

CANADIAN ORGANIC STANDARD

Canadian organic standard "... contains a set of criteria for all methods and practices for producing and handling crops, livestock and processed products."[9]

 

CANADIAN ORGANIC REGIME

The Canadian organic regime "... is a partnership between the federal government as represented by the CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency) and the organic industry. This body oversees organics in Canada. The regime helps protect consumers from misleading labeling, reduce confusion about the definition of organic and facilitate development of organic markets."[10]

 

PERMITTED SUBSTANCES LIST

Permitted substances list is a compilation that "... identifies and supplies details on allowable substances that can be used in organic farming and production of organic products."[11]

 

I have seen other labels and terms relating to food, what do they mean?

 

CAGE FREE

Cage free means that animals are not confined in a cage, but they may be in a pen or coop. This does not mean that they are organic, because there are other requirements.

 

COLD PRESSED

Cold pressed is a chemical free process involving the use of pressure at low temperatures, resulting in extract such as juice or oil having higher nutrient and more content (i.e. more juice or more oil). This does not mean that the juice or oil is organic, because there are other requirements.

 

FARM RAISED FISH

Farm raised fish are fish bred in an enclosed area on a farm. This does not mean that they are organic, because there are other requirements.

 

FAIR TRADE

Fair trade is a certification that is concerned with ensuring that farmers are not exploited. It also requires sustainable practices to be done. This does not mean that what is being certified fair trade is organic, because there are other requirements.

 

FREE RANGE

Free range means that animals are allowed to feed and roam freely outside in open spaces. This does not mean that the animals are organic, because there are other requirements.

 

GRASS FED OR PASTURE FINISHED

Grass fed or pasture finished are animals such as cows that have been raised on grass or hay instead of grain and other feed such as animal byproducts. This does not mean that the animals are organic, because there are other requirements.

 

LOCAL

Local means your food is produced close to your home, usually within a 100 miles radius. However, local may also include food grown or raised in your province or state and in your country. This does not mean that local food is organic, because there are other requirements.

 

NATURAL

Natural means whatever the producer or manufacturer wants it to mean. So natural is not the same as organic because there are requirements.

 

NO HORMONE OR HORMONE FREE

No hormone or hormone free usually refers to growth hormones, so it means the animals were raised without growth hormones. This does not mean the animal is organic, because there are other requirements.

 

SUSTAINABLE

Sustainable means that the food was produced in such a way that there was minimal negative impact on the environment. This does not mean that the food is organic, because there are other requirements.



[1] “What is Organic?” Canadian Organic Growers, Cog.ca. http://www.cog.ca/about_organics/what_is_organics/

[2] “Organic Agriculture” Organic World Foundation, Organicworldfoundation.org   http://www.organicworldfoundation.org/organic_agriculture.html

[3] “Organic Agriculture” Organic World Foundation, Organicworldfoundation.org   http://www.organicworldfoundation.org/organic_agriculture.html

[4] “Organic Agriculture” Organic World Foundation, Organicworldfoundation.org   http://www.organicworldfoundation.org/organic_agriculture.html

[5] “Organic Agriculture” Organic World Foundation, Organicworldfoundation.org   http://www.organicworldfoundation.org/organic_agriculture.html

[6] “Organic Agriculture” Organic World Foundation, Organicworldfoundation.org   http://www.organicworldfoundation.org/organic_agriculture.html

 

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