The real trick to knowing what you're buying at a farmer's market is, of course,
toknow the farmers
themselves. Most legitimate growers are more than happy to allow you to visit and even tour
their farms to see how they operate. Building this one-on-one connection takes time, but it's well worth the effort
as it builds a trust relationship between you and the producer of your food. That's always a good
HOW TO SHOP AT A FARMERS MARKET
FARMERS MARKET GUIDE
FARMERS MARKET TIPS
**However, still examine each vendor to make sure what is claimed
is true. Read Articles Below.
"Going to a local farmer's market
is one wise path, but they still may have bought GM seeds or used pesticides, or both. Most likely, your friendly
local farmers have respect and maintain the integrity of their crop, for the sake of their families, their
neighbors, and their community."
Beware of the Fake Farmer's Market at the Grocery
There's a new epidemic in America: fake
farmer's markets. With the success of local farmer's markets come corporate copycats hoping to cash in on the new
trend. Two major U.S. supermarket chains have been holding misleading in-store marketing using "farmer's markets"
as their advertisement tag line.
The new trend in false marketing seems to have begun earlier this year, with a Kirkland, Washington woman spotting
a fake farmer's market at a local big-box grocery store. She became suspicious when the so-called "farmer's market"
in the grocery's parking lot featured mangoes, which definitely don't grow in Washington State.1
That incident prompted Martha Tyler, an organizer for a nearby (and legitimate) Redmond farmer's market, to do
something. So local farmers market associations and their customers organized a protest and forced the store to
change the "Farmer's Market" in their parking lot to an "Outdoor Market" instead.
That didn't stop other grocery chains from copycatting, however. Another popular chain in Washington, Oregon, Idaho
and other areas put their "farmer's markets" indoors near the produce section. The signs, however, are said to be
"justified" since the produce came from local sources in-season.2
The trouble isn't with grocery chains faking farmer's markets, says the Wall Street Journal, but it is with the
dilution of the term itself. Once people begin associating it with grocery stores rather than with true
farmer-direct markets, the public will begin to stop seeing the direct-from-the-source connection that farmer's markets imply.
Of course, this implication at even non-store, outdoor farmer's markets isn't always correct either.
An investigative report by an NBC News affiliate in Los Angeles, California found that some sellers at LA-area
farmer's markets were anything but farmers. Some vendors were
pretending to be growers while actually just selling produce purchased at a wholesaler. Others lied about their
products being pesticide free.3
The real trick to knowing what you're buying at a farmer's market is, of course, to know the farmers themselves. Most legitimate
growers are more than happy to allow you to visit and even tour their farms to see how they operate. Building this
one-on-one connection takes time, but it's well worth the effort as it builds a trust relationship between you and
the producer of your food. That's always a good thing.
Whatever you do, be leery of big grocery chains attempting to cash in on the farmer's market trend with false
advertising and pretend "local" displays. They might fool the bottled water-toting soccer moms, but they shouldn't
The problems are obvious: food safety scandals, the death of family farming, food supply
insecurity, the revolving door between corporate lobbyists and government regulators, and many more. The soluion
should be equally obvious: rolling up our sleeves and getting in the garden. Join us today as we explore this
simple, natural solution to one of our most fundamental problems.
Certified Naturally Grown (CNG), the grassroots alternative to
With so much uncertainty surrounding the
integrity and future of the certified organic label, grassroots alternatives that offer fresh new ways of
identifying healthy, chemical-free foods are gradually gaining ground. One new program, known as Certified
Naturally Grown (CNG), is proving to be particularly beneficial for small-scale family farmers that are often
unable to pay exorbitant fees to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for organic certification,
but that still want to let their customers know about their exceptional growing methods.
Superior to certified organic in many ways, CNG is a farmer-driven certification program that adheres to many of
the same standards as certified organic -- synthetic herbicides, pesticides, fertilizers, antibiotics, hormones,
and genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) are never used by CNG-certified farmers. But CNG goes a few steps further
by not certifying processed foods, for instance, and by requiring that CNG-certified livestock have primary access
to open space and pasture.
Beyond this, CNG caters particularly to small-scale farmers that have a much harder time complying with the
laborious paperwork and bureaucratic requirements of the certified organic program, which were designed primarily
for medium and large-scale farms. Intended to complement the certified organic program, CNG allows vendors who sell
clean food products at farmers markets and roadside farm stands, for instance, to communicate with their customers
that they adhere to organic growing standards without actually being certified organic.
"Certified Naturally Grown is a
grassroots alternative to certified organic for direct-market farmers and beekeepers who use natural methods and
want a way to communicate with their customers about their growing practices," explains CNG Executive Director Alice Varon about the merits of the program.
"One of the things I like a lot about Certified Naturally Grown is that it's an organization of the farmers who
participate, and while we have a small staff that keeps the trains running, it only works because the farmers are
so committed to what it stands for."
CNG farmers keep each other accountable to meeting standards, which fosters community
Varon refers, of course, to CNG's unique
Participatory Guarantee System (PGS), which enables certified CNG farmers to "peer review" the farms of other
certified CNG farmers, and hold each other accountable. Since everyone involved in the program already holds high
regard for natural growing methods that respect the earth and promote vibrant health, it only makes sense to
utilize the program in this way to foster community and build a wide network of rapport among like-minded
"Our members farm without any synthetic inputs, just like organic farmers," adds Varon. "But we're different in that we
rely on peer inspections, and we feel this strengthens the farming community because it creates rich opportunities
for farmers to learn from each other and share techniques and build a greater support network among the local
"That's really what inspires us -- farmers getting together, sharing their information and knowledge with each
other and supporting each other. So it's really more than an inspection process, it's about building
Even though some food is labeled organic, the
seeds may still have come from a GMO source; like if a small to mid-size farmer buys seeds or plants, such as
tomatoes, from a Home Depot or Lowe's, and then plants them in organic soil and does not use pesticide, they are
still GMO, but they don't get labeled as such. Who knows this? How do you avoid it? Did you know bees
will fly 50 miles, cross-pollinating from one farm to another by carrying mutated genes from corporate GMO farms
to organic farms. There are lawsuits coming from both sides, and the war that is being waged by the people
who don't want to eat pesticide-laden, GENETICALLY MUTATED CROP has just begun. (http://holisticprimarycare.net)
What does "organic" really mean?
Simply stated, organic produce and other ingredients are grown without the use of pesticides, synthetic
fertilizers, sewage sludge, genetically modified organisms, or ionizing radiation. Also, very important is that the
animals that are consumed or produce eggs and milk do not take antibiotics or growth hormones.
Going to a local farmer's market is one wise path, but they still may have bought GM seeds or used pesticides, or
both. Most likely, your friendly local farmers have respect and maintain the integrity of their crop, for the sake
of their families, their neighbors, and their community.(http://www.organic.org/home/faq)
The USDA National Organic Program (NOP) defines organic as follows:
"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. Before
a product can be labeled "organic," a Government-approved
certifier inspects the farm where the food is grown to make sure the farmer is following all the rules necessary to
meet USDA organic standards. Companies that handle or process organic food before it gets to your local supermarket
or restaurant must be certified, too."
1. 100 percent Organic: Made with 100 percent organic ingredients
2. Organic: Made with at least 95 percent organic ingredients
3. "Made With Organic Ingredients:" Made with a minimum of 70 percent organic ingredients with strict restrictions
on the remaining 30 percent including no GMOs (genetically modified organisms)
Products with fewer than 70 percent organic ingredients may list organically produced ingredients on the side
panel, but may not make any organic claims on the front of the package.
Do not trust the USDA!
The USDA is not to be trusted, though. Although their stamp of organic goes a long way, there's no
guarantee, and since we've seen the FDA endorse horrific disease-causing foods, additives, chemicals,
GMO, and more, you have to be your own investigator.
This is right from the USDA site; they support GMO! "Welcome to the USDA's Agricultural Biotechnology Website: The
USDA supports the safe and appropriate use of science and technology, including biotechnology, to help
meet agricultural challenges and consumer needs of the 21st century. USDA plays a key role in assuring that
products produced using biotechnology are safe to be grown and used in the United States. Once these
products enter commerce, USDA supports bringing these and other products to the worldwide marketplace." (In other
words, feed the whole world cancer). (http://www.usda.gov)
Have you seen the French scientists' long-term study of GMO effects on rats? The rats get tumors the size of
baseballs and die an early death. (http://www.naturalnews.com)
One Nebraska organic farmer, David Vetter, has been testing his corn for GMO contamination. Situated right in the
middle of corn country, all around him are farmers growing genetically modified corn and that poses a major
problem. Corn is an open-pollinating crop. Wind and insects can carry pollen from a few yards to
several miles. Last year, Vetter's organic corn tested positive for genetic contamination. "We've been
letting customers who buy in bulk know the situation," says Vetter.
Since one of the heads of the FDA, Michael Taylor, used to be a lobbyist and
vice president of Monsanto, don't look for regulations any time soon, especially since Obama
appointed him and the re-election is set in stone. Also, watch for articles, lawsuits, and companies that sell out
from organic to corporate run pseudo-organic. They are caving by the numbers. It's all about the money, until
people get cancer and can't buy their way out of it. (http://www.naturalnews.com)
A boy must escape a world where the processed food is killing his neighborhood -- literally.
SHARE to teach kids who is behind it, and how to escape.
visit http://SOSjuice.com/foodfight for School Curriculum + Song Download
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