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  2. Organic Prevention and Management of Powdery Mildew on Plants
  3. How to Grow Organic Medical Marijuana at Home
  4. Are organically-produced raw vegetables any better than those produced in the traditional ways? [NO!]
  5. Going organic: Are organic pesticides safer than their synthetic counterparts?

 
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  1. The 50 Mile Bouquet:
  2. A Handbook of Medicinal Plants: A Complete Source Book
  3. Incredible Edibles: 43 Fun Things to Grow in the City
  4. Chocolate Bliss
  5. Tales As Tall As A Sunflower

 
   products
  1. Taylor's Weekend Gardening Guide to
    ORGANIC PEST AND DISEASE CONTROL: How to Grow a Healthy Problem-Free Garden
    by Barbara Ellis
  2. Taylor's Weekend Gardening Guide to
    SAFE AND EASY LAWN CARE:
    The Complete Guide to Organic Low-Maintenance Lawns by Barbara Ellis
  3. BUGS SLUGS & OTHER THUGS
    Controlling Garden Pests Organically by Rhonda Massingham Hart
  4. Rodale's ALL-NEW ENCYCLOPEDIA OF ORGANIC GARDENING
    The Indispensable Resource for Every Gardener edited by Fern Marshall Bradley & Barbara Ellis
  5. NEW ORGANIC GROWER The
    A Master Manual of Tools & Techniques for Home & Market Gardener Revised by Eliot Coleman fwd by Paul Hawken


 
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  4. John and Bobs Organic Soil Conditioners
  5. The Daily Gardener

 
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  1. RE: problems with bugbane
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  5. RE: Is Miracle-Gro safe to use near a lake?

 




Documents: Latest From: The Real Dirt:

Water is Not Organic
by John Harmon
October 19, 2003

Last week when I was talking about the new GMO (genetically modified organisms) coffee plants that scientists in Japan have created I wrote, " Coffee is currently stripped of caffeine in an expensive industrial process. Carbon dioxide or organic solvents (what the hell are "organic" solvents?) flush the caffeine from beans." I had not connected solvents with the word organic. They just don't seem to go together. I didn't expect to get an answer to that question. I was content to be confused by the seemingly conflicting term.

I did however get an answer. I got an e-mail from a former chemist, Christopher Watson, who now works for Natural Resources Canada (NRCan). Here's what he had to say. " The word "organic" refers to compounds (materials) containing carbon and hydrogen (and often also oxygen, nitrogen, sulphur and other atoms.) Wood, sugar, cows, plastics, oil are all made of organic materials. The word was used by chemists for many years before it was taken over by the environmentalist community to mean anything natural, not man-made, or anything grown without the use of synthetic fertilizers. The opposite is "inorganic" which are materials not based on carbon, e.g. metals, rocks, water. Trouble is, the common synthetic (organic) fertilizer urea is not, according to the environmentalists, while (inorganic) granite dust is! Hope this helps. Chris".

So with this definition "organic farmers" are spraying their crops with an inorganic chemical every time they water! What it also means is that when they make decaffeinated coffee with " organic solvents" it could be any solvent. Most of the solvents I know of are made from oil and if that was the case they can be called "organic". Some common organic solvents are trichloroethylene, ethyl benzene and perchloroethylene. Somehow it's difficult to think of Petro-Canada as your local organic producer but there it is.

If you want to know more about organic solvents have a look at "the neurotoxic effects of occupational exposure to mixtures of organic solvents" at http://www.hse.gov.uk/press/e01151.htm. Then take a look at an article by the Environmental Research Foundation in Annapolis, MD entitled "Organic Solvents Damage Brain and Central Nervous System". You can find this article at http://www.monitor.net/rachel/r137.html. That cheap decaffeinated coffee done with organic solvents may be more dangerous than caffeine! Let me repeat: Why not just quit drinking coffee if it's doesn't agree with you?

In other news this week Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) are addressing another health concern. For many years fat in the diet has been blamed for everything from heart disease to colon cancer. For over a decade Canadian farmers have been breeding cattle with less and less fat in the meat to meet consumer demands for low fat meat. Now they may have to reverse that trend. I like to call it good news for steak lovers. Here's part of what they had to say.

"There is some good news for the cattle industry and people who enjoy eating beef. Meat with the right kind of marbling fat may have health benefits for consumers. Certain fats in beef, lamb and milk products may actually reduce the number of fat cells formed in the body and can diminish fat deposits. These research findings are from early studies published in scientific journals following research by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC). "Not all fat is created equal as far as human health is concerned," said Dr. Priya Mir, a ruminant digestive physiologist. "Conjugated linoleic acids (CLA) are fatty compounds that improve health when consumed. CLA is found in meat and dairy products."

According to Dr. Mir, CLA in beef reduces the incidence of cancer in test animals fed beef products. "Now we have found another benefit of eating high-CLA beef," said Dr. Mir. "Rats fed beef high in CLA develop fewer fat cells, decreasing the potential for fat storage which contributes to obesity."

Dr. Mir says obesity in people is due in part to the number of fat-collecting cells, called adipocytes. Adipocytes develop when we are very young, at adolescence, in reproductive stages, and at times of nutritional stress.

Other research has shown the formation of a large number of adipocyte cells predisposes a person to unhealthy weight gains from fat deposits throughout their life. Reducing adipocyte cells in the body reduces the chance of becoming obese.

"We have a real opportunity to improve the general health and well-being of the population," said Dr. Mir. "By increasing CLA in food, many people will benefit as some health issues are diminished and the quality of life is improved."" If you want to check out the rest of the article go to: http://www.agr.gc.ca/cb/index_e.php?s1=ag&s2=2003&page=a31008a.

If you live long enough you will see everything that was bad for you become good for you once again and vis-a-vis. Remember that if you are a person who only eats organic you have to stop drinking water!

 

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