Organic Milk

Why Make Organic Milk with Your Soymilk Maker?

About Organic Milk

Every day, people are growing more concerned about what they are putting into their bodies and into the environment, and the option of organic milk is becoming more attractive to many, especially organic soymilk. In fact, the demand for organics is increasing 10-15% annually worldwide. But what does organic farming mean and how does it work? And what are the benefits of choosing organic?

Definition

Organic soybeans are grown without chemical pesticides, fungicides, and fertilizers. The use of water containing sewage sludge is prohibited, and some organic farmers do not plant genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) either.

Fertilization

Organic farmers use organic, or “once living,” matter to fertilize their crops, because soil that is high in organic matter retains water better and prevents soil erosion. The most commonly used fertilizers are compost and manure, and they are often produced on the farm itself. By using locally produced compost and manure, the farm becomes more self-sufficient, reduces waste, and keeps resources on the farm.

Pest Control

Controlling pests without the use of chemical pesticides is a major challenge on an organic farm. A common approach is to increase the population of beneficial insects whose larvae eat the eggs of pests. To achieve this, “host crops” that attract beneficial insects are planted on the borders of the field. These borders also act as a “trap crop” for pests, an alternative food supply that distracts them from the saleable crops.

Weed Control

Instead of using chemical herbicides, organic farms do all weeding by hand, which is very labor-intensive. Because of this, farmers try to limit the germination of weeds. For example, when a field is left fallow, a cover crop is planted and then tilled under once it germinates. This decreases the amount of soil and nutrients available to weeds, and any weeds that do germinate are tilled under before they mature and propagate. Gradually over a couple of years, weed populations are decreased and the quality of the soil in increased by the addition of organic matter.

Disease Control

Healthy soil resists pests and disease, and in turn produces disease resistant crops. Healthy soil is alive with beneficial bacteria, microbes, and fungi. These organisms keep harmful bacteria and fungi in check, much like the white blood cells do in our bodies. Another way to ensure that crops are less prone to disease is through diligent crop rotation. By not planting the same crop in the same field year after year, the build-up of pests and diseases that affect a particular crop is discouraged. Crop rotation also encourages soil regeneration and prevents nutrient depletion.

So Why Choose Organic Milk?

Organic milks are pesticide free and generally non-GMO. Conventional pesticides have been linked to diseases such as asthma, cancer, infertility, birth defects, neurological disorders, and hormonal disruptions. The long-term health effects of genetically modified organisms have not yet been studied, and are a cause of concern for many. Drinking organic soymilk reduces you exposure to these potentially harmful substances.

Other Benefits of Choosing Organic Milks Include

  1. Water supply is conserved.
  2. Soil quality is improved.
  3. Rural communities are supported.
  4. Agricultural workers are protected.
  5. Biodiversity is encouraged.

Sources

  • “What is Organic?” by Simone Gabbay, Canada’s Healthy Living Guide, May 2003
  • “Organic Farming” by Natural Selection Foods, www.nsfoods.com
  • “Choosing Organic Food”, “The Organic Journey: From the Farm to You”, “Less Pesticides and Chemical Fertilizers”,
  • “Buying Organic: Considering the Real Costs”, “Ten Good Reasons to Buy Organic”, and “Questions and Answers About
  • Organics” from The O’Mama Report, Organic Trade Association, www.theorganicreport.com

Organic vs. Non-Organic Produce

Become a more discerning produce shopper. Chemicals from produce grown with pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers accumulate in our bodies, resulting in lowered mental and physical performance, immune deficiency, sexual dysfunction and disease. Studies on health effects have been completed for less than 100 of over 650 common agricultural chemicals. Eight of the most common are known to cause cancer in laboratory animals; 20 have been found to cause neurological damage. An estimated 138,000 cases of pesticide poisoning are reported annually to US Poison Control Centers.

The FDA studied hundreds of samples of store produce and found over 30 types of pesticides and herbicides on vegetables and fruit. Fifty to seventy-five percent of produce (and only three percent of organic produce) was found to have detectable residues that did not wash off with water.1 Certified organic produce must comply with strict growing, harvesting, production and storage standards to ensure there is no pesticide, herbicide or fertilizer contamination. Organic produce is harvested ripe, at its nutritional peak, and cannot be genetically modified.