• Link to SK Organic Resources
  • Learn to Manage Pests Naturally
  • Learn About Colony Collapse Disorder and How to Protect Bees
  • LIving Near Fields Increases Pesticide Exposure
  • Learn About Pesticides in Foods
  • Driving Near Recently Sprayed Fields Exposes People to Pesticides
  • Weeds Can Be Managed Without Chemical Pesticides
  • Learn To Manage Weeds Without Chemical Pesticides
  • Grow a Lush Garden Organically
  • SNAP Display at Event

Organics

Saskatchewan

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SNAP SK organic links

By the end of 2007, after the Saskatchewan Party was elected, Lon Borgeson's report was taken off the Saskatchewan Agriculture web site, and all paper copies were shredded. Since 2008, the Saskatchewan office of the Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada (OACCat University of Saskatchewan was disbanded. It has not had a prairie presence of any significance since. There is still a U of S organic website; organic connections conference; organic stats, research. A google search links to Sask Agriculture instead.

Saskatchewan Organic Agriculture Report by Regional Economic and Co-operative Development Minister Lon Borgerson made recommendations to Premier Calvert on how to develop the province's organic agriculture industry after extensive consultations. (September 26, 2007)   Borgerson's recommendations include: Establishing an Organic Industry Advisory Board that will provide ongoing advice to the Minister of Agriculture and Food on organic issues; Expanded organic research capacity; Increased support and training opportunities for organic producers and processors; International marketing support for small and medium organic businesses; Measures to attract young people and immigrants to the industry; and the promotion of Saskatchewan-grown organic food. 

Organic research boosted at U of S (Western Producer, April 5, 2007)

Sask Agriculture's organic crop information (2017) including:

Farming

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Links

Articles

La maîtrise des micro-organismes au bénéfice de la Terre et des Hommes Marcel Mezy is a self-taught French agriculturist who has developed a process to improv soils naturally with micro-organisms.

Why It’s Time to Stop Punishing Our Soils with Fertilizers  Researcher Rick Haney travels the U.S. preaching the benefits of healthy soils. In a Yale Environment 360 interview, he talks about the folly of pursuing ever-greater crop yields using fertilizers and other chemicals and how farmland can by restored through natural methods. (Richard Schiffman • YaleEnvionment360, May 3, 2017)  The soil health movement has been in the news lately, and among its leading proponents is U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) researcher Rick Haney.  SNAP Comment: how microbes are essential to soil life and agricultural productivity declines with soil health, requiring more fertilizer and pesticides, and how we can reverse that.

Canada Bans Nanotechnology in Organics (Beyond Pesticides, May 5, 2010. Posted in Alternatives/Organics, International, Nanotechnology)

Canadian Organic Sector Secures Canada Organic Label (December 21. 2007)

 Organic Agriculture can Feed the World (June 2007)

Access the FAO report, Organic Agriculture and Food Security 

Organic farming methods stand test of time (08/06/05, David Suzuki, York Region) and Study Shows Organic Farms Produce the Same Yields as Conventional. (Beyond Pesticides, July 22, 2005) "Organic farming produces the same yields of corn and soybeans as does conventional farming, but uses 30 percent less energy, less water and no pesticides, a review of a 22-year farming trial study concludes... Organic farming can compete effectively in growing corn, soybeans, wheat, barley and other grains, Pimentel said" (Beyond Pesticides, July 22, 2005) Profitability and increased biodiversity.

Overlooked Soil Life Holds Key To Third World Farm Viability (May 2, 2006)

Sustainable Organic Farming Practices Increase Crop Yields by an Average of 79% in Third World

Wal-Mart and the Globalization of Organics (June 12, 2006. exerpt from New York Times Magazine article “Mass Natural” by Michael Pollan, UC Berkeley professor, from Beyond Pesticides:) "To index the price of organic to the price of conventional is to give up, right from the start, on the idea, once enshrined in the organic movement, that food should be priced not high or low but responsibly." 

Economy

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Organic Agriculture Boosts Local Economies (Beyond Pesticides, June 16, 2016) New research links county-level economic health to agriculture, and finds that organic food and crop production, along with the business activities accompanying organic agriculture, creates real and long-lasting regional economic opportunities. The recently completed White Paper, U.S. Organic Hotspots and their Benefit to Local Economies, was prepared for the Organic Trade Association (OTA) by Penn State Agricultural Economist Edward Jaenicke, Ph.D. It finds organic hotspots –counties with high levels of organic agricultural activity whose neighboring counties also have high organic activity– boost median household incomes by an average of $2,000 and reduce poverty levels by an average of 1.3 percentage points. The research highlights the success of organic agriculture and demonstrates, yet again, that organic agriculture can and must feed the world.

Environment

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Organic Agricultural Practices Can Limit Climate Change (Beyond Pesticides, April 28, 2014 It is possible to sequester more than 100% of current annual CO2 emissions by switching to widely available and inexpensive organic management practices, which are referred to in the paper as “regenerative organic agriculture".

Organic Farms Support More Species On average, organic farms support 34% more plant, insect and animal species than conventional farms, say Oxford University scientists. Researchers looked at data going back thirty years and found that this effect has remained stable over time and shows no signs of decreasing. (Feb 2014)

Organic Farms Best for Wildlife (Beyond Pesticides, August 8, 2005)Title: ‘Benefits of organic farming to biodiversity vary among taxa’

Links between Biodiversity Requirements of Organic Systems and NRCS Practice Standards. Video.

Food

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Can Organic Food Prevent a Public Health Crisis? (civileats.com)  From children’s development to antibiotic resistance, a new European Parliament report charts the many benefits of organic food. When it comes to pesticides, antibiotic resistance, and cadmium exposure, the authors write, “If no action is taken, an opportunity to address some important public health issues would be missed.” The report was prepared for a European audience, but its findings clearly apply to the U.S. “They did a really comprehensive job of a global literature search, so I don’t think anything in the report wouldn’t be applicable,” said Boise State University assistant professor of community and environmental health Cynthia Curl, who researches links between diet and pesticide exposure. Lots of links.

Report Reveals Food Retailers Failing Pollinators (Beyond Pesticides, October 31, 2016) SNAP comment: American retailers score card. Do we have something similar in Canada? Does a policy in US stores apply to Canadian stores? I don't know. "The report reveals that while consumer demand for organic and pesticide-free food continues to show double-digit growth, only four of the top food retailers, AlbertsonsCostcoTarget (TGT) and Whole Foods, have adopted a publicly available company commitment to increase offerings of certified organic food or to disclose data on the current percentage of organic offerings or organic sales. In addition to these retailers, Aldi, Food Lion, part of the Delhaize Group (DEG), and Kroger (KR) disclosed data on the current percentage of organic offerings or organic sales." 

The New Green Giants.  Is organic Better? (CBC Doc Zone, 5 May 2016. Direct link to the episode) I don't know how the Stanford study was conducted but I know that who pays for a study dictates the results. The easiest way to falsify a stud is by excluding studies one knows wil not support our conclusion.

In any case, organic producers in the video indicate that their soils have improved and they have higher quality product since switching to organic. They refer to the dead soil they had before. We also know that switching children to organic food reduces their pesticide load within 24 hours. Numerous published studies have also indicated better nutrition, vitamins and antioxidants from organic foods.

A Dirty Little Secret: Your “Organic” Strawberries Aren’t Really Organic ( by PAUL FASSA, Healthy Holistic Living). Methyl bromide, is used to sterilize the soil before strawberries are planted. It’s not sprayed on the fruit. It’s a soil fumigant that kills just about everything it touches. Many hybridized seed varieties have been created that can only grow in sterile soil. My comment: Yes, it is true the loophole of being able to purchase non organic seeds or plants has always been there when organic is not available. However, methyl bromide and, I believe iodide, are very volatile, which is what causes so many problems to neighbours, but it means it may not remain in the plant. Also, I am not getting sick eating them....We do live in an imperfect world and hopefully will soon have organic strawberry nurseries.

Report Reveals Chemical Food Industry Tactics in Spinning Food Safety and Attacking Organic (Beyond Pesticides, July 2, 2015) 'A report released this week by Friends of the Earth exposes the exorbitant amount of money food and agrochemical companies have spent over the past several years to defend industrial agriculture, sway public opinion, and influence elected officials. The report shines light on the both the tactics these companies use and the lengths to which they are willing to go to defuse public concern about the risks of chemical-intensive industrial agriculture and to undermine the reputation of organic food.'  also filed under Industry's Shenanigans 

Organic Food Consumption Leads to Dramatically Lower Pesticide Exposure (Beyond Pesticides, May 1, 2014)  89% lower traces of organophosphate metabolites in consumers that ate organic food for a week compared to those who ate a conventional diet. 

Trace Pesticide Residues from Conventional Ag Found on Organic Produce (Beyond Pesticides, January 9, 2014). .A recent CBC News analysis of Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) data finds that nearly half of the organic fresh fruits and vegetables tested across Canada between September 2011 and September 2013 contained trace pesticide residues. The analysis finds that of the 45.8 percent of organic samples that tested positive for some trace of pesticide, a smaller amount — 1.8 per cent — violate Canada’s maximum allowable limits for the presence of pesticides. Among non-organic samples, 78.4 percent contain pesticide residues, violating the allowable limits 4.7 percent of the time. Similar results in U.S.

Organic Foods: Health and Environmental Advantages and Disadvantages. 2012. American Academy of Pediatrics. organic diets have been convincingly demonstrated to expose consumers to fewer pesticides associated with human disease. Organic farming has been demonstrated to have less environmental impact than conventional approaches.

Organic Produce Reduces Exposure to Pesticides, Research Confirms  Stanford Univ. Study Also Finds Organic Meat Has Fewer Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria. (Environmental Working Group, September 3, 2012) Initial Reflections on the Annals of Internal Medicine Paper “Are Organic Foods Safer and Healthier Than Conventional Alternatives? A Systematic Review Due to bad methodology, the Stanford study strongly underestimated the nutrient content, lower contamination and benefits of organic foods.

Study sheds new light on organic fruit and vegetables (May 27, 2011 PhysOrg.com) -- Organic fruit and vegetables contain on average 12 per cent more health-promoting compounds than conventionally grown produce, scientists at Newcastle University have found. Many consider this study the most definitive analysis in the scientific literature of the nutrient content of organic versus conventional food. 

Organic Corporate Gardens Is the New Trend in Employee Benefits (Beyond Pesticides, May 14, 2010. Posted in Corporations)

School District School District Serves Healthier Choices with Organic, Locally Grown FoodsThe Lunch Box, a new web tool, has been launched to help schools throughout the country do the same. (Beyond Pesticides, August 31, 2009 Posted in Alternatives/OrganicsChildren/Schools )

Stanford Hospital Menu Offers Organic, Local Foods (U.S) (Beyond Pesticides, September 11, 2009 Posted in Alternatives/OrganicsHealth care) The new inpatient menu option puts Stanford Hospital at the forefront of an emerging nationwide recognition that fresh, healthy food is a vital part of the healing process.

White House Breaks Ground On Organic Kitchen Garden Project (Beyond Pesticides, March 23, 2009) Posted in Alternatives/OrganicsNational PoliticsWashington D.C and the First Lady will also serve organic food at theWhite House.
 
Data Supports Eating Organic for a Safer Diet and Environment   (Beyond Pesticides, March 12, 2009) Environmental Working Group’s recently released 5th edition Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Organic, Locally Grown Foods   Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides          

Health

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Health benefits of organic food, farming outlined in new report (February 8, 2017) A report prepared for the European Parliament, co-authored by Harvard Chan School’s Philippe Grandjean, adjunct professor of environmental health, outlines the health benefits of eating organic food and practicing organic agriculture...Three long-term birth cohort studies in the U.S. suggest that pesticides are harming children’s brains. The report listed several policy options the European Parliament could consider to support and extend organic food production.

Organic Foods Higher in Nutrients (April 2008) A comprehensive review of 97 published studies comparing the nutritional quality of organic and conventional foods shows that organic plant-based foods (fruits, vegetables, grains) contain higher levels of eight of 11 nutrients studied, including significantly greater concentrations of the health-promoting polyphenols and antioxidants.

also see organic/ food on SNAP's organic page.

Organic Milk Healthier  Grazing cows on organic farms in the UK produce milk which contains significantly higher beneficial fatty acids, antioxidants and vitamins than their conventional ‘high input’ counterparts.

Organic meat and dairy improves breast milk

Hazardous Pesticides Found in Children Who Eat Chemically-Treated Foods disappear when they switch to organics. February 2008, Beyond Pesticides) This is only one of several studies all indicating the same thing.

Lawns

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 Why Organic lawn Care is so Important: Organic Gardening. US source. Some of the products allowed on lawns in the US are different than in Canada, although is is hard to tell as Canadian regulators have not been able to produce a list of domestic products for many years.

Organic Lawn Care Gaining Momentum (August 15, 2007, Beyond Pesticides) (US)

for resources, see SNAP programs and alternatives

Organic gardening Class notes for SNAP's OG class.

for resources, see http://www.snapinfo.ca/info/alternatives-to-pesticides and http://www.snapinfo.ca/programs and http://www.snapinfo.ca/links

Organic Agriculture: Visions and Challenges –Topic of Article (Beyond Pesticides, August 25, 2017)  This growth of organic is propelled by consumers and farmers who recognize significant environmental and health advantages of organic, compared to chemical-intensive agriculture. In this context, studies conclude that organic agriculture may be the best way to meet the world’s food security and environmental needs...Global investment in “organic supportive” research and development activity as of 2011 was .5% of the total investment in agricultural R&D. SNAP Comment: Interesting article.

The State of Organics: Federal-Provincial-Territorial Performance Report 2017
(Report prepared by Jill Guerra and Lauren Martin, © Canada Organic Trade Association 2017  July 17, 2017)   The Canadian organic industry is thriving with double-digit growth rates over the past decade. As the industry evolves, policy frameworks, consisting of governmental regulations, policies and programs, are required to support the expansion. This Report analyzes and tracks the existing organic policy frameworks at the federal, provincial and territorial (FPT) levels of government. The Report evaluates four categories of support: Regulation and Enforcement, Production Supports, Market Supports and Data Collection. Expert interviews and corresponding background research were used to score the FPT governments in each category. Each FPT government is given a distinct section where greater detail of specific initiatives in their jurisdiction is discussed. The final recommendation is for increased organic policies and programs across jurisdictions.

Regenerative Agriculture Will Feed the World and Cool the Planet (Organic Consumers Association, Nov. 09, 2016)  "World governments spend $486 billion a year to subsidize an industrial food and farming model that the United Nations estimates, contributes 43-57 percent of total man-made greenhouse gas emissions," said Ronnie Cummins, international director of the Organic Consumers Association...The Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Bank coined the term "Climate-Smart Agriculture" at the 2010 Hague Conference on Food Security, Agriculture and Climate Change. The Food and Agriculture Organization floated the concept as a "triple win" for a type of agriculture that could reduce greenhouse gas emissions, help crops adapt to changing climate conditions and increase yields. SNAP Comment: I feel companies should be investigated for the stated goals before they can claim to promote "Climate-Smart Agriculture". Monsanto would likely not qualify. It's like info on Facebook, reader beware!

Organic Farmland Increases as Consumer Demand Skyrockets (Beyond Pesticides, November 14, 2016) 11 percent increase in organic farmland since 2014. The number of certified organic farms grew to almost 15,000, marking a 6.2 percent increase of organic farms between June 2016 and 2014. The top five states leading the transformation to organic fields are California, Montana, Wisconsin, New York and North Dakota...Alex Heilman, a sales associate at Mercaris says that the number of organic acres will likely increase as larger companies like General Mills and Ardent Mills, the largest U.S. wheat miller, begin launching organic programs to meet consumer demands. SNAP comment: I heard that Canadian organic farmers are also benefiting from the huge demand in organics at a food evening in Oct 2016.

Study Finds Organic Makes Sense, Both Ecologically and Economically (Beyond Pesticides, June 8, 2015) Organic farming is 22-35% more profitable than conventional growing methods. Organic, despite its exponential growth to a $35 billion industry over the past decade, currently only comprises 5% of the U.S. food market, and 1% of U.S. cropland.

The New Green Giants September 13, 2012 AT 9:00 PM on CBC-TV Doc Zone.CBC Video documentary on the state of the organic industry. Excellent support material on whether organics are better and links to the most contaminated and cleanest foods.

Organic farming leader Elmer Laird dies at 86 (22 July 2010, CBC)

Page updated February 2013