It’s a stunning 20 acres of deep soil in North Kohala, on the Big Island of Hawai`i. Long-fallowed in grass, this land will soon be growing Beyond Organic, nutrient-rich produce. With a full ocean and Maui view (look closely in the photo–Maui is somewhat hidden in clouds), the land is true joy to behold!
Here’s a sneak preview of an article I submitted to the Kohala Mountain News. You heard it here first!
Kohala has recently formed a chapter of the National Farmers Union, an organization established in 1902 to unite farmers and others interested in food in cooperative efforts of education and legislation.
The National Farmers Union mission is to advocate for the economic and social well-being, and quality of life of family farmers, ranchers, fishermen and consumers and their communities through education, cooperation and legislation. National Farmers Union advocates sustainable production of food, fiber, feed and fuel. The Vision of the National Farmers Union is to continue to be the respected, influential and independent national voice and coalition leader that bridges family producers and consumers on behalf of a vibrant and growing grassroots membership. See more at: http://nfu.org . Follow the drop-down tabs to get to the Hawaii section.
Our local chapter joins seven other chapters in Hawaii, falling under the umbrella of the Hawaii Farmers Union United.
On December 9th, elections were held and a board established. Dash Kuhr is serving as president, Nate Hayward as vice president, Jim Land as secretary, and Andrea Clipson as treasurer. Other board members include Clarence A. “Cab” Baber, Gail Byrne Baber, Jana Bogs, and Peter deVries.
Our board has been busy attending influential, legislation-related events on Oahu and the Big Island. Some items on the legislative agendas include industrial hemp production, an on-farm mentoring bill, direct farm to school food sales, legalizing cottage industry sales (items made in home kitchens), and cow share and raw milk legalization. Our board members found our elected legislators very interested in the needs of small farmers.
Our last meeting, on January 8th, hosted Ed Boteilho Jr. of Cloverleaf Dairy here in Hawi. After his family’s more than 50 years of milk production, he is forced to sell due to price controls by Meadow Gold, Hawaii’s only milk processor. Boteilho is hoping that Ulupono, a Hawaii-based investment company, will take over operations.
Our Farmers Union chapter meets once a month, at 6pm on the Thursday nearest the new moon at the Kohala Hub in downtown Hawi. We have a yummy potluck dinner featuring locally-produced foods, interesting speakers, and just plain fun. Our next meeting will be on Thursday, February 12th at 6pm. Please come join us! Our membership goal for 2015 is to have 200 members. The nearest chapter is in Kona, so we expect to welcome members from the Waimea area too. Come help us improve our local food production and “Keep Kohala, Kohala” by sharing your mana`o.
Beyond Organic Growing System ™ (BOGS™)
Entrant: Jana Bogs, PhD., Hawi
Prize: Inn at Kulaniapia retreat
The Beyond Organic Growing System ™ (BOGS™) is a new paradigm of farming which goes beyond traditional organic farming methods by focusing on improving the nutritional content of foods. Food from this system is termed “Nutrition-Farmed™”. Data from analyses of Nutrition-Farmed™ foods compared to USDA food nutrient composition tables show many-fold increases in vital nutrients such as calcium, iron, zinc and copper.
Feasts and interesting extra-curricular tours. One Chinese agricultural researcher was so impressed with Dr. Bogs’ powerpoint presentation that he requested a copy for use in advancing the ideas in his country. Dr. Bogs is continuing correspondence/collaboration with other agricultural experts she met there who hail from the USA, Canada, Spain and Germany. Indeed, her ideas have garnered international interest and attention.
Published in The Kohala Mountain News, Story and photo by Dr. Frederick Kennedy
Dr. Jana Bogs and Sustainable Kohala will host an evening presentation on February 13 to discuss a fundamental paradigm shift in farming and gardening–to a focus on growing more “nutrient rich” foods.
Bogs will describe the history which explains how the nutritional value of fruits and vegetables has suffered dramatic losses over the past 60 years due to the influence of big agribusiness. She will show how nutrient density can be regained.
Due to the ‘unsustainable’ practices of agribusiness farming, the nutritional value of fruits, vegetables is much lower than it was early last century. USDA documentation and several scientific studies prove this claim.
Nutrient testing of produce reveals that, in some cases, organic produce has a higher nutritional value. However, this is not a consistent finding, and, unfortunately, sometimes organics have lower nutrient levels than conventional. An apple can be perfect by organic standards (no bug or weed killers) and yet be significantly lower in nutritional value than a conventionally-grown apple. Soil mineral balance is a critical factor which is often overlooked.
Bogs explains, “In the 1970’s, as some people became aware of what big agribusiness was doing to our fundamental sources of nutrition, our fruits, vegetables and grains, the need arose to distinguish healthy food from plants that were grown expressly for profit margin. That need was filled by establishing standards and practices that would assure food buyers they were not getting pesticides, herbicides, chemicals (such as left-over bomb materials) and, later, genetically modified organisms in their food. It was a new movement and direction in farming and gardening, and it was called “organic.”
Today’s organic standards and practices tell the farmer/gardener what he/she cannot do, in order to earn the label “organically certified.” The standards and practices are ‘restrictive’ rather than ‘prescriptive.’
Bogs will explain how a new paradigm in gardening and farming is going “beyond organic” to “nutrient rich” standards and practices. This is a perspective that, while it meets and exceeds organic standards, it is prescriptive rather than merely restrictive. It looks to see what is needed to optimize the genetic potential of the plant. Rather than telling the farmer/gardener what he/she cannot do, it prescribes for them what they need to do to grow the very best quality food.
Bogs defines “best” for the consumer as the best tasting, the highest nutritional value, the most appealing and beautiful; for the merchant as the longest shelf-life and the most desirable product; for the grower as the highest yield, the lowest insect pressure and the most disease resistant; and for the environment as practices which ensure clean air, water and soil.
The February 13 presentation will take place at 7 p.m. at the Kohala Intergenerational Center (KIC) located behind the Hisaoka Gym in Kamehameha Park. The event is free and open to the public. Dr. Jana Bogs is a nutritionist, food scientist, and horticulturist.
Every nutritional products company needs truly innovative products that make real differences in people’s lives. Nutrient-Rich Foods are what will take nutrition to the next level for improving human health and longevity.
Agricultural practices have resulted in a decrease of nutrient density in foods. There has also been a concomitant increase in toxic chemical content, not only from agricultural chemicals, but also from poor plant metabolism which may result in harmful constituents such as mycotoxins. As a clinical nutritionist I became keenly aware of these problems. This ignited my passion to “create health from the soil up”. To accomplish this I delved into how soil science, horticulture, and food science affect human and animal nutrition. I am well educated in and out of universities. I was spurred to get a PhD in Horticulture and Food Science & Safety to become a research scientist and consultant. I explore the cutting edge of what is possible in nutrition, for example, examining the differences in blood glucose response from fruits grown under varying cultivation systems. Optimal cultivation systems produce healthy plants which produce healthy humans and animals.
I focus on techniques which help plants to fully express their genetic capacity. Careful growing practices which allow for full genetic expression may result in production of plant tissue compounds with extraordinary human health benefits. I term this “Going Beyond Organic to Nutrient-Rich”. Nutrients which are “life-complexed” by plants may be better utilized at the cellular level. For example, mined calcium products may contribute to calcification of soft tissue—aging(!), whereas calcium complexed through plant metabolism may be properly utilized by the body. Furthermore, a larger percentage of the nutrients in plants grown in optimally-balanced soil versus poorly-balanced soil may be incorporated into body tissue as opposed to being excreted.
Beyond the resulting full-spectrum, balanced nutrition, additional benefits include improved flavor and greatly extended shelf life. With proper growing techniques, plant pest and disease pressure are naturally decreased without the use of toxic chemicals, which then results in a cleaner environment. So it is truly a win-win-win-win situation for all concerned—the food producer, the marketer, the consumer and the environment. I believe it is possible for our world to sustainably produce high quality food which supports all life physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
With the advent of the continually growing market awareness of the value of organic nutritional products, the time has come for the next step—“Beyond Organic” foods and supplements. Some farmers understand how to grow “Beyond Organic” foods, but they need a better marketing system. I will enjoy working to procure these authentic “Beyond Organic” ingredients and, together with a team, perform analytical and clinical trials to further establish their efficacy. We will then use these superior ingredients to create supreme quality, nutrient-rich products with which we will create the next wave in the nutrition world marketplace. My broad background in agriculture and nutrition, including sales, marketing, clinical work, and R&D have given me the expertise and connections to make this happen. I still need a great team and funding to make it happen. If you, or some people you know, are interested in being part of this exciting ride, I look forward to speaking with you on how we may work together.
Jana Bogs, PhD