This week's dose of organic headlines, updates, resources, goodies, and recipes courtesy of Doug Snodgrass...
Any readers from the land down under who care to comment on this?
THE Federal Government's apparent wish to abolish Australia's only enforceable organic standard will kill the industry, growers say.
The National Standard for Organic and Biodynamic Produce will no longer be enforced by the Australian Quarantine Inspection Service for the export of organic goods - and the standard and its logo will cease to exist - if the Government's preferred option for changes to AQIS is adopted.
Critics say the replacement standard is weaker, will not be internationally recognised, and will create a free-for-all where any product can be sold as organic in Australia.
Many thanks to Jill Richardson (La Vida Locavore) for directing our eyes to a fantabulous series of posts at F is for French Fry, which analyze school lunch programs in different countries. The blog as a whole is addictive, but here are the links to the series (so far):
The content is splendid, to understate, and Jill's summary frames it for those who have a vested interest in American school lunch programs.
In each of these cases, the kids pay according to their families' incomes, and often even the top income bracket still doesn't pay the full price. In Japan, for example, kids pay about 10% of the actual cost of their lunches. In France the top income bracket pays about $5 per meal.
Now compare this to the American school lunches we've been hearing about. Here in the states, we only pay about $2.50 per meal, and about $1.00 goes to the actual food. And yet, school nutrition advocates are in front of Congress, begging for a mere extra $.35. We need a lot more than that, in my opinion. They are our kids. They are worth it.
To be filed under organic in, organic out.
Dairy cows that produce USDA-certified organic milk also produce manure that may gradually replenish soil nutrients and potentially reduce the flow of agricultural pollutants to nearby water sources, according to findings by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists and colleagues.
Cows on organic dairy farms generally consume forage feeds cultivated on soils that are fertilized with manure and compost rather than manufactured fertilizers. This organic management, in turn, may significantly affect how easily nutrients are converted in soil into forms readily taken up by crops.
Working with colleagues at the ARS New England Plant, Soil, and Water Laboratory in Orono, Maine, and elsewhere, chemist Zhongqi He showed that conventional and organic dairy manures from commercial dairy farms differed in concentrations of plant nutrients, including phosphorus, metals and minerals.
Quite visually tempting aren't they? Nothing beats the smell of fresh bread... mmm... fresh bread...
Just in case my wife hapens to read this post...
This Father's Day give him the gift of organic or locally brewed beer.
Why organic beer? It's better for the environment and thus our overall health, from the growing of the barley and hops without petrochemical pesticides and fertilizers, to the strict limitation on chemicals used in brewing and even cleaning the factory equipment. In order to sport the USDA's National Organic Program certiifed organic seal, a beer must have at least 95% organic ingredients. Caveat: Non-organic hops are permitted if a brewer can't get "sufficient quantities" of organic. Solution: Ask companies if they use organic hops, and look for small regional organic microbreweries, which don't buy such huge quantities as national companies do. Some nationals, though, like Wolaver's (see list below) commit to using only organic hops in their organic lines.
Why local? Not only does locally brewed beer blend the unique taste of your region's water, soil chemistry and weather, but a lot fewer fossil fuels are burned in shipping it.
The best quick easy way to find local beer is to search for a brewpub or microbrewery at Beer100.com. You may be pleasantly surprised at all your options. For example, every Hawaiian island has got at least one locally made brew, an especially hopeful trend in a state that imports more than 80% of its food. Another online microbrewery source: Brewpubzone.
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