We want to answer some of your most pressing questions! What is organic food? What is sustainable food? What are gluten-free, dairy-free, and soy-free diets? What is veganism? What is a raw food diet? Let's get back to the basics! Join us:
Foods that are produced using methods that do not involve modern synthetic inputs such as synthetic pesticides and chemical fertilizers, do not contain genetically modified organisms, and are not processed using irradiation, industrial solvents, or chemical food additives. To OrganicLives, organic farming maintains the integrity of the food, soil, and farmers. The food contains no preservatives, pesticides, additives or enhancers. It is more nutritious and contains higher levels of essential minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. If all farms on earth switched to organic farming practices, we would preserve the top soil and it would sequester 40% of the earth's carbon, eliminating global warming. Organic farming means sustainable farming.
Ceritifying bodies: Canadian Organic Growers, USDA, and so on.
At OrganicLives, sustainability conserves an ecological balance by avoiding depletion of natural resources. It can also mean sustainable commerce. We want to bring business back to its origins: everybody benefits. Sustainability means we aren't exploiting people or resources. To OrganicLives, sustainability encompasses the soil, the seed, diversity of plants, harvesting methods, the farmers, their families, our trading partners, our team, our packaging, our materials, and, of course, our planet.
Certifying bodies: Organic Certifications (listed above), FSC (paper products), ECO Cert (cosmetic/cleaning)
At OrganicLives, Fairly traded means giving our growers and producers value that goes beyond paying higher than market rates. Fairly traded means we are supporting the creation of required systems and infrastructure in their villages, the improvement their living conditions, and the creation of educational programs in their communities.
A dairy-free diet is a diet that does not contain milk or any dairy (milk-derived) sources such as butter, yogurt, sour cream, heavy cream, and all types of cheese. Milk is unable to be digested by the majority of people (lactose intolerant). It is a major cause of many food allergies, is high in cholesterol/fat, is a factor in diabetes and contains many known contaminants, antibiotics, hormones, pesticides, and herbicides. It is also an inefficient use of land, water, fossil fuels, and contributes to pollution via air (methane) and water (faces runoff).
A gluten-free diet is a diet that excludes foods containing gluten. Gluten is a protein found in wheat (including kamut and spelt), barley, rye, malts and triticale. Wheat is one of the top 8 allergies in North America according to the Mayo Clinic, and can be found in the most uncommon places from cakes to ketchups. Gluten, specifically, is used as a food additive in the form of a flavouring, stabilizing or thickening agent, often as "dextrin". A gluten-free diet is the only medically accepted treatment for celiac disease, the related condition dermatitis herpetiformis, and wheat allergy.
Certifying bodies: Canadian Food Inspection Agency (must have less than 20 ppm of gluten), FDA (must have less than 20 ppm of gluten), Codex Alimentarius (must have less than 20 ppm of gluten), Australian standards reserve the "gluten free" label for foods with less than 5 ppm of gluten, as this is the smallest amount currently detectable.
A soy-free diet is a diet that excludes foods containing soy beans or soy bean derivatives. Soy is of the most common food allergies in infants, young children, and adults. Fermented and processed soy is found in tofu, miso, tempeh, momodiglycerides, textured vegetable protein, soy protein isolates, and so forth. Soy foods can stimulate the growth of estrogen-dependent tumours and cause thyroid problems, due to its phytoestrogen content.
Certifying bodies: Canadian Food Inspection Agency, FDA, and others.
Veganism is the practice of abstaining from the use of animal products. Many people choose to abstain from the use of animal products for many different reasons. From issues of animal ethics, to sustainability, to health & research, the benefits of a plant-based diet is undeniable. We have many resources in our Health & Wellness Center available for you to learn about what is sustainable, ethical, and nutritious, come stop by and pick up a book or take one of our classes today!
Some unsuspecting non-vegan items are honey, beer, wine, gelatin (in most candies, or in beauty products as hydrolyzed collagen), many facial cleansers, many shampoos/conditioners, gel capsules for medicines, refried beans (contain lard), jell-o, whey protein, leather, and some soap.
Certifying Bodies: No Federal Regulation
A raw foods diet consists of unprocessed whole foods that have not been heated above 115 degrees Fahrenheit (46 degrees Celsius). "Raw foodists" know that the nutritional benefits such as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants of foods cooked above this temperature begin to break down, losing a significant amount of their value and healing power. Uncooked foods also provide living enzymes to aid in digestion. Proponents of a raw food diet believe there are many benefits to eating raw foods, including weight loss, more energy, clear skin, improved digestion and improved overall health. Many people clarify that they eat a "high raw" or a certain percentage of raw foods in their diet, such as "75% raw diet" or a "90% raw diet". Most follow also follow a vegan diet.
Certifying Bodies: No Federal Regulation