At Rainbow, we carry only certified organic produce. Our selection is in fact one of the largest in the city, and we regularly boast a wide range of locally-grown organic fruits and vegetables. From mouth-watering berries to sweet and juicy carrots, our produce section is sure to satisfy. On top of promoting organically-grown products, our focus is on the local, and we are very proud to work with and support farmers throughout the Ottawa area.
SOME FACTS ABOUT ORGANIC FARMING IN NORTH AMERICA
- Organic refers to a process, not a product. Organic food production is all about the way a food or fiber is grown and processed. It is based on a system of farming that aims to be more environmentally-sustainable, and which helps to reduce the amount of harmful chemical toxins released into our environment. An organic cotton shirt, for instance, is not an “organic shirt”, but rather a shirt made by cotton and other ingredients which are grown organically.
- The focus is on the environment. The primary purpose of organic production is to create food systems which are sustainable and exist in harmony with the natural environment.
- Organic means no GMOs. Part of the process of organic certification requires that items not be genetically modified. This means that when you buy something that is certified organic, you’re automatically limiting your exposure to genetically-modified organisms.
- Organic means no synthetic chemicals and no irradiation. This means your food will be free of pesticides, fertilizers, hormones, and anti-biotics.
- Synthetic processing items are also not allowed. This includes food additives, such as artificial colours, sulphites, nitrates, and nitrites.
- Organic agriculture is practiced in 160 countries by over 1.8 million farmers on 37 million hectares of land. Yay!!!
- Between 1992 and 2009, the number of certified organic farms in Canada increased from slightly over 1000 to almost 4000. Double yay!!!
- Ontario currently possesses the third largest amount of organic farms by province, after Saskatchewan and Quebec.
- In Canada, organic standards are governed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), which delegates the certification process to a variety of third-party inspection bodies. Canada’s current national organic standards were put in place between 2006 and 2009, and apply to both products grown in Canada and also those that are imported into Canada from other countries. These standards have legal status via the Organic Products Regulations Act of 2009.
- Certification is provided through a variety of independent bodies. For a comprehensive list, check out the CFIA’s website. (The information above comes from the report “The Canadian Organic Sector,” prepared jointly by the Canadian Organic Trade Association and Canadian Organic Growers. To access the full report, click here.
DID YOU KNOW?
The amount of pesticides required in conventional farming varies from plant to plant. To help consumers learn which produce items are most important to buy organic, the Environmental Working Group has created the “Dirty Dozen,” a list which outlines the most contaminated conventional produce items.
The Dirty Dozen
- Sweet Bell Peppers