What's in my plants? More importantly what's in the dirt?
FACTORY ORGANIC FARMING IS BIG BUSINESS (and why I use wildcrafted)
Organics have turned into a big business in the last ten to twenty years, and like all corporate business with more crops comes a lot more money- and with more money, arises the need to protect their assets and with the protection of assets come the use of more pesticides/herbicides. That's the way factory farming of ANY kind works. Supply and demand. Welcome to the big world of factory farming.
Yes, you read that right. You can read more about that yourself on the FDA website. It even shows the list of "approved chemicals". Also, factory organic farmed foods are often gassed and irradiated. I don't have time in this article to discuss all the problems with irradiated foods but animals that were fed irradiated foods reportedly suffered tumors and reproductive problems as well as kidney failure (there are ways to avoid this which I will get into later).
Factory farming is what you get when shopping most big chain stores that sell organic food and other items. Did you know that some conventional farming practices use lower levels of "synthetic" pesticides and herbicides while commercial organic farming practices often use herbicide/pesticide chemicals from "naturally" occurring sources in much higher quantities? I will get into more detail below. But for now, just know that that higher the use of fertilizers (including natural) the more toxic it becomes to humans.
Rotenone an "approved organic pesticides" used in the USA is not approved in Europe due to higher toxicity.
Rotenone (a common organic pesticide used in factory organic farming) has been found to attack the mitochondria in all living things and cause Parkinson's like symptoms in rats. This finding is due to the high volumes of herbicides which are applied 7x to attain the desired outcome (no loss) of organic crops. Many "natural" herbicides/pesticides need to be used multiple times and applied over and over to the same area to produce the same results that conventional farms use to attain the large yields to support the factory organic crops and demand.
Does this look "certified organic" to you?
In conventional factory farming, however, they apply two applications of imidan (what's considered a soft pesticide of commercial agriculture). So which one is better? I do not like either of those choices to be quite honest. Lack of a better option is often why I select responsibly harvested "wildcrafted" over commercial organic labeling. I prefer a small organic farm that practices responsible use of natural elements over a commercial "organic" factory farm that loses the true spirit of what an organic farm should be all about and why we here at ME AND A TREE prefer Wildcrafted.
When you have to spray higher amounts of herbicides/pesticides (which are chemicals by definition) on crops and apply those chemicals much more often than your competition then it starts to add up to too much toxicity so logically you'd want to ask the question "is it safe to do so?" Studies show it isn't. Let's explore the function of both inorganic and organic fungicides pesticide and herbicides used in factory farming.
Many of these herbicides and pesticides- including organic ones are used because they attack the central nervous system in small animals and bugs. What was found in the rotenone (organic natural herbicide/pesticide) was the toxicity because there was way too much of it (and remember that it also attacks the mitochondria in all living things according to a report by Scientific America). Mitochondria are very important for a healthy life. What are the effects of high amounts of herbicides not only on humans but what about on bug populations that keep soil and nature in balance? What are the effects on babies or the elderly? How do these highly sprayed herbicidal chemicals affect flora and fauna, the fish, river beds, algae and the eco-environment from the (runoff) etc? These are the great questions you may wish to ponder. There are not a lot of studies but what has been studied does not give me the warm fuzzies.
Understand that "organics" can be great but organic factory farming is quite another beast in my experience and research (why I believe wildcrafted is superior in most cases). Most of us have access to factory organic, and there is a loud cry needed in support of smaller farmers who are doing it the ethical truly organic way. Everyone would benefit from visiting a local weekend farmers market and making friends with your community farmers. You'll find out who is legit and who isn't just by asking around and often by asking the farmer themselves.
But it's natural! Just remember, everything in our environment has a chemical structure.
Botulinum toxin (from nature) which is over a million times more toxic than all of the synthetic chemicals we have, except dioxin, is "natural." Some things that are deadly and toxic are natural & present in the dirt and soil all around us but in low quantities including things like anthrax & salmonella. It's the threshold, quantity, or saturation that makes all the difference. If a small amount of dirt has a lot of botulism in it- then it can indeed be problematic, but if a field has a few spores of it then its likely not a problem. The kinds of deadly things we would never want near us are in fact near us every day but in small amounts and our immunity can successfully deal with it. The question is "are naturally occurring chemicals used in higher amounts safer than synthetic chemicals used in lower amounts?"
IS ORGANIC BETTER THAN SYNTHETIC?
In some cases yes. Again, that depends on the threshold. Too much of a good thing can become toxic to our immune system. Small amounts of a bad thing can sometimes actually be okay for us. I prefer neither if I have the choice! In actual studies, the naturally occurring herbicides/pesticides and chemicals used in commercial organic farming have shown to be over the limits for safety and also shown to be carcinogenic and toxic. Carcinogenic means cancerous. Remember, when herbicides/pesticides in higher amounts exceeding acceptable limits then the threshold of safety is crossed, and that is not something any of us knowingly sign up for when buying organic items from corporate stores, again why we select wildcrafted herbs and oils here at ME AND A TREE SKINCARE
WILDCRAFTED VS ORGANIC (WHY I SUPPORT AND USE IT)
Now we can talk about why I adore ethically sourced "wildcrafted ingredients." Wildcrafted herbs, flowers oils, and foods are grown in the wild as the word implies. Think of your grandmas garden- wildcrafted is similar to that. Wildcrafted is completely natural. There are no GMO's, herbicides or pesticides used. Neither natural or synthetic! No plants are gassed or irradiated, and all the nutrients are intact. Yay! But actual foraged wildcrafted is even better than that! Plants that come from this arena are also more resilient to disease and can possess more desirable constituents (the beneficial plant chemicals responsible for health & healing).
Plants that are coddled and cared for by humankind can be weaker because the plants are fed and watered and don't have to strive and thrive (which would make them stronger if we let them be)- but wildcrafted plants, on the other hand, grow more resilient in the wild. When a plant has to work a little bit harder, it produces more constituents and can be a kind of "super plant."
There is hope!
New generation gardeners are re-learning the value of an untamed natural garden left in a bit more "wild" shape. When native plants are grown according to their natural habitat, it's easier to grow, and that means fewer hours struggling to garden and more hours enjoying the fruit of the field. I have had the privilege of seeing many beautiful wild untamed yet natural (and easier to manage) gardens on plots of land. It's really special. I think this is a great way to enjoy natural living and avoid higher unsuspecting toxins from factory farming methods. This is my goal in my own life journey.
When chemical companies start isolating certain constituents and leaving the rest out as they do in natural and synthetic chemical companies, the synergy of that plant is lost. Synergy means that one thing balances and subdues or strengthen the other. I prefer natural medicine over traditional medicine for this reason.
Studies have been published showing that when essential oil constituents were extracted and isolated from the main oil from the part known for its effectiveness (such as suppressing cancer cells, healing dermatitis etc) problems arise. When researchers isolate the few desirable constituents (its potent parts) it loses the ability to do what it did as a whole plant did with all its essential oil constituents intact. It is rendered useless and in some cases toxic or completely ineffective. The synergy is in the plants complete essential oil profile (which also aided in the balance of the plants' natural toxins and makes it possible for own safe use of it). Plants are amazing and hence why I enjoy working with them so much! But we must respect their power and synergy.
Science has yet to identify all the constituents in a plant's essential oils because there are literally thousands! Researchers don't know essential oils don't work when they try to simply isolate the main chemical constituents while leaving out the others. Turns out that those small unidentifiable constituents are part of the plant's synergistic and healing value and I personally believe should be used in whole plant form or pure oil form. Plants are used in medicine. I prefer using the whole plant or complete oil from the plant. That's why a good natural healer and/ or aromatherapist really know what they are doing provided you find one that has a solid background in science and the ancient craft (together).
MAIN POINT OF THIS ARTICLE
I personally select what has the most beneficial ingredients and constituents on a herb, flower, and oil for my company and personal use (which are the same). I consider where it comes from, whether or not a company has been red flagged for adulterated oils, and I in some cases I know the farmers themselves. I enjoy working with small farms that are passionate and bring back the eco-environment and animal populations in dry areas ( a new trend that is helping the environment a lot). I do not just jump on board with a big conglomerate company that sells for cheap and calls themselves organic because I know where they get their oils from and some countries are unregulated and the oils get the stamp of "organic" when they are rebranded here in the states and they are not tested for toxins. It's really that simple.
CONSIDER THIS WHEN SELECTING FOOD AND PRODUCTS
Unless a farm is rotating its crops regularly and not overproducing to meet demand, the food will be of inferior quality (a.k.a. factory farming). Sustainable farming and small organic natural farms have more nutrient-dense crops and a much better impact on the environment and our health. The same is true about Wildcrafted vs Organic herb and oils. Wildcrafted herbs can be much more superior to Certified Organics herbs and oils- it's all about constituents. The tests do not lie. Overproduction can kill the quality you are expecting. Don't you want what you pay for? Of course, you do. I do too.
It's also true that in some cases "natural" can be better than organic because it's locally grown in a garden. Think grandmas tomatoes vs big mega store organic tomatoes. There's simply no competition, Other times organics is the best. But you as a consumer won't know that unless you have a way of testing the constituents or in the case of food the vitamins and minerals and the pesticide residues. Taste that is a pretty good indicator of quality but not foolproof. Growing your own is the best way to know the truth about quality and it's also very rewarding. If you can't do that- then find people you can count on and have fun seeking them out.
This is why it's so important to know who you are getting your products from. We at ME AND A TREE choose the best available options each time we purchase herbs flowers and oils with a clear conscience. I am very passionate about health and science and the beauty of this earth. We use all the products ourselves and so do our employees families and friends. So you can count on us always selecting the best available. We have been making reputable products for a long time and will continue to do so for as long as time allows. Won't you consider purchasing from us today? We know you won't be disappointed! Just read our reviews on our product at our website www.meandatree.com
Thank you for supporting us!
MichelleArtisan Maker and Owner
of Me and a Tree Skincare