Where Men Can Become Better Gentlemen

September Celebration

Organic Harvest Month

Started in 1992 by the Organic Trade Association (OTA) in the USA , Organic Harvest Month is a celebration of all things produced organically.

Why is Organically Grown Produce Important?

1. Organic agriculture builds healthy natural soil and produce, and thus protects the environment, nature and our planet. It even improves the overall water quality. The sad fact: organic produce accounts for less then 5% of total worldwide sales.

2. Organic food is healthier. Generally, the more processed the item, the more synthetic chemicals used and the more poisonous pesticides used, the greater the possible health risks associated with it. Thus Organic seeks to ensure it is as natural as can be. Whilst there are varying standards organic usually means: crops are raised without non-organic herbicides and pesticides and livestock are raised without growth hormones, routine use of antibiotics and usually fed a healthy diet - their usual living style is also as natural as possible e.g. free range.

Some studies show organic foods have a higher level of nutrients by comparison to food produced by other methods!

3. Organic food tastes better. Well, this is perhaps contentious as different people and groups of people give varying results. However, in our humble opinion we believe the taste is better! The best thing to do is to try it and decide for your self.

The "What and How", to Support Organic Produce

1. Very few people (if any?) are 100% organic in all that they do. Besides the ease and convenience of non-organic produce, one reason oft cited is organic produce is more expensive. If you have a tight budget, this is going to be a tough one – although do consider the short-term financial benefits now, versus the potential long-term health benefits of the future.

2. To see organic agriculture increase there has to be a need for it to fulfill. This need, if we forget about the art of marketing, is primarily generated by consumers. Every time we buy something we are basically voting for what we want so: make a statement by consciously buying organic. If enough people did this we would no doubt see a reduction in the price, and wouldn’t it be a wonderful if one day you could only buy organic produce because no one wanted anything else!

3. Where does one start? Like all changes in habit, slowly make a shift in your purchasing towards organic as time and budget allows. There is a great article over at Care2.com where they list the top 12 “dirtiest” (most non-organically grown) fruit and vegetables, target these for replacement by organic produce. Check out the ideas below and see what else can be done – we feel encouraged and motivated to do better and hope you do too.

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” – Anne Frank.

14 Ways to Celebrate Organic Harvest Month

1. Research and use organic grooming products, even consider making your own with natural ingredients.

2. Source and use organic food as much as possible - don’t just limit your self to fruit and vegetables but consider meat and dairy produce also. Many grocery stores stock organic produce but consider using local suppliers: a farmer’s Market (this can be very social and you might even try negotiating on price); or a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). Your nearest market and CSA can be found at Local Harvest or the Eat Well Guide.

3. If you already support your local organic suppliers why not take the time to send them a thank you letter, we’re sure they will warmly appreciate your words of encouragement.

4. Why not see if you can prepare and cook a meal made solely from 100% organic produce.

5. Why not grow your own? September is a great time to plan and start building an organic garden, ready for planting next spring. Many retailers sell reduced price stock from the spring/summer season in the fall. Even a window box or planter can yield a surprising amount so do not despair if you have no yard.

"The ethics of organics is what separates us from others, for many of us, this is a continuation of a lifetime of work." - Howard-Yana Shapiro, Seeds of Change (organic seed suppliers).

6. Donate some of your home grown organic produce (and/or meat you’ve harvested by hunting) to a soup kitchen or shelter.

7. Make your own healthy soil by composting kitchen and yard vegetation. Alternatively (or in addition to this) take your vegetable waste to your local recycling centre and pick up some recycled compost whilst you’re there.

8. Buy items (clothes, bedding, table linen etc.) made from organic cotton. Consider only buying organic cotton in the future.

9. Treat yourself to organic food goodies like, chocolate, ice cream, yoghurt, sorbet, nuts, raisins, chips, crackers, cookies, candy etc.

10. Treat yourself to organic drinks like coffee, tea, lemonade, fruit/vegetable juices (e.g. orange, tomato etc.), wine (our personal favorite) etc.

11. Buy some organic cut flowers for your home. Consider only buying organic flowers in the future.

12. If you have pets (e.g. dogs, cats etc.) use organic grooming products and organic food, treats etc.

13. If you are in business, or have purchasing responsibilities for a business, consider buying organic products (even if it's just the coffee and sugar). Alternatively, suggest organic choices to your bosses at work for their consideration.

14. Why not write a letter to your local county, state and federal representatives to let them know how strongly you feel about the need for support from politicians to continually improve organic agriculture in the USA. After all it’s purely a case of good stewardship of our land and our planet, not just for us today but, for the generations to come in the future.

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