How organic gardening and farming helps water quality, best environment for bees, and what you can do to help the Earth

Hey Joyful Ones, 

Here’s the last in this series of videos with organic agriculture and organic certifications expert Ryan Merck.

Here’s a quick summary of what’s in the video PLUS some information that we covered off-camera.

  • There are many kinds of bees and other wildlife (not just honeybees) that depend on native plants.
  • As individuals and businesses, we can leave some land “as is,” letting weeds and wildflowers grow.
  • When we plan landscaping, we can include native plants.
  • Gardeners can choose to use organic fertilizers such as manure and compost. 
  • Fertilizers like 10-10-10 and Miracle-Gro are highly soluble and penetrate into groundwater and bodies of water.

Getting informed through this visit with Ryan motivated me to take action! I want to make choices that are good for my health and good for our planet.

Here are some action steps you can take:

See the rest of the interview here to learn more:
What you need to know about Organic Food
Is it expensive to get the organic certification?
All About Chickens and Eggs
#1 priority for organic food 

ABCs of GMOs – what you need to know now

I’m so grateful to Ryan Merck for sharing his knowledge with us! 

Watch the video and review the summary below of what you need to know about GMOs (also called Genetically Modified Organisms or GE/Genetically Engineered Organisms).

It’s a complex issue! The technology behind genetic engineering has the potential to create very beneficial outcomes.

Humans have been selecting and hybridizing crops for a long time to grow crops with the best attributes.

Genetic engineering is different because it involves gene splicing, multiplication, insertion and other technologies that can only be done in a laboratory. Genetic engineering has a legal federal definition.

A large percentage of genetically modified organisms are plants that are designed to withstand the application of synthetic herbicides. This contributes not only to a large percentage of food items which are sprayed with chemicals, but also to a shift in our ecosystems. Pests and bugs can also adapt to become more pesticide-resistant, which leads to the need for more pesticides.

“Genetic drift” refers to the danger of genetically engineered seeds and pollen drifting in air to other farms. Pine trees are the world’s largest GMO-crop, and the one that led to the development of a “terminator gene,” which means the plant seeds cannot be resown, nor can they drift and sow themselves naturally. Not all GMO crops have terminator genes.

The US has equivalency agreements with some countries. If a product on the shelf in the US is labeled organic, even if it comes from a country that is not on our equivalency list, it has been approved by the USDA.

Products labeled USDA Organic and Non-GMO Project are not genetically engineered. The USDA label also ensures that the farm has completed an organic system plan, to protect and improve neighboring woodlands, wetlands, and wildlife.

See the rest of the interview here to learn more:
What you need to know about Organic Food
All About Chickens and Eggs
#1 priority for organic food 

Here’s a TIME Magazine article which shows you the most common genetically modified foods. (Ahem, do you need one more reason to stop eating sugar?)

Would you like to make food choices that are good for your body AND good for the planet? Check out the six week program Five Star Eating! I‘d love to help you learn more about food and start making changes for the better.

#1 priority for organic food

Want to know the #1 priority for buying organic? Find out from Ryan Merck, an expert in organic agriculture and organic certifications.

In this video, Ryan explains:

  • that “bioaccumulation” means anything that an animal eats, or is exposed to, is stored in its tissues;
  • how dairy is the most condensed form of bioaccumulation;
  • how specific purchasing choices impact not only our health, but the health of the whole ecosystem;
  • and that’s why if he has to choose one item above all else on which to prioritize his spending, he purchases the highest quality dairy possible.

Ryan also covers an easy way to choose organic produce…simply pay attention to the area of the plant that would be sprayed with chemicals. If you’re eating that part, prioritize organic. For example, bananas and avocados have thick skins, and you don’t eat them. These are safer to buy conventional. Strawberries are porous and are sprayed directly on the fruit so buy organic when you can.

If you’ve recently joined Choose Joyful Health community, and you missed Parts 1 and 2 of the interview, here they are:

What you really need to know about organic food
Buying the best chicken and eggs

Stay tuned, we have lots more great Q&A with Ryan coming soon…

Let me know what other questions you have by commenting below or in the Choose Joyful Health Facebook group.

Is it expensive for farms to get the organic certification?

Maybe you’ve heard – like me – that it’s hard and expensive for farms to get the organic certification. Ryan Merck, our local expert in organic agriculture and organic certifications, answers…

If you’ve recently joined Choose Joyful Health community, and you missed the other sections of the interview, here they are:

What you really need to know about organic food
Buying the best chicken and eggs
The #1 priority when spending money on organic

Stay tuned, we have lots more great Q&A with Ryan coming soon…

Let me know what other questions you have by commenting below or in the Choose Joyful Health Facebook group.

Quick tool to get centered and boost brain function

It’s a full, busy life. Here’s a quick tool to help you slow down, breathe, be present, and go through the rest of your day from a calm, stable place. This will help you make good choices, and have the energy to do what’s important to you. 

From a magazine called Mindfulness, in an article from September 7, 2017research shows that 25 minutes of mindful yoga or meditation boosts brain function. Join me in a short video to do it!

We’ll use the ABC method of mindfulness which is:

A = Awareness
B= Breath
C= Conscious Choice