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 www.ota.org

 

Sugarleaf Locations

For more information : Visit http://www.sugarleafph.com

 

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 279/365: Agri-Pinoy, The New Beginning

Day 279/365: Agri-Pinoy, The New Beginning

October 07, 2011

The tag line of this event was really catchy, “A New Beginning”. This statement truly signify hopes to our countries agricultural industry.

What is Agri-Pinoy?

Agrikulturang Pilipino (Agri-Pinoy) is the overall strategic framework for the agricultural services and programs of the national government for 2011-2016. The four guiding principles of Agri-Pinoy are sustainable agriculture, food security and self-sufficiency, broad-based local partnerships, and support services from farm to table.

Eleven priority regions for implementation have been identified – Caraga, Cordillera Administrative Region, Regions IV-A, IV-B, V, VI, VII, IX, XI, and XII, and the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao. A major feature is Oplan Seeding Project to promote collaborative undertakings from organizations and institutions outside the government.

Among Agri-Pinoy’s priority thrusts are irrigation services, extension services, establishment of trading centers, organic agriculture, and public-private partnerships. The government is setting up trading centers nationwide with warehouses, cold storage, commercial areas, processing centers and post-harvest facilities.

Under the program, mitigation measures were carried out for the vegetable industry in Benguet during the frost in January 2011. Nueva Vizcaya has emerged as the country’s second major “salad bowl”. It helped to restore and rehabilitate communal irrigation systems in Davao. The help of the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PRRI), in partnership with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and other plant breeding institutions, is being tapped to develop new and improved rice varieties adaptable to environment change and emerging pests and diseases.

In the next five years, the program, given enough support and impetus, is expected to boost government as well as private sector efforts to attain food security and self-sufficiency for the nation.

This new beginning project serves as a green light for the emerging market of Health and Wellness Lifestyle which Sugarleaf promotes in the metropolis. Sugarleaf advocates organic farming and bringing foods that nourish. We believe in the sayings that “Let your food be your medicine”. Also, Filipinos should now be aware on different types of farm produce and promotes partnership with experts and non-capitalist growers whose intent is to make money over a peoples bad eating habits. Our advocacy in Sugarleaf is to fill-in your body with nutrients that will make it a balance and not just to fill-in your stomach. Your health is our wealth in promoting good health, and prolonging good life!

Philippine Agriculture Project

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yours truly,

Sugarleafers 🙂