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Dawna Blogs
Be Wise When Buying Organic Products PDF Print E-mail


Written by Dawna Lucia   
Tuesday, 31 July 2012 07:40

Before you buy a product that you think is an organic skin treatment for example, you need to first find out what products are truly considered to be organic. Just because a product is labeled as organic, it actually doesn't mean that it actually is organic. In fact, since the certain requirements for labeling products is very loose, you might end up buying a product that actually includes the chemicals that you are trying to avoid. In order to keep this from happening you need to understand a few things about the organic claims.

Organic skin treatment products contain natural ingredients and omit the use of chemical substances and preservatives. These products are better for your skin and usually do not cause any irritation that some chemical base products can. Since these products do not have any chemical additives and preservatives they are better for you.

First, you need to check first if it contains mostly natural ingredients. Some companies get around this by using water on the product. If the first ingredient is water, then it could actually mean that the product is made up mostly of water while the remaining percentage could only mean that it is a mixture of essential oils, preservatives, and other chemicals.

You must read the label for any hidden chemical additives. A product may claim that is it natural, however, many of the additives may actually be synthetic chemicals that are from natural products. This is very important to know and can make all the difference when you really trying to go organic.

Be cautious of the miracle claims that the organic products offer. If a product claims that it is a cure, then you may want to avoid these products. Just because the product contains natural ingredients, it doesn't mean that they will actually be absorbed readily by your skin. Like most health regimens, the real benefits are actually achieved when used together with healthy habits like having a good diet and drinking plenty of water.

IFOAM and the Organic Standard PDF Print E-mail


Written by Dawna Lucia   
Tuesday, 03 July 2012 02:36

There is an organic standard laid down by people from many countries. These give guidelines about what organic farming is and how it should be practiced on the farm. Organic standards are also used to help countries set their own standards, which take into account different farming systems. Many countries have an organic standards authority, which lays down national standards and awards a symbol to farms, which have followed the standards. This symbol then allows farmers to market certified organic produce. This is important, as it ensures that people know that the food which they buy is organic.

The main principles of organic farming were laid down by IFOAM. First is to produce food of high nutritional quality in sufficient quantity. Then, also to interact in a constructive and life enhancing way with all natural systems and cycles and encourage and enhance biological cycles within the farming system, involving micro-organisms, soil flora and fauna, plants and animals. Next, to maintain and increase long term fertility of soils and to use, as far as possible, renewable resources in locally organized agricultural systems. Another principle is to work, as far as possible, within a closed system with regard to organic matter and nutrient elements. This aims to reduce external inputs. To work, as far as possible, with materials and substances this can be reused or recycled, either on the farm or elsewhere. To give all livestock living conditions this will allow them to perform the basic aspects of their innate behavior. To minimize all forms of pollution that may result from agricultural practices and as well as, to maintain the genetic diversity of the agricultural system and its surroundings, including the protection of plant and wildlife habitats. To allow agricultural producers a living according to the UN human rights; to cover their basic needs and obtain an adequate return and satisfaction from their work, including a safe working environment. Finally, the principle takes into account the wider social and ecological impact of the farming system.

All of the above standards are listed by IFOAM to further organize organic farming while protecting the environment. Organic food is becoming popular in rich lands like Australia, Europe and America. However for food to be sold as organic it must bear a symbol that proves that it is truly organic. This is obtained through an organic certification organization.

Water and Animal Care, A Part of Sustainable Living PDF Print E-mail


Written by Dawna Lucia   
Monday, 07 May 2012 09:01

In arid lands the careful use of water is as much a part of organic growing as is any other technique. As with other resources, organic farmers should try to use water which is available locally, avoiding using water faster than it is replaced naturally.

There are many ways to use water carefully, including the use of terracing, rain water basins or catchments and careful irrigation. Also, the addition of organic matter to the soil to improve its ability to hold water and the use of mulches to hold water in the soil by stopping the soil surface from drying out or becoming too hot.

In an organic system, the welfare of the animals is considered very important as well. Animals should not be kept in confined spaces where they cannot carry out their natural behavior such as standing and moving around in an inadequate amount of space. However, care should be taken that animals do not damage crops. Food for animals should be grown organically. Breeds should be chosen to suit local needs and local conditions and resources These factors help to ensure that livestock are more healthy, better able to resist diseases and to provide good yields for the farmer.

Natural Pests for Organic Farming PDF Print E-mail


Written by Dawna Lucia   
Friday, 20 April 2012 09:32
Pests and diseases are part of nature. In the ideal system there is a natural balance between predators and pests. If the system is imbalanced then one population can become dominant because it is not being preyed upon by another. The aim of natural control is to restore a natural balance between pest and predator and to keep pests and diseases down to an acceptable level. The aim is not to eradicate them altogether.

Pesticides do not solve the pest problem. Over the years, Insecticide use has increased tenfold, while crop losses from pest damage have doubled. There are important reasons why natural control is preferable to pesticide use.

First, the safety for people is the primary concern. Artificial pesticides can quickly find their way into food chains and water courses. This can create health hazards for people. People eating foods, which still contain residues of pesticides that were sprayed on the crop, can also harm people’s health. Second, the costs should also be considered. Using natural pest and disease control is often cheaper than applying chemical pesticides because natural methods do not involve buying materials from the outside. Products and materials, which are already in the home and around the farm, are most often used. Third, the safety for the environment. There are some products that can harm the environment. Chemical pesticides can kill useful insects which eat pests. Artificial chemicals can stay in the environment and in the bodies of animals causing problems for many years. Insect pests can very quickly, over a few breeding cycles, become resistant to artificial products and are no longer controlled. This means that increased amounts or stronger chemicals are then needed creating further economic, health and environmental problems.

Natural Farming Pest Control PDF Print E-mail


Written by Dawna Lucia   
Friday, 06 April 2012 08:12
There are many ways in which the organic farmer can control pests and diseases. Growing healthy crops that suffer less damage from pests and diseases. Choosing crops with a natural resistance to specific pests and diseases. Local varieties are better at resisting local pest and diseases than introduced varieties. Timely planting of crops to avoid the period when a pest does most damage is also helpful.

Identifying pest and diseases correctly. This will prevent the farmer from wasting time or accidentally eliminating beneficial insects. It is therefore useful to know life cycles, breeding habits, preferred host plants and predators of pests.

Using crop rotations to help break pest cycles and prevent a carry over of pests to the next season. Another way is to provide natural habitats to encourage natural predators that control pests. To do this, the farmer should learn to recognize insects and other animals that eat and control pests.

Through careful planning and using all the other techniques available it should be possible to avoid the need for any crop spraying. If pests are still a problem natural products can be used to manage pests, including sprays made from chilies, onions, or garlic.

Even with these natural pesticides, their use should be limited as much as possible and only the safest ones used. It is wise to check with national and international organic standards to see which ones are allowed or recommended.
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