Canadian Organic Growers Conference

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Knowing where your food comes from beets the hell out of not knowing.  Excuse the pun – I could not resist.  I was fortunate enough to attend the Canadian Organic Growers Toronto Chapter annual conference – Organic the Way Forward. Our Food Our Choice.  It was an impressionable day of hearing leaders in the organic industry speak, connecting with like-minded individuals and reflecting.  Some information I learned comforted me in that my family has made an important decision to go organic and other information I learned frankly scared the hell out of me. Here are five key messages I took away from the conference …

Soil… it’s important.  It’s time for us to re-evaluate our assumptions about agriculture.  Documentary film maker Deborah Koons Garcia shared her insights and passion on the topic of soil for the keynote address.  Her latest film  a Symphony of the Soil was screened the night before the conference. Everyone who attended the screening agreed the film carries an important and urgent message. Deborah also has another film entitled The Future of Food which many at the conference were saying was a must view.

We need more farmers.  75% of Ontario farmers don’t have a succession plan – they have nobody to take over their farms.  That’s pretty scary folks.  After hearing Jess Sosnicki speak about her family’s organic farm and working the land I felt nothing but pride for Jess and Bob and their efforts.  Without (organic) farmers – who will grow our food?

GMO = OMG.  If our food has been genetically modified we have a right to know.  Many organizations and individuals have been tirelessly working to help get Prop 37 passed in California.  Maria Emmer-Aanes from Canadian company Nature’s Path spoke on their company’s focus to fight for the cause.  What they and Prop 37 supporters are fighting for is clear GMO labelling.  Nature’s Path is a brand I can get behind – they are walking the talk.  And after hearing about Gilles-Eirc Seralini’s lab research on GMOs, trust me – you want to have a choice in what you are buying and putting into your body.

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The power of the purse can help tilt the scales.  Many people know instinctively organic food is better for our health. Listen to your instincts.  Healthy food is not hippy food it’s what’s right for our health and the land.  What’s required to make the change from processed food is the conviction to act differently when making our food choices.  What we choose to spend our money on will help shape the future.  What we buy will help determine what gets grown.  Let’s get back to nature and put our money where our mouths are – literally.  Organic food can be done on a reasonable budget.  I know because I’m doing it.

The body can heal with the right foods.  Dr. Michelle Perro and Julie Daniluk rocked my world.  3 years ago when our oldest daughter was in a severe medical and psychological state I would have given everything I owned to have exposure to someone like Dr. Perro.  Her integrative medical approach and passion for healing – however it needs to be done – is  awe-inspiring.  Oh and Julie! As far as I’m concerned Julie Daniluk is one of the rock stars of the nutrition world.  The knowledge Julie was able to expound in 20 minutes was as delightful as it was insightful.  Julie is right up there with Kris Carr for spreading the word on how what we eat has everything to do with our health.

I’m not an organic expert – even though that’s my Twitter handle.  What I am is a continual learner – I know a little about organics but I care a lot.  Events like the COG annual conference fuels me to learn even more and share with you.

Organically yours,
Anita (@OrganicExpert)

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