We got our second box of produce today from our CSA, Helsing Farms. We get one box of fresh picked produce every Tuesday from now until the season ends in October. It is still pretty slim pickings. This week we got one of each: arugula, rainbow chard, green butter head lettuce, chive, cilantro, and fresh garlic.
As Helsing said in their newsletter last week, most plants grow more in 1 sunny day than they do during a week of rain, so in the variableness of the Pacific Northwest Spring weather, there is no way of telling how abundant the first few boxes of product will be.
To give you an idea of how bad our spring has been: by this time last year we had 38 days of temperatures over 70 degrees, this year we have had only 3! Helsing Farm notes, The weather has conspired to both slow how quickly the plants are taking up nutrients and growing, allowing mold, flea beetles and symphylan to prosper and prevented us from hitting some of our planting dates [symphylans are soil-dwelling centipede-like creatures that feed on plant roots and can cause extensive crop damage]. Your scanty CSA box reflects the results of this evil trifecta. But that is farming for you, and the joys and sorrows of eating the real food of the land. Is it not better though than eating food that is manipulated genetically, sprayed with chemicals, and harvested while it is green so it can be transported half way across the world? Since it is the beginning of summer, we still have high hopes for better weather to come, and are committed to the farming community around us, no matter how large or small the bounty of crops are each year.
Have you found your local CSA or Farmer’s Market? To encourage our local, organic, smaller farmers, sign up and support the movement to create and bring about real food that nourishes us and greens our environment. It is a partnership that is worth all of our efforts!
Here’s our little condo garden that I am going to harvest some of to create a salad for our dinner guests this evening:
The birth of our newest product—Organic Chlorella
The above is very much what we are up against in the creation of our Therapeutic Foods Line. The experience of sourcing the raw materials is of course dependent on a good or a bad year of weather and crops. We love our relationships with farmers—together we observe seasons, weather patterns and growing conditions (soil, water, nutrients) in different parts of the world. In addition, we must assure that each entity in the product manufacturing chain fulfills their mandate of excellence. Relationships are the key to this working.
Relationships with farmers, manufacturing experts and scientist from all over the world is how we have developed our therapeutic foods line and how we discovered our newest therapeutic food—Organic Chlorella! I am excited to share this exceptional primal product that has brought healing and health to our fellow neighbors in the Pacific Rim.
As you know, we are not fast to come out with a new product as it takes much time for us to do the due diligence to find the right farmers etc. to collaborate with—our new organic chlorella serves as a perfect example. Chlorella is a strong therapeutic food, and although in this writing I won’t make the case for the medical benefits of chlorella, (but will do so in our Chlorella monograph and in next week’s Forward Thinking), I will focus on what makes our organic Chlorella exceptionally special: the way it is farmed. The focus is given to environmental quality, social equity, and sustainable economy—the three tenants of Bioimmersion’s mission and raison d’être.
Independent Certification is critical in our verification of the purity and potency of a therapeutic food. Our chlorella’s quality, purity, organic status, and ingredients amounts are of course very important, but one other certification is a must for us— the fair trade and equitable treatment of the farm workers. The latter is a relatively new international designation and is critically essential towards assuring the fair treatment of peasant workers all over the world. Remember La Via Campensina? Do check it out again as it is the heart and soul of the international farming community.
To these ends our new Organic Chlorella is covered under the CERES Certification of Environmental Standards, the NOP Certificate of Organic Operation under the US National Organic Standard and the Fair For Life Certification by IMO. Let’s look briefly at each of these agencies:
The Institute for Marketecology (IMO) is an international certification and inspection agency founded in Switzerland in 1990. From the very beginning IMO has worked internationally. Their philosophy has always been to collaborate with local people all around the world. Forming co-ventures has allowed IMO to open new offices with local individuals or organizations, giving support to the emergence of local certification bodies and accreditation—a healthy way to bring together the international nature of farming of today’s world with the local work, supervision, and independence. The developing idea of creating an organized structure for collaboration and exchange among all IMO offices, inspectors and representatives spread all over the world in a relatively short time frame. We owe our thanks to IMO for certifying our Chlorella and cementing the collaboration of farming and certification between USA, Asia, and Switzerland.
The Institute for Marketecology (IMO) is one of the first and most renowned international agencies for inspection, certification and quality assurance of eco-friendly products. IMO credentials:
Dr. Rainer Bachi was the founder and director of IMO. His background speaks volumes to what his legacy in IMO means to our world. Born in Zurich in 1948, Dr. Bachi grew up in an anthroposophical home where he soon came into contact with the arts, with nature, and matters concerning health. In 1974 he graduated in agricultural sciences at the ETH Zurich (The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology). His passion was biodynamic agriculture and he completed his doctorate in this technology. He was a leader in Rudolf Steiner’s ashing method and biodynamic farming. Biodynamic agriculture and the work of Rudolf Steiner are legendary when it comes to manifesting the principles of organic farming and living—as held by organic farming purists.
As you can see from the above accreditation the countries for whom IMO is the official organic certifier represent the gold standard for organic principles—Switzerland, Germany, Japan, India, Turkey, Quebec and the USA (to list a few).
Almost four years ago, in September 2006, a new Social and Fair Trade Program was launched by the Swiss Bio-Foundation, in cooperation with the IMO: Fair For Life. The purpose was to improve the lives and livelihoods of marginalized producers on all continents, in all societies, and in all industries where such marginalization occurs. They not only focus on the wellbeing of human beings, but also give meaningful consideration for the lives of animals and plants, and the ecological health of their habitats. Life is upheld and cherished in all of its dimensions and interactions.
In regards to our new Therapeutic Foods Organic Chlorella, it is the first chlorella product to be certified under the Social and Fair Trade Program. It is Certified Organic by IMO. It is also certified organic and as an environmentally friendly, sustainable farming operation by CERES—a German based international organization that offers certification according to organic standards and standards of environmentally friendly Good Agricultural Practices.
It is for these reasons and for the product itself—whose features, benefits, and long history we will cover in next week’s newsletter, that we have brought Organic Chlorella into our fold.
Here is a great combination for a healthy day: One capsule of High ORAC Synbiotic Formula + one teaspoon of Number 7 Systemic Booster daily. What do you get? A fruit bowl of wild blueberry extract, wild bilberry extract, grape and grapeseed extract, raspberry and raspberry seed extract, whole tart cherry, cranberry whole and extract, whole prune, pomegranate whole and extract and whole pineapple. A collection of good bugs (probiotics) from America and Bulgaria—L. acidophilus, B. longum, L. casei, L. helveticus, S. thermaphilus + metabolites from L. bulgaricus and B. infantis……not to mention our fructo borate for bone health, blood sugar lowering components and more. Check it out and try it for a month.
The Last Quiz Answer: Another amazing photo from the National Geographic 2009 Best Photo Collection.