by admin | March 30th, 2011
With the ever increasing business of ‘green’ it can sometimes get very confusing when it comes to what we are really getting when it comes to our foods. One of the reasons that we got into this business was that we felt it was impossible to know where our food was really coming from when you purchase at a chain grocery store.
Even if a label said ‘organic’ or ‘grass-fed’ there was still much left to the imagination. What about the rest of it? In our efforts to eat healthier, and be more sustainable and eco-conscious with our food choices, we started exploring local farms for food. We quickly realized that we could help a lot of people that have the same questions we did.
We spent time meeting farmers and learning about the food they produce. Having a small farm in a time when so many large factory farms have cornered the market (price wise anyway) has made things very difficult for them business wise, and for us health-wise. These were farms that were naturally doing things better, wanted to provide food locally which would also be better for the environment, and often suffering in spite of that.
About Organic Certification
‘Certified Organic’ is a very useful label when you can’t visit the farm (or know someone who has!), it gives us guidelines that help us shop better, but if possible knowing even more about your food is always preferable.
While we do make an effort to find organic food when we can, one thing we’ve learned is that for many small farms, the process of being actually Certified Organic is cost prohibitive. In addition to this, when it comes down to it, being organic is not always enough, the whole picture is what we were looking for, and that goes beyond the organic label.
According to the USDA “Organic food is produced by farmers who emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations. Organic meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products come from animals that are given no antibiotics or growth hormones. Organic food is produced without using most conventional pesticides; fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge; bioengineering; or ionizing radiation.”
Not all the farms that we purchase from are organic, but like many small farms across america they follow the above and often much more. They do not use GMO (genetically modified organisms) feed or added hormones and antibiotics. Additionally, the animals live and wander in real pastures and are therefore feeding on what they naturally should feed on. They wander in a real pasture, and are not unnaturally fattened on grains. The harshest ‘pesticide’ used on the land is vinegar and the animals are treated humanly throughout their life. These farms, that we commit our business to, provide a naturally healthy product for us. Certified Organic or not.
What is Natural?
Natural is another word that is thrown around a lot. Unfortunately it is often used as a greenwashing term to entice consumers to buy products that are not natural at all. This has tainted a very useful term.
At Bon Vivant when we talk about ‘natural’ we mean it in the true sense of the word “being in accordance with or determined by nature’. When we purchase foods we consider this with the whole product, from start to finish, not a small portion of it. In regards to animals for instance, are they eating what they would naturally? Is that pasture in it’s natural state? Grain is not a natural food for cows, when they are fed on grain we are therefore not getting a natural product either. Natures ‘natural’ is our goal in all our products.
Buying from small farms that are doing it right benefits all of us, and our environment for the future. We really appreciate the effort that they put in to growing good, healthy food for us, naturally!