Have you noticed the comeback of tie-dye? We shouldn’t be surprised. As far back as the Bible, we learned that Joseph had a coat of many colors.
Humans have a history of extracting organic dyes from leaves, bark, berries or flowers, insects and sea snails, and more. These colors were added to fiber, which was then woven into cloth. At issue was how to protect the color from fading.
In 1856, an 18-year-old chemist discovered a synthetic aniline purple dye while seeking to develop synthetic anti-malarial quinine. It resulted in a fashion to fade. In the early 20th century, sun-resistant dyes were created. The downside is that synthetic polymers contribute to global water pollution. The harmful chemicals are ingested by fish and wildlife and ultimately affect humans.
Today, we know that natural organic dyes are safer and kinder to the environment and all living creatures. You can find a source of organic dyes in your own garden. For example, marigolds, calendula, black-eyed-susans, sunflowers and onion skins can yield yellow and orange dyes. Elderberries, blackberries and purple basil give us pinks and lavenders. Black beans can be soaked in water overnight for their juice/dye. Japanese indigo and hollyhock yield shades of blue. You might use red cabbage for purples. There are many choices.
It is important to note that natural fabrics like cotton, wool, linen and muslin will hold your dye. Synthetic fabrics will most likely fade. Before you begin, you might gather gloves, old clothes, safety goggles, a dust mask, an apron and closed-toe shoes. Don’t be scared off. This is recommended in anticipation of splashing.
Here are the basics: You can prepare your fabric with a mordant to help the dye to adhere. Alum is an example, and you will find it in the spice aisle of the grocery store. Place one or two teaspoons into a large stainless-steel pot of water and add your fabric. Bring to a boil and then simmer for an hour. Rinse in warm water.
Meanwhile, to prepare the dye bath, add the color plant source to a large stainless-steel pot of water and bring to a boil. Simmer for an hour or longer, depending on the depth of color you prefer. Strain the pot and submerge the fabric into the dye bath to simmer, allowing room for movement, for at least an hour.
Allow the fabric to cool and then rinse and dry. Avoid direct exposure to the sun. You should know that colors may vary based upon many factors, but do persevere and you will find your favorites.
Imagine knitting with wools of blended nontoxic color or gifting linen napkins or cotton clothing you have created with your own organic dyes from your own garden. How rewarding is that!
Natural organic dyes are safer and kinder to the environment and all living creatures
Source: Mercury News
Soil Association highlights growing ecological concerns of UK consumers, urging retailers to promote the connection between organics and sustainability
According to the latest data from NielsenIQ, released at last week’s Soil Association Certification Trade Conference, the organic market in the UK grew by 6.5 per cent in the year to 25 September.
This contrasts with non-organic food sales, which have slowed significantly since the peak experienced during lockdown.
“The trend for more sustainable and healthier organic foods, which rocketed during the pandemic has persisted and now the supermarkets are also enjoying a surge in demand for organic,” the Soil Association stated.
“Online organic sales have continued their strong growth up 33 per cent, while supermarkets, which accounted for 13 per ent of total sales of organics two years ago before the pandemic, have seen their share of total organic sales rise to 22 per cent.”
Clare McDermott, Soil Association Certification’s business development director, commented: “Organic sales have shown phenomenal resilience after the unprecedented growth they saw in 2020 at 12.6 per cent. Despite a significant slowing of retail sales overall, the organic market has maintained its strong performance with growth at 6.5 per cent in the year to September. Post lockdown there has been the expected shift back to hospitality with non-organic food sales stalling as consumers look to eat out and stay out.”
The main reasons given by consumers for buying organic – that they are pesticide-free, better for the environment and perceived to be of better quality – have all reportedly increased in importance for shoppers.
"Consumers are now willing to spend more on organic food in supermarkets and they are demanding ever greater choices and variety across most categories," the Soil Association stated.
Covid-19 and the climate emergency have also increased consumers' focus on sustainability. Findings from Organic Shopper Research 2021 showed that 71 per cent of respondents have become more concerned about the environment.
The Soil Association called on retailers to help consumers make the connection between sustainability and organic products in order to drive sales.
It also identified three big opportunities to grow organic sales: the widening assortment from online retailers, different pack sizes increasing purchase frequency and greater choice across organic categories boosting overall spend.
“After the challenging couple of years we have all had to endure, the organic market has proved that it is robust and that today’s consumers are demanding more varied ranges of sustainable products across all categories which offer them significant benefits above non-organic alternatives,” said McDermott.
“The latest surge in organic sales proves that the British public want food produced with more, not less, care for the environment and animal welfare,” she added. “Insights show that shoppers are searching out higher welfare products that are produced with the environment in mind and want to support British farmers. We should be looking to deliver more of the benefits that agroecological farming, like organic, can provide for wildlife, soils, people and climate.”
Key findings from Organic Shopper Research 2021:
• 79 per cent say they are increasingly worried about the natural world and our impact on it
• 81 per cent are worried about excess packaging and waste materials
• 86 per cent would like their food to be produced in a more natural way without excess processing and chemicals
• 84 per cent say trust in food manufacturers and retailers is really important to them
• 77 per cent say they want to make more sustainable choices in the products they buy
• 71 per cent want to make more ethical choices in the products they buy
Main reasons for buying organic – that they are pesticide-free, better for the environment and perceived to be of better quality
FOS Squared introduction and commenting
Organic food producers and farmers are in serious trouble. Their depedence on the organic seeds continues on the same way as their depedence on pesticides and in US on the carcinogenic GMO crops as Bayer (which bought Monsanto) enters the market. World food supply enters a global tragedy period.
Organic Food Is Finally Big Food, Large Enough Monsanto Got Into It
Organic food is a $120 billion industry, and while that's a tiny fraction of regular food it is large enough that companies like Chipotle and General Mills have tried to gain traction.
But a large seed company? That is new. Bayer, secretly now Monsanto (as anti-science activists love to claim in their conspiracy tales), is rolling out organic-certified seeds.
This is not as difficult as it sounds. To be certified organic, you only have to not use newer pesticides or genetic modification, anyone who claims they use no pesticides or genetic engineering thinks you are gullible. So GMOs can't be organic, for example, but over 2,000 products have been created using the predecessor of GMOs, Mutagenesis, and all of them can be considered organic even though they were mutated using chemical baths and radiation. You can create huge amounts of nitrogen run-off using older copper sulfate pesticides and be organic, you just can't use safe neonicotinoids.
Organic industry trade group have done a terrific job. First, they got their lobbyists and trade reps on a panel inside USDA that defines what "organic" means and keeps them exempted from USDA standards. So the dozens and dozens and dozens of exemptions for synthetic products or additives while still calling yourself organic has led to a lot of products being labeled organic. Non-GMO product has over 60,000 such products even when there is no GMO version.
With such a large market in places like the US and Europe, it was only a matter of time before a large company wanted a piece of that pie, and Bayer is getting in. Starting next year you can buy organically produced seeds for tomato, sweet pepper and cucumber. But don't worry, those won't say Monsanto, they will be under the Seminis and De Ruiter brands.
Source: Science 2.0
Extrait d'article en Français
Les producteurs d'aliments biologiques et les agriculteurs sont en grande difficulté. Leur dépendance vis-à-vis des semences biologiques se poursuit de la même manière que leur dépendance vis-à-vis des pesticides et aux États-Unis vis-à-vis des cultures OGM cancérigènes lorsque Bayer (qui a acheté Monsanto) entre sur le marché. L'approvisionnement alimentaire mondial entre dans une période de tragédie mondiale.
When making comparisons at the grocery store between a gallon of conventional milk and a container of organic milk, you might notice that the “best by” dates are vastly different.
Why does organic milk last longer? Is there something added to it that prevents it from going bad, something in regular milk that makes it sour more quickly or does it have something to do with shipping?
Comparing organic and regular milk (and looking at shelf-stable milk) can shed light on these different types of milk and help you decide which is best for your family.
What is Organic milk?
The difference between organic milk and conventional milk is primarily in the way dairy farmers raise, feed and treat the cows that produce the milk. In the U.S., milk can only be labeled with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Organic seal if the farm where it is produced complies with this set of regulations:
Why Does Organic Milk Last Longer?
There is one other difference between regular and organic milk, and this distinction answers the question, “Why does organic milk last longer?” This difference is in the way that milk is pasteurised.
According to the Dairy Alliance, dairies pasteurise conventional milk using a standard method, heating the milk to approximately 71.1C for at least 15 seconds. However, they use ultra-high temperature (UHT) processing for organic milk, heating the milk to 137.8 C for 2 to 5 seconds. This method kills more bacteria, resulting in a longer shelf life.
Part of the reason organic dairies use this method is that antibiotics are not used in the production of organic milk.
(Addition by Full of Soil and Sun: Antiobiotics reduce the number of good bacteria and therefore lower number of bacteria will be reduced and in turn lower temperatures will be used. But antiobiotics are left in the conventional milk and they are considered as contaminants of the milk which is bad for our health)
But the other purpose is to provide more time to distribute the milk to retailers since there are fewer organic dairy farms across the U.S. By using UHT processing, producers can ensure that the products will reach store shelves without spoiling.
The downside of UHT processing is that it can affect the taste and consistency of the milk. For example, the milk might have a “cooked” flavor that is less rich and full-bodied than conventional milk is. And because the process burns some of the natural sugars in the milk, it can taste sweeter, which some milk drinkers find off-putting.
According to Consumer Reports, ultra-pasteurised milk has a shelf life of 40 to 60 days unopened, while conventionally pasteurised milk has a 15- to 17-day shelf life. That being said, consumers should drink or discard all milk within seven days of opening, regardless of the “best buy” date, according to the USDA. You can also freeze milk for about three months and thaw it in the refrigerator, but you should also consume it within a week.
It is time to see why a brewery goes organic:
''The most significant impact we can make on a manufactured product is in our choice of raw materials.
We are a dedicated organic brewery certified by the soil association and all our beers are made with organic malt and hops.
Here, we only source the very best ingredients from farming which has a positive effect on our environment, and never use ingredients which degenerate our environment, ecosystems or precious soils for capital gain.
The organic standards support our ambition to produce the highest quality beers with care for people and the planet. Sustainability is at the core of the organic approach. The standards we have to adhere to include not only the ingredients, but also how organic beer is made, packaged and traded.
Organic farming restricts the use of artificial chemical fertilisers and pesticides. Instead, organic farmers rely on developing healthy, fertile soil and growing a mixture of crops.
No system of farming has higher wildlife benefits.
Organic farming creates the highest level of biodiversity on the farm, the highest standards of animal welfare and the highest level of carbon sequestration in the soil.
Organic farms tend to be diverse, have higher levels of employment per acre and are more likely to be involved in direct marketing of their produce.
As an organic brewery we pay a premium for these ingredients however the market does not stretch to fully recover our margins. It is not a strategy for increased profit.
Because we are uncompromising, we source the very best ingredients, we prioritise local, we will not buy ingredients which exploit our environment this is why organic is important to us.
Source: Stroud Brewery