Eating Organic Foods at Sugarleaf

Eating Organic Foods at Sugarleaf

Organic refers to the way agricultural products are grown and processed. The goal in organic farming is to maintain and replenish the soil fertility without using toxic pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers. “Certified Organic” means the item has been grown in accordance with strict uniform standards that are verified by an independent state or private organization.

Dr. Alan Greene of Stanford’s Children’s Hospital neatly summarizes the argument for organics: “Eat organic produce. Your immune system won’t waste energy trying to fight off the toxins that are sprayed on conventional fruits and vegetables.” Eating organics frees up your immune system and antioxidants to do their evolutionarily evolved job, which is to fight off pathogens, cancer, and other diseases originating from natural environmental sources. Your body’s natural defense mechanisms are incredible strong, but like anything else, they can only handle so much attack. To keep your defensive line from being spread too thin, you should therefore limit exposure to toxins (and stress) as much as possible. It’s important to realize that consuming pesticides and herbicides — even if they have not been found to be directly cardinogenic — can, in effect, lead to cancer if they use up your supply of antioxidants, which would otherwise have prevented cancer that was generated from another source.

It’s true that organic foods typically cost more than conventional, but this may be true only in the short-term. After you adopt a healthier lifestyle with healthier food choices, including organics, you may find yourself frequenting the doctor’s office much less and spending less on medications — over the counter and prescriptions — and not to mention a lower chance of being prematurely dead. It’s important to know that organically produced foods have to meet rigorous governing regulations in all aspects of production. It’s labor and management-intensive, usually produced on smaller farms, which don’t benefit from economies of scale. These factors combine, causing the cost to be higher. But as the saying goes, “you get what you pay for.”

Organics typically cost about twice as much as conventionally produced food. To put things in perspective, consider bottled water. I know many people who would just about die of thirst before drinking tap water; for them, it’s bottled or nothing. But when you do the math, bottled water is about 300-600 times more expensive than tap water, and for good reason. But, depending on which municipality you live in, your tap water might actually be safer and healthier than eating conventionally produced foods. It really doesn’t make sense to spend money on bottled water and then eat foods that are not grown organically.

Food for a Healthier You
Sugarleaf Health Stop


Some of the many benefits of eating organic foods are:

  1. Superior nutrition: Organics have up to 300% more vitamins and minerals than conventionally grown foods.
  2. They have greater flavor. Many top chefs use only organic foods.
  3. Reduced intake of chemicals and heavy metals.
  4. Decreased exposure to carcinogens.
  5. Better working conditions for farmers and workers.
  6. No genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
  7. Much better for the environment.

For more information on organics, visit


Sugarleaf Locations

For more information : Visit


Day 286/365: Organic Farming in the Philippines

Day 286/365: Organic Farming in the Philippines

October 14, 2011

Sourcing of “Certified” Organic Produce is the key major factor Sugarleaf is often having a challenge. There are those so-called Organic by Neglect, and Farm who’s doing the Organic Method based on Best Practice and joining groups with a banner of Organic Producers as a banner. For an individual to validate if its a “real” organic or not, then we only need to ask, if the farm is certified or not.

Why need to be certified? First, all other first world country controls the standardization and food safety of their agriculture. US has USDA Organic Seal of Approval, Canada – Canada Organic, Japan- Japanese Agricultural Standards, France – Agriculture Biologique and many others. Here in the Philippines, we have OCCP, Organic Certification Center of the Philippines. The latter however is a private-organization which is a result of the Republic Act No 10068 (An Act providing for the development and promotion of Organic Agriculture in the Philippines and for other purposes)

The act is known as Organic Agriculture Act of 2010, which goal is to promote, propagate, develop further and implement the practice of organic agriculture in the Philippines that will cumulatively condition and enrich the fertility of the soil, increase farm productivity, reduce pollution and destruction of the environment, prevent the depletion of natural resources, further protect the health of farmers, consumers, and the general public, and save on imported farm inputs.

Why RA 10068 focus on Organics?

(a) Organic refers to the particular farming and processing system, described in the standards and not in the classical chemical sense. The term “organic” is synonymous in other languages to “biological” or “ecological”. It is also a labeling term that denotes products considered organic based on the Philippine National Standards for organic agriculture.

(b) Organic agriculture includes all agricultural systems that promote the ecologically sound, socially acceptable, economically viable and technically feasible production of food and fibers. Organic agricultural dramatically reduces external inputs by refraining from the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and pharmaceuticals. It also covers areas such as, but not limited to, soil fertility management, varietal breeding and selection under chemical and pesticide-free conditions, the use of biotechnology and other cultural practices that are consistent with the principles and policies of this Act, and enhance productivity without destroying the soil and harming farmers, consumers and the environment as defined by the International Federation of Organic Agricultural Movement (IFOAM): Provided, That the biotechnology herein to shall not include genetically modified organisms of GMOs.

(c) Organic production system is a system designed to:

(1) enhance biological diversity within the whole system;

(2) increase soil biological activity;

(3) maintain long-term soil fertility;

(4) recycle wastes of plant and animal origin in order to return nutrients to the land, thus minimizing the use of nonrenewable resources;

(5) rely on renewable resources in locally organized agricultural system;

(6) promote the healthy use of soil, water and air as well as minimize all forms of pollution thereto that may result from agricultural practices;

(7) develop and promote the use of biotechnology in agriculture;

(8) handle agricultural products with emphasis on careful processing methods in order to maintain the organic integrity and vital qualities of the product at all stages; and

(9) become established on any existing farm through a period of convention, the appropriate length of which is determined by site-specific factors such as the history of the land, and type of crops and livestock to be produced.

The Act is very comprehensive for the organic producer and consumer to fully understand the purpose of building an Organic agriculture in the Philippines. It also list the certification procedures and rules on establishment selling Organic Produce.

For Consumer Protections (Penal Provisions)

(c) mislabels or claims that the product is organic when it is not in accordance with the existing standards for Philippine organic agriculture or this Act shall, upon conviction, be punished by imprisonment of not less than one (1) month nor more than six (6) months, or a fine of not more than Fifty thousand pesos (P50, 000.00), or both, at the discretion of the court. If the offender is a corporation or a juridical entity, the official who ordered or allowed the commission of the offense shall be punished with the same penalty. If the offender is in the government service, he shall in addition, be dismissed from the office

For the Benefits of Producing and Selling Organics:

(a) Exemption from the payment of duties on the importation of agricultural equipment, machinery and implements as provided under Republic Act No. 9281, which amends Republic Act No. 8435 or the Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Act (AFMA);

(b) Identification by LGUs of local taxes that may be offered as incentives to organic input production and utilization;

(c) Provision of preferential rates and special window to organic input producers and users by the LBP;

(d) Subsidies for certification fees and other support services to facilitate organic certification;

(e) Zero-rated value-added tax (VAT) on transactions involving the sale/purchase of bio-organic products, whether organic inputs or organic produce; and

(f) Income tax holiday and exemption for seven (7) years, starting from the date of registration of organic food and organic input producers on all income taxes levied by the National Government.

And this act is a Law! so by now we all should be very careful on validating and we have to be sure that what we are buying is genuinely Organic.

Below is the picture of Sugarleaf visits in Platinum Farms in Tanay Rizal (OCCP Certified)

Organic Farming

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Day 132/365: Sugarleaf Foods that Nourish

Day 132/365: Sugarleaf Foods that Nourish

May 12, 2011

Sugarleaf, Located at G/F HealthCube Building, 226 Wilson Street, West Greenhills (between BDO and Kink Cakes), San Juan City, Philippines

Operating Hours: Mon – Sat: 8:00 am-10:00 pm
Sun: 8:00 am-2:00 pm

Store Motto: The Time To Start Living, Eating More Healthily is NOW!

Sugarleaf Debuts At The Health Cube, Greenhills In San Juan

Recognising the clamour for a one-stop shop of healthy food items in the metropolis, Sugarleaf debuts at the ground floor of the Health Cube Building along Wilson Street in San Juan.

Living up to its mission of providing “foods that nourish” Sugarleaf features Healthy Picks, a mini-mart of locally-sourced organic produce (fruits, vegetables and herbs) from the LaTOP (La Trinidad Organic Practitioners) Multi-purpose Cooperative farmers. The coop has the stamp of approval of the OCCP (Organic Certification Council of the Philippines) guaranteeing that the produce is all-organic. Items will be available throughout the week, when in the past, availability was limited to weekend markets and bazaars.

Produce which are not usually grown in the Philippines such as fresh blueberries and oranges, brussel sprouts, cherry tomatoes, fennel and rhubarb are available in addition to the staple lettuce, cabbage, carrots, eggplants, spinach, squash, yacon and many more.

Aside from vegetables, Sugarleaf offers a wide variety of natural, organically produced goods. It is meant to be a one-stop-shop for healthy food finds including free-range chicken, eggs, pork, kefir milk, yogurt, kambucha, carabao and cow’s milk, organic highland coffee and rice, non-GMO tofu, natural sweeteners (coco sugar, stevia, coco nectar), home-made dips and dressings, air-dried tea, among others.

Organic products that are not locally available may be sourced out. Available on a per order prior notice basis are: organic chia seeds, organic maca, kelp noodles and much more.

Healthy meals and snacks will also be available for both dine in and take away fully utilising the fresh produce available. A cozy dining area of up to 20 persons is available for intimate events such as reunions, etc.

Workshops on organic farming, healthy cooking and other wellness workshops will be offered in the coming months.

About Sugarleaf:

Sugarleaf pertains to stevia, a plant whose leaves possess an intense sweetening capability. Though somewhat controversial in its earlier years, stevia is totally safe and is highly regarded because it has anti-oxidant properties, has zero calories, and doesn’t affect blood sugar levels.

Sugarleaf imbibes sweetness, happy thoughts and feelings linked with healthy living and organic lifestyle.


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LaTOP Multi-purpose cooperative was organised by a La Trinidad Local Government Unit in partnership with the Agricultural Training Institute-Cordillera Administrative Region in 2005. From its humble beginnings, it has grown to over 70 farming groups from different regions and is supported by AusAID of the Australian Government and the Foundation for a Sustainable Society, Inc.

LaTOP aims to provide an alternative livelihood for farmers and meet a growing number of customers’ clamour for safe produce – from alugbati to zucchini.

Differentiatiating LaTOP produce from others is the stamp of approval from the OCCP (Organic Certification Council of the Philippines) which monitors the production of crops. Apart from guaranteeing that synthetic fertilisers and hormones, insecticides and herbicides, manure and urea are not used, farmers must apply measures to prevent topsoil erosion and soil salination to ensure sustainability.

Corporate Social Responsibility

Apart from espousing healthy living and eating to everyone, Sugarleaf supports a great number of farmers utilising organic means to grow their produce. In future, Sugarleaf aims to encourage landowners to consider organic and sustainable farming methods. Seminars on organic farming, healthy cooking and eating will be offered to the public.

Fine handmade Mt. Pinatubo ash-glazed ceramics are also available and make great personal and corporate gift items as well as for home use. Proceeds of the sale of these ceramics are donated to the Entrepreneur Volunteer Assistance Charity Foundation (EVACF) for the improvement of the lives of indigenous peoples in the country.

Sugarleaf is located at the ground floor of the Health Cube Building, 226 Wilson Street, West Greenhills, San Juan, Metro Manila. Open 7am-9pm Mondays to Sundays. Tel (63 2) 385 0387 or mobile (63 917) 844 7593 or (63 917) 837 4257. Email:,, Website:


To be a one-stop shop offering a wide array of organic products to residents in Metro Manila
To provide partners and investors with an investment opportunity and additional source of income in the form of ROI
To educate the public about the benefits of healthy eating
To be active participant in CSR (support cooperatives, charities, etc.)


To be a leading source of certified organic and healthy products in the metropolis

Food Styles
Asian Fusion

Types: Breakfast, Brunch, Delis, Fast Food, Filipino, Greek and Mediterranean, Italian, Sandwiches, Soul Food, Vegan, Vegetarian

Parking: Street, Basement Parking
Public Transit: Taxi, Jeepney
Payment Options: Cash/Credit
Services: Takes Reservations, Walk-Ins Welcome, Good For Groups, Good For Kids, Take Out
Phone: (63 2) 385 0387