Friday, July 18, 2014

Consumer Considerations

Welcome back to another episode of Lost in the Farmers Market, this week’s topic is the same as every week; garden and sustainability stuff. Before we delve into the main topic I do have to talk briefly about safe shopping for organic and GMO-Free products .

So on this web log we often talk about what it means to be organic from the context of growing a garden but not from the perspective of what it means to buy organic at the store. Indeed there are a number of existing misconceptions about what Organic means and what genetically modified organisms (GMO) has to do in relation to the term organic. For instance, something that is GMO-free may not be organic, and something that is organic may not be GMO-free. The term organic only means that the ingredients used in the product in question were grown and processed in an organic fashion by the standards set down by either the USDA or some other organizational body. I make that distinction because the growing standards of the USDA are not nearly as stringent as those of the Organic Materials Research Institute (OMRI) or for that matter the standards of the Oregon Tithe. Just being declared organic without listing without listing whose standards you’re running under is a little like intended deception these days.

The common packaging in the supermarket doesn’t distinguish and the best protection a consumer has is to read the package carefully and then read the ingredients label to verify.  As a case in point, RW Garcia’s Big Bag of yellow Corn Tortilla Chips says it’s made of organic yellow corn and is Non-GMO project verified. When you actually read the ingredients information on the back it says the following.

Ingredients: Organic stone ground yellow corn, sunflower oil or non-organic corn oil, sea salt, water, trace of lime.

So the corn, being the main ingredient is organic, that’s good it’s hard to find GMO-free organic yellow corn these days but that part about the oil does worry me. If the non-organic corn oil is on this particular bag…is said corn also GMO-free? The only good news I can find is that this product was certified by guess who? The Oregon Tithe, who are one of the most ardent organic supporters out there so I can only hope I didn’t get the non-organic tainted bag and even if I did the oil isn’t GMO. For note I sent an Inquiry to W Garcia a bit before this post went up and am still waiting for a response. Admittedly I’m of the view that if a single ingredient in a product is tainted by GMO’s or is non-organic the entire product may as well not be certified as free of both. But pending the response from RW Garcia in this case I’m also withholding a judgment on the product. The point of all this is to remind you the reader that you should carefully scrutinize what you buy at the super market even if it says organic. You are the ultimate gatekeeper of your own health and it is your task to ensure that what you put in your body is at the quality level that you decide.

As it turns out this weekend is set to be pretty nice, with a low chance of rain moderate humidity and lots of sun. With such nice weather the farmer’s market is bound to be packed and as you regular readers out there know I’ll be down there this Saturday and the following Wednesday manning the booth with plants a-plenty. For those who don’t know about the market the Fayetteville Farmer’s Market is located in downtown Fayetteville at 325 Franklin Street in the parking lots of the Fayetteville Transportation Museum. Parking enforcement down town takes the weekend off so you can part on the street or in the municipal lots nearby without problem and shop at the market for as long as you like. As always below is Saturday’s plant list for the 19th of July.

Southward Skies: A northern guide to southern Gardening
This is the second edition of my book, which was published using data compiled from several years of test garden operations. It’s written to aid gardeners of all skill levels in successful garden methods that are targeted for the south east but had proven to be a valued resource for gardens across the eastern coast. It’s certainly a good gift for that gardener you know or for yourself if you’d like to have a reliable field guide. The book costs $25.00 and we do take checks for this item, you can even have it signed.

On Sale: (3x for 5.00)
1x Pepper, Jalapeno, 3.5” pot ($2.00)
2x Pepper, Habenero, 3.5” pot ($2.00)
2x Pepper, Sweet Banana , 3.5” pot ($2.00)
4x Pepper, Carolina Wonder, 3.5” pot ($2.00)
1x Tomato, Brown Berry, 3.5” pot ($2.00)
2x Tomato, Martino’s Roma, 3.5” pot ($2.00)
1x Tomato, Rainbow Cherry Mix, 3.5” pot ($2.00)
1x Tomato, Red & Yellow Currant, 3.5” pot ($2.00)
1x Tomato, Reisotomate, 3.5” pot ($2.00)
3x Eggplant, Casper , 3.5” pot ($2.00)
2x Eggplant, Louisiana Long Green, 3.5” pot ($2.00)

3x Cucumber, Armenian, 3.5” pot ($3.00)
3x Cucumber, Poona Kheera, 3.5” pot ($3.00)
1x Pepper, Lemon Drop, 3.5” pot ($3.00)

3x Horned Melon, 3.5” pot ($3.00)
3x Vine Peaches, 3.5” pot ($3.00)

3x Basil, Sweet, 3.5” pot ($3.00)
1x Basil, Blue African, , 3.5” pot ($3.00)
3x Basil, Thai, 3.5” pot ($3.00)
3x Basil, Cinnamon, 3.5” pot ($3.00)
2x Basil, Red Rubin, 3.5” pot ($3.00)
4x Artemesia, 3.5” pot ($3.00)
1x Fennel, Black, 7” pot ($5.00)
4x Lavender, Hidcote, 3.5” pot ($3.00)
3x Oregano, 3.5” pot ($3.00)
4x Rosemary, 3.5” pot ($3.00)
1x Sage, 3.5” pot ($3.00)
2x Thyme, 3.5” pot ($3.00)

1x Passion Vine, 3.5” pot ($3.00)
4x Nicotina, Flowering Tobacco, 3.5” pot ($3.00)
4x Rudbeckia, Irish Eyes, 3.5” pot ($3.00)
4x Rudbeckia, Golden, 3.5” pot ($3.00)

Coming Soon:
Muscadine, Copper
Red Egyptian Onions

With the plant list posted and the topics discussed this brings to a close another episode of LITFM. If you have any questions about our content feel free to post a message via this blog or stop by the booth at the farmers market.

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