Try these fun veggie Christmas ideas to put more fun in your holidays!
Try these fun veggie Christmas ideas to put more fun in your holidays!
Are you ready to explore SOIL? It is the groundwork (figuratively and literally!) of any healthy, hearty garden!!
Our guest is Dr. Jana Bogs, a Colorado State University graduate with a PhD in horticulture and food science, who firmly believes that soil is the foundation to growing nutritionally dense food.
Jana’s passion for optimizing health began when she was a young girl and led her to become a nutritionist. After working in the field for several years, Jana realized that food’s nutritional quality was not what it could be or even what it once was! These insights resulted in her understanding that soil quality needed to be improved to grow better quality foods. Her mission then became “creating health from the soil up”.
Through the ‘Beyond Organic Growing System’ that Dr. Bogs created, a farmer, home gardener, or market gardener can have their soil tested. Following analysis, and with the direction that Dr. Bogs provides, appropriate amendments can be made to then grow plants that will express their full potential with better cell wall integrity and increased nutrient density.
Along with extensive ties to the academic community, Dr. Bogs also stays on the cutting edge by studying techniques from the organic agriculture industry, as well. She provides a terrific explanation of how going ‘beyond organic’ is important because it not only leaves the chemicals behind but results in foods that are increased in nutrition so truly promote health and longevity.
Here’s the link to the recorded interview–
First some corrections on the last post about Blue Dragon Farm…
It is actually called Blue Dragon Farm, not Touching the Earth Farm. And “Miss America” Sarah, who grows wonderful produce there, is Sarah Doyle, not Sarah Auten. She works with Dan Auten in raising the crops, harvesting, marketing, etc. Sorry for the confusion. Now that that is cleared up, let’s see some more pictures of their produce!
Yes, I took some home and checked the brix. Brix is a measure of soluble solids, in this case, in the plant sap. It is a general indication of nutrient density. Brix definitely correlates with sweetness/flavor because it measures sugars, among other food components. The brix was much higher than that of chard grown on the Blue Dragon Farm 5 years ago before it went from “just organic” to “Beyond Organic”. How much higher? About 7 times higher!
Dr. Don Huber, professor emeritus from Purdue, has spent many years teaching students how to grow better crops. Currently, he is focusing on disseminating information on the dangers of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and the herbicide glyphosate (commonly available as RoundUp®). Most grocery store items contain one or both. Major GMO crops are engineered to withstand heavy use of glyphosate, hence the term “RoundUp® Ready”. So the cultivation of GMO crops results in the use of more chemicals, not less. These GMO crops have significantly less nutrition than non-GMO crops because glyphosate ties up soil nutrients and kills beneficial microorganisms which make nutrients available to plants.
At a recent meeting in Kailua-Kona, here on the Big Island of Hawai`i, Dr. Huber shared a Power Point presentation with many shocking slides. Thousands of studies show the dangerous health effects of the use of GMOs and glyphosate (RoundUp®). Their use has been positively correlated to the sudden rise in various diseases such as diabetes, autism, celiac disease, Alzheimer’s, kidney disease, acute allergies, and liver disease, as well as reproductive failures, miscarriages and birth defects (see charts below).
Learn more about GMOs by reading my book, Beyond Organic…Growing for Maximum Nutrition, available on http://janabogs.com.
Organic industry keeps on rolling
Posted on June 2, 2011 by zintro
By Maureen Aylward
The New York Times reports that with the global recession, organic farming and the organic industry is holding steady and growing. We asked our Zintro experts to comment on some reasons for this growth, especially in these tough economic times.
Carlos AgNet, an organics consultant who works in government regulation, says that supply is decades behind demand in the organics industry due to cost and complexity hurdles. “Besides consumer education driving demand, the future of farm regulation will create a more level playing field for certified organic operators,” he says. “With all producers being required to get a Food Safety or GAP certification in the near future, the regulatory cost difference between conventional and organic producers will narrow.”
Mashood Ahmed, and agro-ecologist and food safety and security expert, says that organic products are gaining market share due to a variety of reasons, such as farmer independence, better cultivation practices that allow the farmer to control input costs, and understanding the role of nature. “I have seen many farms becoming less mechanized and reverting back to the conventional plowing and harvesting techniques,” says Ahmed. “This means jobs, and I believe these shifts will keep economies moving in a balanced and rational way.”
Mayte de Groot, a specialist in the Mexican organics market, says that demand is growing faster than production. “The leaders in this space are the European countries (Germany, Switzerland, Norway, Denmark, Holland, and Belgium) in production and consumption,” she says. “But many more consumers around the world are slowly shifting consumer habits due to ecological consciousness. Organic distributors and importers in Europe need new supplies because they claim there is not enough variety of organic products available in the market for industry and retail consumption.”
de Groot says that market researchers find it difficult to get figures about organic consumption because there is no official statistical data regarding organic yield production, trade, or consumption worldwide. “In Mexico, even though there are no official statistics about organic product consumption, Mexican companies in this sector are reporting sales increases over 20 percent each year,” she says. “This means greater business for supermarkets, distributors, importers, and farmers and more variety and choices.”
Dr. Jana Bogs thinks that the organic industry is growing because of the passion behind it. “People in the organic industry are on a passionate mission to make the world a better place. Organic farmers feel good about what they grow; organic product companies feel good about what they produce; and consumers feel good about using these products. A lot of people are aware and concerned about the planet, so buying organic is helping them do something good for our environment,” she says.
“Scientific studies prove that children who are fed organic food have significantly fewer toxic chemicals in their blood. As cancer rates rise, consumers look for ways to decrease their personal toxic loads. The extra cost for organics is justified, and we are seeing consumers voting for organics with their pocketbooks.”
In 2009, total US organic sales for food and non-food products were $26.6 billion and growing. With mass market retailers increasing their offerings of organics, where might the industry be headed?
The US organic products industry has seen strong growth over the years and should expect to see continued growth, says Peter Leighton, an expert and recognized leader in the areas of consumer products, nutraceuticals, and human nutrition. “In spite of weak economic conditions, the category remains vibrant,” he explains. “There are a host of drivers that fuel this growth, but the critical component is the acceleration of scale. As demand increases for organic products, more organic inputs are allocated, thereby reducing the endpoint costs for consumers.” This, in turn, fuels greater growth.
Environmental issues are increasingly playing a strong role in that growth, notes Leighton. “More data is demonstrating the value of sustainable agricultural practices and the health and environmental benefits of natural pesticides,” he says. While to date one of the greatest consumer triggers for organic products has been the health halo of the products, increasingly the industry will see environmental and ecological triggers driving consumer action, as these have a much more significant point of differentiation.
Carlos-AgNet, an expert in organic product lines and a consultant to organic companies and certification groups, says that the saving grace for the organics industry is a decade’s old demand that has seen supply increases. “This demand is providing unprecedented opportunity for those that can develop a retail organic product,” says Carlos-AgNet. “The industry has recently seen an explosion of beverages and beauty products.”
One of the challenges that Carlos-AgNet sees for the organics industry is the certification process. “Basic standards for organic certification receive a wide interpretation within the national standard and between countries, which inhibits trade in international products, such as food and textiles,” he says. New product areas in the organics industry bring with them a new generation of standards that are difficult for producers to sort out. Instead, cosmetic and food manufacturers are choosing voluntary or non-organic standards, such as natural, to avoid having to go through the national organic standards.
“The US market is decades behind Europe in organics and agriculture transformation,” says Carlos-AgNet. “A real threat to US producers could be the replacement of US producers of agricultural products with those from more advanced agricultural economies.” He states that this shift may not affect the US organic retail market.
Dr. Jana Bogs is looking beyond organics to the next step the industry might take to increase nutrition in organic fruits and vegetables and natural ingredients. Bogs is an expert in food science, horticulture, nutrition, and agriculture.
“Several scientific studies have shown significant decreases in nutrient density in fruits and vegetables over the past half century,” Bogs says. “There is a lot more research to be done, but we currently have enough knowledge to produce significantly higher quality produce at the current time. Some producers understand how to grow beyond-organic foods, but they need a better marketing system.” She adds that food and nutrition supplement companies who are looking to capture a larger percentage of the market would do well to look into these optimally-grown foods.
Does the cultivation system in which apples are grown affect blood glucose response from the resulting fruits? Field reports from diabetic patients and preliminary trial data suggest this may be so. For example, a diabetic patient in Washington state had been told by his doctor to not eat fruit because it would spike his blood glucose. He monitored his responses regularly at home with his own blood glucose meter. He was surprised to find that apples and cherries from orchards that were managed with nutrient-rich methods did not spike his blood glucose, yet the same fruit cultivars which were conventionally grown would spike his blood glucose. His doctor did not believe him, so to prove his theory the patient sat in the doctor’s office, ate a bowl of well-grown cherries and tested his blood glucose response there on the spot!
When I heard the field reports, the nutritionist in me was certainly intrigued and I immediately began planning an experimental trial for myself. I got some apples shipped from Washington State and bought a blood glucose meter. Let me help you understand the way the testing was done. I ate apples and tested my blood glucose response on 3 different days. The reason for this is that I had to start in the morning with a fasting blood glucose as a baseline. This means I had not eaten anything since the night before so that my blood glucose would be near the same level at the start of each day of the trial. So the first thing each morning was getting my baseline reading, then I ate the apples (the same amount each time) and tested my blood glucose every 10 minutes. The chart below shows the results. The response to the well-managed apples is the green line. What was extremely surprising was that the apples with the highest level of sugars (measured in degrees Brix) had the lowest blood glucose effect! This was completely counter-intuitive! Apparently, when apples are grown well, they are able to taste wonderfully sweet and yet not spike the blood glucose.
The red line on the chart represents the glycemic response to the lower brix apples. Even though the apples had less sugar, they caused the blood glucose to rise past 140 mg/dl. The blue line, representing the medium brix apples peaked between the others, which seems logical. Notice though, that the blood glucose dropped to near baseline quickly, whereas the higher brix green line continued on a low plateau for an extended period–just what we want from a food–sustained energy.
I did perform many other trials with various apples for comparison. I learned, for example, that just because an apple achieves a high brix reading does not mean that it will show a low glycemic effect. The method of growing appears to be key. What factors in these well-grown apples are responsible for the effect? That is one of the next research questions to be answered. This is it–the cutting edge of research!