Archive for the ‘Where Else Organic Food?’ Category

Video: How Stuff Works–Free Range vs. Organic Turkey

Free range? Organic? For Turkeys–for Canadian Thanksgiving next week, and American Thanksgiving in November–what’s the difference? The video above from Mary’s Turkeys will clue you. “Free range” is what you’d expect. Turkeys are allowed to roam farms unconfined and free–unlike Factory Farms which immobilize the birds in cages. Definitely turkeys are much happier “free range” than none!

“Organic” restrictions are more complex. Soil on organic turkey farms MUST be free of pesticides for at least 3 years. The diet birds are fed is all organic, all vegetable (corn and soy), and supplemented with vitamins and minerals. (You probably don’t want to know what Factory Farms feed turkeys.) Organic feed for turkeys, you could gobble down yourself!

Photo: Free range turkey farm

Could  George, Sally, Frank or Gladys (pictured above) be coming to your house anytime soon? That might be likely–even IF naming thousands of turkeys on an organic turkey farms probably is not.

Oogle a gaggle! The organic turkeys in this YouTube video will have you smiling.  It’s a short and humorous glimpse of “conditions” on an organic turkey farm, close up and personal! Have an oogle, and be oogled right back by one really curious turkey! Even turkeys love a camera!

Video: Free range and organic turkeys “oogle a google”

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Photo: European Commission Organic Farming

Do you know where your food comes from, what the labels mean?  Do you know what free-range, cage-free, or organic actually mean?

“Organic” (by USDA definition) means food at least 95 percent organically produced. The other 5 percent can be NON-organic or even synthetic. Alternatively, “USDA Certified Organic” must meet Federal Standards and be synthetic-free. “Made with Organic Ingredients” means 70 percent only, organic ingredients. There’s no mention of what the other 30 percent can be!

“Organic” does NOT necessarily mean “hormone-free.” Miniscule amounts of hormones–natural substances that send messages to cells of living organisms — are in everything from cabbage to milk, organic or not. [Source: Monterey County Herald]

Know what you’re eating. Read labels, sidestep hype for facts! Know the meanings of the words.

For more detailed USDA food labeling facts, see Farm Aid Know Your Food . Canadian regulations for organic, free-range, hormone-free labeling can be found on Canadian Gateway Consumer Information.

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Photo: Illustration from  Dundarave Village website

Farmers’ Markets will stay open through October this year! That’s “thanks to an exceptionally warm and sunny growing season,” for local farmers. Fresh, locally grown, and often ORGANIC, vegetables and fruits will continue to be “for sale” outdoors.

For North Shore location schedules, including Lonsdale Quay and Ambleside, see 2014 Market Dates and North Shore Farmers’ Markets.

Photo: Opening day Vancouver Farmers’ Market

[For US Farmers Markets locations and schedules: Pick a State.  For those across Canada, see Farmers Markets Canada.]

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Video: Chipotle’s Steve Ells quest for better tasting pork AND other natural ingredients

Video: Niman Ranch founder, Paul Willis, shares his story of raising free-range, pasture raised pigs for Chipotle

YouTube is so much fun! Where else can you get so “up close and personal” with the food we eat, or those who raise the animals? (No animals were harmed during the filming of this video.) These are pigs free of locked up factory farms and farrowing crates.  These pigs are drug and antibiotic-free, and ALL still have teeth and tails intack. Pig farming like this is STILL POSSIBLE!

Steve Ells, Founder of Chipotle’s Mexican “fast food” Restaurants, is happy about that. He wants only pork from “happy pigs” served in his restaurants! The philosophy is to honour the “pig-ness of the pig.” That means free-range, open forests, puddles and freedom to be “pigs.” The same rule applies to beef and chicken. Chipotle’s chicken and beef and pork are fed only natural, vegetarian diets. No hormones, no antibiotics, no cages—no factory farming!

What’s remarkable about this? Chipotle’s Mexican Restaurants are “fast food restaurants.” From a single all natural and organic, fast food “burrito stand” in Denver (Colorado) in 1993, Chipotle’s has grown to more than 870 restaurants across the US, Toronto (Canada)—and soon, in Europe (London). Chipotle’s “slow fast food” restaurants currently serve more than 700,000 people/day in North America. The Founder of Chipotle, Steve Ells, was even featured on Oprah.

On that show Ells said he wanted to “change the way people think about fast food….everything is made from scratch, everything is fresh….we only do a few things but do them really, really well.” All food is cooked in open kitchens in front of customers. Those “few things” Chipotle’s does “really, really well” include, not only some really happy pigs and chickens, but really happy customers. Chipotle’s is the real “Happy Meal.”

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Photo: Farmer’s Fridge vending machine organic salads

Three cheers! A vending machine that dispenses organic–AND local veggies!

Where? In a Chicago Food Court, right between a McDonald’s and a Dunkin’ Donuts. Fresh veggies and yogurt parfaits, no less! No more excuses for patrons munching down burgers or donuts that healthier options are not available.

Video: Chicago’s New Salad Vending Machine

The vending machine option for local organics is called Farmer’s Fridge and was created by Luke Saunders.
According to Saunders:

“The idea came to him while he was working his previous, travel-heavy job. He noticed that fast food restaurants dominated rural markets. Saunders distilled his observation down to two key factors — start up-cost and convenience.”

Viola! An organic vending machine was born. [For more about this anything-but-easy-start-up, see Vending Machine That Dispenses Local Organic Veggies.]




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Photo: “lolcat”/unidentified photographer

[Editor’s Note:There’s a term for humorous cat photos that circulate online: “lolcat.” The “lol” part is webspeak for “laugh out loud.”]

This cat photo demonstrates NOT ONLY online humor, but 100 percent ORGANIC! That is, if the cow is only fed organic. Otherwise…maybe not! It’s a tough call!

What about you? Any “ORGANIC NEWS” leads or links you’d like to share on Where Else Organic? If yes–contact: newpostings@gmail.com. All leads, links and/or comments are WELCOME.

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vancouver food movement grows reduced

Photo: Farmer sorts greens at Local Garden, a vertical urban farm Photographer: MetoNews/Emily Jack

It was BIG year for the local food movement in Vancouver (Canada) in 2013! More farmers markets and community gardens were launched, and the BIGGEST urban orchard in North America opened. Here are the numbers: 

1–Community Garden plots added: 466 new, for a total now of 4,166.
2–Farmers’ Markets added: 2 new, for a total now of 12.
3–Introduction of SOLE-Food’s fruit trees at Main and Terminal: Total added, 400.

Bravo, Vancouver! At this rate, the City of Vancouver will reach its goal of 5,000 gardens by 2020. Easily, I would guess!

But, that’s not all. The city also tweaked rezoning policy for large developments. What this means:

“If a project involves land larger than 1.98 acres or contains more than 484,375 square feet of new floor space, the proponent must deliver a ‘sustainable food plan’….Whether developers decide to include community gardens, edible landscaping, a community kitchen, food market or food composting facilities, they are required to include at least three food assets and show the city how they will come to fruition.”

Wow! This is a first in Canada. City of Vancouver planners rock! [To read more, see Vancouver’s local food movement grows.]

Posted on WhereElseOrganic

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