Have you ever stopped to think about what you eat and where it’s from?
According to an annual study by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), approximately 70% of fresh produce sold in the US contains pesticide residues, even after washing.
Want them in your food?
Neither do we.
They’re not the best thing for the environment either...and we need to think seriously about synthetic fertilisers, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and growth enhancers as well.
In this week’s blog post, we’ll discuss what organic really means and why we choose to use 100% organic flour.
what does it mean to be a bakery that uses organic flour?
It means that we’re committed to stocking and using organic flour to make our sourdough and other baked goods. We only ever use produce that’s kind to people and the planet because BReD bakery values sustainability and quality.
Organic is a system of farming and food production that seeks to exclude all harmful man-made chemicals and genetic alterations. Instead, natural solutions are used whenever possible to support plant growth while maintaining healthy soils and promoting a sustainable environment.
In other words, an organic system does not use:
Why we choose to use organic flour
By living and working intuitively with the ecosystem we live in, we can reduce our impact to a minimum. We believe that the way we farm and eat can make a huge difference.
At BReD, we want to demonstrate how easy it is to adopt an ‘agroecological’ (and vegan) diet; our humble bakery in Whistler hopes to inspire and influence others to choose organic across the world.
Here are some of the main reasons we’ve chosen to use organic flour:
1. NO SYNTHETIC PESTICIDES ARE USED TO GROW ORGANIC PRODUCE
Long-term exposure to commonly used man-made pesticides (e.g. glyphosate) has been linked to cancer, kidney and liver toxicity, hormone disruption, and reproductive issues. Luckily, research has shown that by switching to an organic diet, we can dramatically reduce levels of pesticide in our blood and urine.
According to the World Health Organisation, there are an estimated 3 million cases of pesticide poisoning each year and approximately 220,000 deaths, the majority of which occur in developing countries.
And it’s not just our bodies (not to mention the bodies of farm labourers) we should be worried about; the entire ecosystem is thrown off balance thanks to pesticides.
Herbicides, rodenticides, insecticides, and fungicides are routinely used to kill “pests” but also have a knock-on effect further up the food chain. Carnivores at the top can experience high levels of toxins, known as bioamplification. Aquatic life is also negatively affected thanks to chemical run-offs through water systems.
Plant species and microbes are also at risk of being thrown off balance, resulting in increased susceptibility to disease and natural disasters.
Needless to say, by choosing baked goods made with organic flour, you are saying NO to the use of these dangerous toxins in our food system.
2. ORGANIC FOOD IS GROWN WITHOUT CHEMICAL FERTILISER
Artificial fertilisers are made from things like petrol or natural gas. Not only do these use a lot of energy to produce (not good for climate change), but they’re also a major contributor to soil degradation and ocean dead zones.
The aggressive cycling of man-made fertilisers provides short-term benefits of faster yields but quickly builds a reliance. Eventually, they have a negative impact on soil structure and water/nutrient retention, leading to increased soil erosion, higher levels of water usage, and chemical run-off.
Saving Our Soils estimate that the equivalent of 30 football fields of fertile soil is lost every minute!
As we mentioned above, the widespread use of fertilisers also contributes to dead zones. Chemical run-offs increase the levels of nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen in the ocean, a process known as eutrophication. Subsequent growth of sea plants and algae leads to an increase in organic matter decomposing and using up the oxygen, suffocating aquatic life.
Dead zones are reversible. When farmers couldn’t afford to keep using fertilisers in Eastern Europe between 1991 and 2001, the nutrient levels entering the Black Sea dropped significantly and, what was once the largest dead zone in the world, almost disappeared.
By choosing baked goods made from organic flour, you can help reverse the reach of these dead zones and promote a healthy sea and planet.
3. ORGANIC PRODUCE IS NOT GENETICALLY MODIFIED (NO GMOS)
For example, produce that has been genetically modified to induce resistance to herbicides allows farmers to spray their crops with more weed killers. Numerousstudies have shown that this increased use has also led to genetic resistance in the weeds surrounding the crops. In turn, farmers spray their crops with even more herbicide and...well, you’ve already read why that’s bad.
Choose the health of people and the planet
Of course, there are many other reasons why we choose to use organic flour in our bakery but ultimately, we endeavour to sell organic food and products wherever possible because we know it’s the right thing to do; both for the sake of people and the planet on which we so desperately depend.