I’m not sure if Rick coined the term ‘customer certified organic’ himself, or if he read it somewhere. But doesn’t it make sense? Well, maybe it depends on where you’re coming from. But if you’re thinking that food should be grown close to where it will be consumed, and that consumers may actually like to see where their food is grown, know the people that are growing it and know what condition the soil is in that this food is growing in…then you’ll understand where we’re coming from.
We get asked questions about organic certification and why we’ve opted out. For one, did you know each crop you grow needs to be certified (at a cost)? So here we are selling and growing upwards of 20 crops at a time…and those crops change each season. That’s a lot of time and finances to go on ‘proving’ we don’t use toxic chemicals on our produce!
Another reason is because although certification is great for proving there’s no toxins, it doesn’t prove a thing about the nutritional content of the produce/product. For example, John the mineral man (some of you will know who I’m talking about!), once showed me test analysis results for beef comparisons. The three tested samples were 1) Certified Organic Beef 2) Standard beef off the supermarket shelf and 3) His own beef that he grass feeds on pasture that he looks after with minerals etc.
Can you guess which sample was the most nutrient deprived? I would have been sure it was the supermarket beef…but no. The certified organic beef was the lowest in essential minerals/vitamins. His pasture fed (on nourished pasture, that is) was the highest in essential vitamins and minerals. And supermarket beef was right in the middle. Can you see what I’m getting at?
Yes, if you have chemical sensitivities then you’ll be looking for organic certified foods so you KNOW you won’t react. But what I’m talking about is the nutrient profile of your food. Organic certification is not about giving you the most nutritious food. It’s giving you assurance that you are buying food grown without toxins.
Our mission at Birdsong is to provide our customers with nutrient dense, healing foods. We want our veg to be bursting with nutritional goodness. And so far the Brix readings we’re getting are showing that we’re definitely on track!
Now the thing is, when you nourish the soil with minerals, microbes and the like and feed your plants with beautiful plant fertilisers like worm tea and ocean sourced fish emulsion…then you won’t be likely to have the kind of disease and pest issues that lead growers to use pesticides/fungicides anyway!
But the hype is all about avoiding chem sprays and not on nutritional excellence for most growers looking to attract the organic buyers it seems.
Anyway, back to topic of customer certified organic produce. We live just on the outskirts of the city where most of our buyers live. People generally collect their produce straight from the farm gate. When people come, we are happy to give them a tour of the market garden and show them what we’re doing and explain the process. I don’t believe there’s a need for official certification when anyone can check out for themselves that Birdsong is genuine. The only sprays we use here are liquid mineral/fish emulsion/worm tea follier type of sprays.
So there’s some food for thought… is your priority on nutritionally dense food, or just food that’s grown without the use of potentially toxic chemicals?