Organic or Wild Crafted Food & Cosmetics?

Posted by Michelle Touchstone on

Would you rather eat organic food or wildcrafted foods which are grown in their most natural state (in the wild)? What is the difference anyway? Organic food and farming as defined by the USDA are to  

"integrate cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity." Sounds good enough. So, as I started hanging out at a local gardening and science teaching center in my community, I was learning quite a bit about what's considered "organic fertilizer" and a whole lot more. Which brings me to this topic of wildcrafted herbs and foods versus certified organic.

Wildcrafted herbs and foods are foods grown in the wild and in their natural state without aid or help from humans or machines. They grow out in the wild free and natural. That means basically dirt and rainwater. The benefit is that they are sturdier plants. They are not coddled and watered every day. They have to utilize everything around them and it makes them resilient and strong. The strains that come from these plants are many times much more superior giving lush and beautiful leaves and providing more nutrients.

Organic foods require "natural fertilizers" and that can be anything derived from "natural" sources. The problem with that is that even "natural" fertilizers used in high quantities (as in organic foods) can be toxic in high amounts. Natural can still be toxic. Think of sarin gas. It's a natural organophosphorus compound but is lethal. 

I was speaking to a biologist who runs a local community garden and learning center and he said he would rather grow his own vegetables than buy organic to which I wondered why. Since he is a scientist and biologist and knows a lot about organic gardening practices and the difference between wildcrafted and certified organic, I asked him why? Here is what he explained.

Certified Organic growing practices can use higher amounts of herbicides and that can be harmful. In fact, he said it could be more harmful than conventional. I again asked in disbelief, how so? He said because in organic farming they have to use higher amounts of the "natural pesticides" to get the job done and in conventional, they use very little. So once you pass a threshold it (fertilizers) becomes toxic. When it comes to our central nervous system less is best.  Also, with organic foods, the nutrient content is never tested. They grow for yields, not for nutrients. BIG SURPRISE!

So, less of something strong can actually be better than more of something weak because at a certain point it passes the threshold of what's best for our bodies. That is why I prefer local if possible. It's nice to be able to meet the person growing your food. It's nice to know what they actually use and how they grow. Farmers markets are a good way to get to know who is local and who is not. I love buying my honey locally because even certified organic may be feeding the bees sugar water. I know what my beekeeper feeds her bees and it's flowers. She also doesn't use cruel methods to extract the honey. I know her and I have seen her in action. 

When I make skincare, I have the option of buying wildcrafted pesticide free shea butter that hasn't been processed and is completely organic and raw or I can buy certified organic that's been cooked down and processed. I choose wildcrafted organic over the certified organic because processing kills nutrients and I don't want a refined product. You'd think that the certified organic would be better but not so in all cases. 

I choose to use natural and wildcrafted as well as certified organic ingredients in our line. In some cases natural and wildcrafted is better than certified organic. I will always choose nutrient-dense over weak labeling. I spent time getting to know my farmers and suppliers. 

Buying freshly made skincare is better than buying from a big box shop whose main goal is profits. Small business has to make profits also, but the passion and craft supersede the greed that large corporations often become. Organics have become big marketing buzz words that people make assumptions about. I hope I explained clearly some differences that you can understand.

I like knowing who makes my food and body care products. That's why I support local as much as possible. I hope you will also. Together we can make the world a much more beautiful and harmonious place. Plus, its so much fun visiting farmers markets and local makers. We passion our philosophies and we know artisan and natural are important to our customers. We will always provide the highest quality available. So, when you ask me if we are certified organic company and I say "not at this time", it's not because I don't believe in organics, we use a majority of certified organic ingredients in our line. However, it's simply because I have learned about the industry. I want the best both for your family and mine as well. 

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