Tag Archives: Organic

Organic vs Natural

3 Jan

I came across this article that helps to explain simply what the difference is between something that is organic and something that is natural. I too have unconsciously bought into the propaganda and have (without realizing it) put organic and natural foods in the same category. This helped set me straight.

From  Living Maxwell: A Guide to Organic Food and Drink

These past few days have been heaven for college football junkies such as myself. Why?

We got to watch a ton of great bowl games and the best is yet to come — January 10th when Auburn and Oregon play for the National BCS Championship. Then, a few months later comes March Madness, the college basketball championship tournament.

Now that I got the sports plug in, let’s talk about Organic vs. Natural.

I am addressing this now because when I was watching the Rose Bowl game yesterday (TCU vs. Wisconsin), a major potato-chip manufacturer kept popping up with its “all-natural” ads. The vegetables in the ads looked pristine, the kitchen was sparkling white and the cutting board was beautiful. It was about as picturesque and healthy looking as you can imagine.

And, they kept saying their potato-chips were “all-natural”.

According to the USDA, “natural” means food that “contains no artificial ingredients or added colors and is minimally processed.” In my view, “natural” means almost nothing.


(1) There is practically no enforcement or stringent standards.

(2) “Natural” has been badly abused as a marketing technique.

(3) “Natural” can include genetically-modified foods (GMOs) and growth hormones, both of which we know are very, very unhealthy.

Most conventionally-made potato chips and snack foods are made from GMOs. Furthermore, it is very likely that the vegetables used in them have been sprayed with toxic chemicals.

If these potato chip companies said “Made from Non-GMO Ingredients” or “Organic”, then we have a very different discussion here.

When I interviewed Maria Rodale a few months ago, one of the things that she told me was that studies are showing that the general public thinks that “natural” is much healthier than “organic”. This can be attributed to the huge marketing muscle of the major food manufacturers and is a grave misunderstanding that we must work to reverse.

Don’t be fooled into believes this “natural” marketing propaganda or hype.

Organic food has very strict standards — no GMOs, no pesticides or chemicals, nothing artificial, nothing can be irradiated or grown in sewage sludge — and the certification process is rigorous. Organic food is MUCH healthier for a person and for the planet.

I look at anything that says “natural” with a very heavy dose of skepticism. “Natural” does not mean healthy to me. What it does mean to me is that it is an over-used, manipulated food marketing term and something very vague.

So, the next time some person or some advertisement says that a food product is “natural”, give it a second thought.

Delvin Farms

17 Jul

I didn’t even think it was possible, but low and behold Delvin Farms contacted us to be a part of the Woodbine Farmers’ Market. I tried to pretend that I wasn’t overjoyed with delight, but that didn’t last long. I felt like a delirious music fan all but hysterically crying saying, YES YES we would LOVE to have you. In my mind, your Farmers’ Market has arrived when you can boast that Delvin Farms attends your Market. They are 100% organic, they serve over 800 CSA’s a year, they farm 96 acres and they are a complete family operation. It gives me great pride to announce that Delvin Farms is our newest produce Farmer at the Market and you can meet them this Tuesday between 4 and 7pm.

West Wind Farms

23 May

After several emails back and forth, and meeting at the East Nashville Farmers’ Market, I made the trek out to West Wind Farms to see Ralph and Kimberlie in action. As we drove and drove and drove and drove, I was reminded of this song- “Over the river and through the woods, And straight through the barnyard gate. We seem to go extremely slow. It is so hard to wait!” It was definitely worth the wait. When we arrived at West Wind Farms is was so peaceful and secluded. There were the dairy cows grazing in the pasture, the pigs under the shade taking their afternoon nap, chickens here and there, and all the lambs quietly gathered together eathing their grass. It was exactly what you would imagine a farm to be, simple and pure with all the people and animals living in unision. The farm has to follow very strict guidelines in order to be officially organic, but I was so pleased to see that it almost seemed effortless, however I know it is not. This is what farms should be, organic or not is not the issue. Kimberlie and Ralph take such pride in their farm and honor nature and what its purpose is and allow the animals to do what they were created to do, each living off the land. It was a beautiful image, and I am thankful for people like those that work at West Wind Farms who devote their lives to this art. They are the only TN organic farm that specializes in grassfed beef, lamb, goat, pork, and poultry and will be at our local Woodbine Farmers’ Market.

Real Food Farms

21 May

How easily I forget that Nashville is surrounded by beautiful lush green rolling hills. On my drive out to Real Food Farms, I was reminded of my childhood that surrounded those hills and the innocence of living a simple country life. I drove up to the farm and was instantly struck by how calm and peaceful the land was. Next, I was able to get a tour of the carefully laid out 8 acres of cultivated land by the farmer, David Daily. David had recently injured his foot and was in a lot of pain, but happily walked around with me and showed me every crop that was being harvested, growing, planted or soon to be planted. It was just him and a younger woman, Linzi (who lives in Woodbine off McCall) who worked all 8 acres and they knew every inch by heart. As a friend told me recently, “David has a heart of gold” and I instantly picked up on that. I knew he could have probably been many things in his life with such a magnanimous personality, but he choose the tender, methodical and labor intensive job of bringing delicious, fresh food to his community. This was his passion, the earth. His mission is to grow flavorful and nutritious food with only natural and Biodynamic techniques grown free from pesticides, genetic engineering and chemical fertilizers. I am pleased to say that the produce of Real Food Farms will be sold at the Woodbine Farmers’ Market. Hooray!