Cool Spring Organics

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Green Housekeeping

Spring cleaning is here and it’s a great time to think about switching from conventional cleaning products to the more environmentally friendly versions.

It’s a well-known fact that conventional cleaners contain hundreds of chemicals that unleash harmful toxins and contaminate our waterways once discarded. What you may not know is just how harmful these chemicals can be. They can act as respiratory irritants, potential carcinogens, neurotoxins, mutagens, teratogens, and endocrine and hormone disrupters. Certain ingredients call Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are added to most cleaners to enhance their performance, but can impair neurological functions. Manufacturers of conventional cleaning products are not held to any labeling requirements, making it difficult for even the savviest consumer to tell what they are being exposed to.

The good news is that some of the most
environmentally friendly cleaning products can be found right in your own home or store.

Spring cleaning the natural way:

  • Soap, water, baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice and a coarse scrubbing sponge can take care of most household cleaning needs
  • To Clean glass, use a mixture of half white vinegar and half water
  • Baking soda and cornstarch are both good carpet deodorizers
  • To clean mold and mildew, use a mixture of lemon juice and white vinegar and salt.
  • A paste of baking soda, salt and hot water makes a good oven cleaner


Taken from
Green Housekeeping by Lisa Madsen.

What is Fair Trade?

Fair Trade is a system of exchange that honors producers, communities, consumers, and the environment. It is a model for the global economy rooted in people-to-people connections, justice, and sustainability. When you make Fair Trade purchases you are supporting:

A Fair Price for Products
For Fair Trade Certified™ products, a base price for the commodity is set by the international Fair Trade Labeling Organization. The price attempts to cover the cost of production and a living wage to cover the basics of food, shelter, clothing, education, and medical care. Importers and retailers are then screened and certified by TransFair USA to ensure that they are paying the Fair Trade price for products. Crafts, apparel and other non-certified products are sold by members of the Fair Trade Federation, businesses committed to the principles of Fair Trade. For these crafts, a living wage is paid in the local context.

Investment in People and Communities
Many Fair Trade producer cooperatives and artisan collectives reinvest their revenues into strengthening their businesses and their communities. In addition, for each Fair Trade product sold the cooperative also receives a set amount of money, called the social premium, which is invested in community development projects democratically chosen by the cooperative. Examples of projects funded through Fair Trade include the building of health care clinics and schools, starting scholarship funds, building housing and providing leadership training and women's empowerment programs.

Environmental Sustainability
Fair Trade farmers and artisans respect the natural habitat and are encouraged to engage in sustainable production methods. Farmers implement integrated crop management and avoid the use of toxic agrochemicals for pest management. Nearly 85% of Fair Trade Certified™ coffee is also organic.
Learn more about Fair Trade's environmental standards »

Economic Empowerment of Small Scale Producers
Fair Trade supports small scale producers, those at the bottom of the economic ladder or from marginalized communities, that otherwise do not have access to economic mobility. Fair Trade encourages and supports the cooperative system where each producer owns a portion of the business, has equal say in decisions and enjoys equal returns from the market.

Direct Trade
Fair Trade importers purchase from Fair Trade cooperatives as directly as possible, eliminating unnecessary middlemen and empowering farmers to develop the business capacity necessary to compete in the global marketplace. The certification also secures long-term, stable relationships between producers and importers.

Fair Labor Conditions
Workers are guaranteed freedom of association and safe working conditions. Fair Trade also encourages women's participation in and leadership of cooperatives. Human rights and child labor laws are strictly enforced.

Learn about Fair Trade products and the farmers that produce them »

Promote Fair Trade in your community!




Taken from:
http://www.GreenAmerica.org/programs/fairtrade/whattoknow/index.cfm

10 Reasons to Buy Organic

Beyond Frankenfoods and Toxics:
Ten Reasons to Buy Organic
by Ronnie Cummins Organic Consumers Association
Organic foods and products are the fastest growing items in America’s grocery carts. Thirty million households, comprising 75 million people, are now buying organic foods, clothing, body care, supplements, pet food, and other products on a regular basis. 56% of US consumers say they prefer organic foods.
1
Organic foods are produced without GMOs Consumers worry about untested and unlabeled genetically modified (GMO) in- gredients in common supermarket items. Genetically engineered ingredients are
now found in 75% of all non-organic US processed foods, even in many products labeled or advertised as “natural.” In addition, the overwhelming majority of non-organic meat, dairy, and eggs are derived from animals reared on a steady diet of GM animal feed. Although polls indicate that 90% of Americans want labels on gene-altered foods, government and industry adamantly refuse to respect consumers’ right to know, understanding quite well that health and environmental-minded shoppers will avoid foods with a GMO label.
2
Organic foods are safe and pure Organic farming prohibits the use of toxic pesticides, antibiotics, growth hor- mones, nano-particles, and climate-destabilizing chemical fertilizers. Pesticide
and drug residues are routinely found in non-organic produce, processed foods, and ani- mal products. Consumer Reports has found that 77% of non-organic produce items in the average supermarket contain pesticide residues. The beef industry has acknowledged that 94% of all US beef cattle have hormone implants, which are banned in Europe as a cancer hazard. Approximately 10% of all US dairy cows are injected with Monsanto and Elanco’s controversial genetically engineered Bovine Growth Hormone, banned in most indus- trialized nations. Recent studies indicate that an alarming percentage of non-organic US meat contains dangerous antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
3
Organic foods & farming are climate-friendly 35-50% of climate-destabilizing greenhouse gas pollution (CO2, methane, and nitrous oxide) in North America comes from our energy & chemical-intensive
food and farming system. Organic farms and ranches use far less fossil fuel and can safely sequester up to 7,000 pounds of CO2 per acre in the soil every year.) Twenty-four billion pounds of chemical fertilizers applied on non-organic farms in the US every year pollute our drinking water and create enormous dead zones in the oceans and release enormous amounts of nitrous oxide, a super potent, climate-destabilizing greenhouse gas.
4
Organic certification prohibits nuclear irradiation
Irradiating food with nuclear waste or electron beams destroys vitamins and
nutrients and produce cancer-causing chemicals such as benzene and form- aldehyde. The nuclear industry, large food processors, and slaughterhouses continue to lobby Congress to remove required labels from irradiated foods and replace these with misleading labels that use the term “cold pasteurization.” The USDA and large meat compa- nies have promoted the use of irradiated meat in school lunches and senior citizen facili- ties. Many non-organic spices contain irradiated ingredients.
5
Very few cases of food poisoning have ever been linked to organic farms or food processors Salmonella, e-coli, campylobacter, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus au-
reus (MRSA), and fecal contamination are found in animal products coming out of the na- tion’s inhumane and filthy slaughterhouses. The Centers for Disease Control have admit- ted that up to 76 million Americans suffer from food poisoning every year.
6
Organic farming categorically prohibits the use of sewage sludge Billions of pounds of toxic municipal sewage sludge are
being dumped as “fertilizer” on 140,000 of America’s chemical farms. Scientific evidence has confirmed that municipal sewage sludge contains hundreds of dangerous pathogens, toxic heavy metals, flame-retardants, endocrine disruptors, carcinogens, phar- maceutical drugs and other hazardous chemicals coming from res- idential drains, storm water runoff, hospitals, and industrial plants.
7
Animals on organic farms cannot be fed slaughterhouse waste The routine practice of grinding up slaughterhouse
waste and feeding this offal and blood back to other animals has given rise to a form of human mad-cow disease called CJD, often misdiagnosed as Alzheimer’s disease.
8
Humane treatment of animals
Organic farming prohibits intensive confinement and
mutilation (de-beaking, cutting off tails, etc.) of farm animals. In addition to the cruel and unhealthy confinement of animals on factory farms, scientists warn that these CAFOs (Con- fined Animal Feeding Operations) produce enormous volumes of manure and urine, which pollute surface and ground water and emit large quantities of methane, a powerful climate-destabilizing greenhouse gas.

9
Organic has high nutritional value
Organic foods are nutritionally dense compared to foods produced with toxic chemicals, chemical fertil- izers, and GMO seeds. Studies show that organic foods contain more vitamins, cancer-fighting anti-oxidants, and important trace minerals.

10
Organics preserve family farms
Just about the only small farmers who stand chance of making decent living these days are organic farmers, who get a better price for their products. Stud- ies have shown that small organic farms in the developing world produce twice as much food per acre as chemical and GMO farms, while using far less fossil fuel and sequestering large amounts of excess CO2 in the soil. Yields on organic farms in the industrial- ized world are comparable to the yields on chemical and GMO farms, with the important qualification that organic farms far out-produce chemical farms under extreme weather conditions of drought or torrential rains.

For all these reasons, millions of American consumers are turning to organic foods and other organic items, including clothing and body care products—part of an overall movement toward healthy living, preserving the environment, and reversing global warming.
For more information, visit organicconsumers.org



10-reasons-to-buy-organic

The Launch

The new site is finally here! The redesign contains beautiful Crisp theme as well as a more navigable UI and much more content. It was made and will be run by Jonathan Miller.

We have added a Menu section for the Cafe along with both a site blog and a soon to be live recipe blog for us to give out great recopies for the incredible food you get here. It will be constantly updated with new features and posts.

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