What is Organic Food: The Blurry Line of Organics

The organic industry is estimated to be worth over £40 ($63) billion worldwide but what does organic mean to you?

Does it mean the food is healthier? Leaner? Sugar-free? Unprocessed?

The official definition of “organic” is

“Noting or pertaining to a class of chemical compounds that formerly comprised only those existing in or derived from plants or animals, but that now includes all other compounds of carbon.”

Great. I bet that’s really helped you out.

According to Precision Nutrition, to earn the label of “organic” in the U.S., farmers must:
• maintain records concerning the production and handling of agricultural products
• submit to audits conducted by accredited certifying agents
• use organic seeds when available
• feed animals with organic feed for at least 1 year
• give animals access to the outdoors
• feed and build soil matter with natural fertilizer
• use insect predators, mating disruption, traps and barriers to protect crops from pests and disease

Farmers must NOT:
• treat animals with antibiotics, growth hormones, or feed made from animal byproducts
• apply prohibited substances to their land for at least three years prior to harvest
• use irradiation or genetic engineering
• fertilise with sewage sludge

Contrary to popular belief, organic does NOT mean free-range or have many links to animal welfare, although the UK soil association does hold welfare in high regard. Organic is to do with how the animals are fed but they can still be caged and kept indoors, especially in the U.S.

Also, organic farming does not mean that they do not use pesticides. It means that the pesticides that they do use are “natural” instead of synthetic. A pesticide is a chemical aimed at killing insects or warding off any harm that may come to the crops. Unfortunately, these “natural” chemicals that they use aren’t as effective so to compensate the farmers end up using more. Yep. Organic food most likely has more pesticides sprayed on it than conventionally grown foods.

“Natural” pesticides actually have less research on them in regards to the effects on humans. Synthetic pesticides have much more regulation and are far more studied. “Organic pesticides that are studied have been found to be as toxic as synthetic pesticides,” Steven Novella, president and co-founder of the New England Skeptical Society, has said.

The reason that I keep putting natural in quotation marks is that I’m not sure anyone really knows what natural means. The line is a bit blurry on what’s natural and what isn’t.

Labels that state that the product is “100% organic” mean that the product is using 100% organic ingredients, as you would expect. However, most foods are simply labeled “organic” which means 95% of the ingredients must be organic. This is shown on a lot of chocolate bars where the cocoa is organic but the emulsifier, normally sunflower or soy lecithin, is not.

The Simple Acrobatic Diet at Tiandi Theater Beijing

Everyone knows the expression that we are we eat, even though most people never give any thought to it. Perhaps because people think that diets and eating healthy is a difficult thing. Better to avoid even thinking about it, not to actually have to face the fact of what people are really doing to themselves and their bodies. To such attitudes of life where no one can even survive without nutrition, it’s hard to even say much. Obviously these are just misunderstandings, one after another. So how to get people engaged in finding by themselves about food. We think that by making it a fun and interesting process you can get a lot more out of it.

One very fun excercise is to just look at people. Obviously everyone has a different body, different way of eating and of course a different outcome in health. That’s why it’s been very interesting to look at people and ask them what they are eating. Especially the question “why”, just cracks me up at times. In China, where food is suppose to be terrible.. it seems that a lot of people are fit and in healthy conditions. For example, what really astounded me was a Beijing acrobatic show, where it seems as if these people are on some kind of a super diet. The performance we went to see with our group was at the Tiandi Theater in Beijing. During the whole performance we were literally on our tiptoes, trying to grasp at the stunning achievements that the China National Acrobatic Troupe was all about.

The body structure was so flexible, and the positions that they could bend and go into was something that made an extraordinary show even without any special effects. Obviously we were in China and not every theatre could boast with abundance of financial help, which was not needed here. In fact the show was a whole lot more authentic because it didn’t try to be anything fake, although it did seem unreal at times in a very positive way!

So naturally as a dietist and someone interested in natural, organic and healthy food.. I was dying to ask these people what they ate. Luckily thanks to the tour guide that was assisting the trip, we managed to exchange a few words. Without a surprise, breakfast was very important as was waking up early to practice on a daily basis. But the diet mainly consisted of rice, vegetables and some grains. Something extremely simple, that could be considered “chail food” in the west. But it works, and why.. because nature has provided all the nutrients we need in such a simple way. And what these people lacked, was the overabundant media brainwashing of buying processed or “complicated” foods. Simply by keeping it simple, together with exercise and a healthy life in general.. the acrobats in Beijing were able to put up a show that perhaps could not be possible without.

It really makes you think how we need to be going back instead of constantly forward to a more abundant food economy. The answers are right there under our noses, but nobody cares. Until it gets fun and interesting of course, which is the dangerous moment to get hooked. Well, we were definitely hooked with acrobatics and the dazzling Tiandi Theater experience. Something that we got to experience even more on our trip. But more about that later, on our DinDins Foods China edition. Thanks for listening and good luck to the future of the troupe!

Lissie

Connecting with Food in China

We at DinDins Food, strongly belie that the connection with healthy food needs to start early. Once healthy nutrition is integrated to the life of the adolescence, such natural selections in food will become natural in adult life. In short, natural breeds more natural.. which doesn’t need to be an expensive shopping trip. Even young people, living with little as students for example will not only benefit from a healthy mind and body good for studying, sports and such.. but also it is often the more economic choice by creating everything by yourself. Many kids think that it is something hard to make food by yourself, especially with vegetables. This is nothing but a lack of knowledge that has been forgotten down the generations. People have really been sort of brain washed with the modern ways of processes foods and we want to correct that terrible mistake that keeps on repeating itself.

We found a wonderful example of how the knowlege of making food is passed down generations from China. A good friend of mine, who is working with several humanitarian movements in South of the country said that aid should be targeted in self sufficiency. And if something is self sufficient, it’s to produce and process your own food in a healthy way that’s benefitial for all. Especially in rural parts of China, it simply natural for parents to teach their children how to cook all the traditionally made recipies. It is not just extremely tasty way of living, but also an economical choice supporting local produce according to the change of seasons.

We wanted to get a closer look at the traditional ways of passing on such knowledge in the country, and set out for the trip of our lives. While China is connected to a lot of food scams, with fake produce sold off the super market shelves. It’s not all that gloomy, in fact a lot of great traditions before the times of “organics” have been well established there a long time ago. All we need to do, is to look at the history and culture of countries to find wonderful examples of rich food culture.

What better place to start our voyage than China, where the history goes as deep as it can possible get. Hold on tight for our China edition of DinDins Food. Where we discover how toddler food is something even more than organic.. by connecting with food in profound ways.

Lissie Flowers

What got us Started in Organics

Not many people know is how we got started in this business of organic toddler food. It’s an interesting story that we thought would be worthwile to share with our readers. And for those who are late on the band wagon, we have quite our production and instead are focusing on bringing awareness on issues that’s related to the all-natural way of life. Including the latest edition travel, which is in fact one of the biggest reasons that got our eyes open. Just living in the states, we never noticed that anything was wrong because everything seemed so normal. Especially in such a crowded city as New York, people are often just going about their business without much giving thought about daily actions. Which are a huge amount of activities that one performs during the day.

Anyway, a long time a go me and my friends felt we needed to distance ourselves from this daily “reality”, and get new vibes and inspiration. Ending up India was indeed a brave choice but a very rewarding one at such. It made us look at the world in a way that was never to change again. For the first times in our lives we saw proverty and people who’s food was not clean or healthy.

It’s not everyone in India of course, but we experienced firsthand how people were suffering because of bad food conditions. This made our awareness go up a notch and even after that trip, our eyes were set on injustice and wanted to find out everything that was wrong with this world.

Soon we noticed, that it was not just in foreign countries, but especially in our very home country that we thought was so safe.. that was actually suffering at least as much as any other proverty striken country. There was decease everywhere and people had the most horrible eating habbits. Worst of all, it was all promoted by the government and the corporations that supported it. Naturally we felt the need to start with our own contribution to the closest community we had. And after years of hard work, the DinDins Food company created a ripple effect which is growing to this day.

Being happy with that, we are going strong and always finding new ways to open our eyes. Which is what this blog is mostly about. Thank you for getting in touch with us and see you again soon.

Lissie Fl.

Pointing at Organic Fingers

We just think that the finger pointing should stop. While it’s good to say out loud that the food industry is terrible, and shops should think over their policy over the profit insentive.. it’s much more important to point the finger at yourself and question your own motives. With Toddler Food, we have seen so many people who just take the factor of organic into consideration out of financial necessity. Not because it’s their passion.

Just by having some sort of rools of safe and good food products, nothing is really going to change. It’s a way to move the problem, and create more solutions for those who are the least in need of them. We set out to work with people who have a similar way of thinking. But found out, that there is so much to be done that the work has to be concentrated on ourselves. Through a sort of a personal self enlightement, we can transfer the internet shopping experience to a very personal level.

It’s still a strong strength for us to do what we believe is the right thing. And until know, it has brought incredible results in the industry of all-natural. The only way is to identify yourself from the crowd, and create trust with customers.. one by one. It’s an incredible story really!

Watch out for more interesting blog posts,
Lissie Flowers

Bridging the Gap Between Organics

One of the most concerning attitudes towards healthy, nutritious food choices is the gap between the rich and the poor. While it is true, that the food industry has made processed, unhealthy food more affordable through the support of large corporations by the government. It’s adults who subject themselves to the control of these lobbyist with nothing but financial motives and a greedy stock market to abide to. All people need, is knowledge that can enable them to actually make the decisions by themselves. It is simply nature which selects a style of life that is healthy, tastes great and beneficial for the whole world. The current industry standards have nothing to do with natural, which is the very basic building block of food. Many kids are surprised to learn that food does not come from a supermarket, but it is grown in nature. This alone, is enough to sound the alarm that not everything is right in our country. But the conditioning is so strong, and so rooted to every generation that keeps on cultivating it that even a high pitch alarm is left unheard most of the time.

Therefore the concepts of healthy has been fitted into the same kind of delusional concept of money. Namely to blame, are organics which have become yet another vehicle for the food corporations to control and lead to economic prosperity amongst the few selected families. This bridge needs to be broken, because everyone has the equal right to healthy food. Especially babies, and children should have that right since they are the most vulnerable.

This right does not weight for it to be awaken, it needs to be taken by those individuals who are smart enough to study their actions in this world. Thanks to the internet we now have that possibility more than ever.. and that’s what this blog is all about!

Looking forward to an enlightened future,
Lissie Flowers