What is organic farming?
Organic farming is a form of agriculture that excludes the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, plant growth regulators, livestock feed additives, and genetically modified organisms. As far as possible, organic farmers rely on crop rotation, green manure, compost, biological pest control, and mechanical cultivation to maintain soil productivity and control pests. Organic farming is often contrasted with conventional chemical farming. Organic agriculture can be considered a subset of sustainable agriculture, the difference being that organic implies certification in accordance with legal standards. Organic methods are studied in the field of agroecology. Since 1990 the market for organic products has grown at a rapid pace, averaging 20-25 percent per year, and this has driven a similar increase in organically managed farmland.
The overarching goal of organic farming is defined as follows: “The role of organic agriculture, whether in farming, processing, distribution, or consumption, is to sustain and enhance the health of ecosystems and organisms from the smallest in the soil to human beings.” –International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movement (IFOAM) – The Principles of Organic Agriculture – Principle of health
What is composting?
Composting is a method for treating solid waste in which organic material is broken down by microorganisms in the presence of oxygen to a point where it can be safely stored, handled and applied to the environment. Composting is an essential part of reducing household wastes. It can be done inexpensively by every household and produces a product — finished compost or humus — that can benefit the environment as a natural fertilizer for gardening and farming.
What is phthalate? (pronounced THA-lates)
Phthalates, or phthalate esters, are esters of phthalic acid and are mainly used as plasticizers (substances added to plastics to increase their flexibility). They are chiefly used to turn polyvinyl chloride from a hard plastic into a flexible plastic. more>>
What are the possible health effects of phthalates?
Phthalates are endocrine disruptors linked to problems of the reproductive system, including decreased sperm motility and concentration in men and genital abnormalities in baby boys. (Oh, and did you know that average sperm counts have decreased significantly since the 1940’s?) More recently they’ve also been linked to asthma and allergies. From http://www.enviroblog.org more>>
What is Fair Trade?
Fair trade is applicable to many foods and recreational products made in developing countries and sold in North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. Though there are many different standards of fair trade, the best known, and arguably the most important has to do with wage and labor.
As referenced by Courtney Curtis on About.Com