The Sunworks Blog

The Ripple Effect of Buying Organic

As a family we have always tried to be as environmentally aware as possible. As a child, my Mum and Dad recycled, tried to limit trips into town to as few trips as possible and grew our own food in a garden that never had any pesticides or herbicides applied to it. Now that I am a Mother my family continues to do these things and more, we compost, I hang my clothes up to dry in the summer instead of using the dryer, we buy used as much as we can and try to not buy things we don’t need. But I think that the biggest impact that we can have on the environment is by buying as much organic food as possible.

Now not everything in my pantry is certified organic. There are still some things that are not in our budget, but I hope that they will be one day. However if we can, we buy certified organic products.  I feel that this is the biggest impact we, as a family, can make on the environment.  This is because buying certified organic has a large ripple effect that goes well beyond my family’s efforts to help the environment.

For one reason we consume a lot of food. As a family of four our food is the biggest line item on our budget. This is on purpose. We place a priority on buying clean healthy food over other things like going to the movies, extravagant gifts and fancy new clothes. We are voting with our dollar. Every time we buy organic we are showing more businesses that there is a market for organic food, this causes them to bring in more organic food, which in turn causes the companies to feel the demand to produce more organic food and more organic land is put into organic production.

Also many of the items that we buy are not a single item. Take organic salad dressing. It has many ingredients and all of the ingredients need to be certified as organic. So I am not just supporting the company that made the dressing but I am ensuring a demand for all of the certified organic ingredients. The ranch dressing that we buy has organic soybean oil, organic sour cream, organic white vinegar, organic egg yolks, organic buttermilk powder, organic sugar, salt, organic lemon juice, organic onion powder, organic mustard, organic parsley and organic black pepper. All these ingredients had to be grown according to the standards of organic agriculture.

So the soybeans that were grown to make the oil and the wheat that was grown to make the vinegar were grown on certified organic land where no herbicides, pesticides or fungicides were applied. This means more acres where soil microbes and worms can grow because they are not being killed by the chemicals and bees can thrive because they are not being killed off by the pesticides. The soy, wheat and sugar are also not from genetically modified plants as this is not allowed in the organic standards.  The sour cream came from organic dairy cows. The land that the cows are on has to be certified organic, the hay and grains that the cows are fed also have to be certified organic.  More and more acres under organic production. Less and less chemicals being applied to the earth. The cows cannot have been given antibiotics or artificial hormones. Therefor there are less hormones and antibiotics in the rivers and lakes. The eggs yolks have come from organic hens. A hen’s feed contains a wide mix of grains and minerals in order to keep the hens as healthy as possible. Wheat, corn, soy fields are added to the list of acres that are not having the chemicals applied to them.

This ripple effect happens on all organic products. And it spreads its benefits around the world. The lemons that the lemon juice came from could come from California or Mexico, the black pepper comes from India. My little bottle of salad dressing has had an impact all over the world.

A more localized ripple effect would be buying local, organic products from my farmers market. There is less fuel used getting the product to me. Also the ripple effect has an even greater impact on me directly.  For by buying local I am impacting the air that I breathe, the water that I drink. The chicken that we buy has been grown on certified organic land, where there have been no chemicals used and where the environment is being protected. Where the soil ecosystem is allowed and encouraged to thrive, where wetlands are protected and wildlife thrive. These chickens are fed certified organic wheat, peas, alfalfa, and minerals.  The feed that they eat is grown on certified organic land that also has had no herbicides or pesticides applied, this means that there is more land where bees and butterflies can thrive and more biodiversity is allowed. It means less chemical run off allowed to seep into wetlands and this leads to happier frogs and birds. It means that fewer chemicals are washed into our rivers and streams and the fish are better off. And to top it all off my children are eating fewer chemicals.

I will continue to hang my clothes on a clothes line, grow a garden, recycle and compost and all of these items will make a small difference in the environment.  However I think that the biggest difference my family and any family can make is by buying as many certified organic products as they possibly can. Not only are you helping yourself and your family by reducing the chemicals that you are ingesting, but you are also having a great impact on the environment around you. And a healthy environment is good for all of us, bees, butterflies and humans alike.

Shae Belanger (Ron and Sheila Hamiltons daughter)

 

Herb Italian Wedding Meatball Soup
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • For the soup…
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 –cup fresh basil, chiffinade
  • 1 cup fresh parsley- chiffinade
  • ¼ cup fresh dill, minced
  • 2 Tbsp fresh thyme, minced
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp cayenne (optional)
  • 2 cups navy beans, soaked overnight and cooked in kombu
  • 1 piece kombu
  • 4 leeks, half moon sliced
  • 4 celery sticks, half moon sliced
  • 4 carrots, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp celtic sea salt
  • 6-8 cups homemade chicken stock
  • 1 bunch kale, de-stemmed and chiffinade
  • 1 bunch collard greens, de-stemmed and chiffinade
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • For the meatballs…
  • 2 lbs Sunworks Farms Organic Free Range ground bison
  • 1 ½ celtic sea salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 2 Sunworks Farms Organic Free Range eggs
  • ¼ cup parsley, minced
Instructions
  1. Fill a soup pot with water and add soaked navy beans and kombu. Cook for 45 min to 1 hour or until beans are tender but not mushy. Drain water and remove kombu. Set beans aside.
  2. Melt the coconut oil in a soup pot over medium heat.
  3. Add the onion, celery and carrots then stir for two minutes. Next add the garlic, herbs, spices and salt -stir to combine.
  4. Add the navy beans and chicken broth and bring broth to a simmer.
  5. Form the meat into 1 inch balls and drop them into the soup.
  6. Let the soup mixture simmer uncovered for 20-30 minutes until the meatballs are cooked and flavors have combine. Tear the cleaned kale and collards from the hard stem and chiffinade- add to the pot.
  7. Season with fresh lemon juice and parsley.
  8. Serve and enjoy!

 

Oriental Wings
Author: 
 
This is my favourite wing recipe as it is extremely simple to prepare and tastes delicious. I have made this recipe so many times that I do not measure the garlic and ginger any more so feel free to add more if you like garlic or ginger, it still tastes great with lots of the spices.
Ingredients
  • Approx. 3 lbs split tip less chicken wings
  • 1 cup Braggs Soy Sauce
  • ½ cup Water
  • ½ cup Brown Sugar
  • ¼tsp Garlic Powder
  • ¼tsp Ginger
Instructions
  1. Pre heat oven to 325F
  2. Place wings in a single layer in a large roasting pan or glass cake pan.
  3. Mix soy sauce, water, brown sugar, garlic and ginger in a separate bowl. Pour sauce over chicken wings. Place in oven uncovered and cook for 1½ to 2 hours until wings are tender. Turn chicken pieces after3/4 of an hour.

SMOKY CRANBERRY WINGS
Author: 
Serves: 4
 
This is one of our favourites. It works well with pork as well – chops or ribs. You can also grill the wings first; then pour the sauce over and bake to finish.
Ingredients
  • SPICE RUB:
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 2 teaspoons celery salt
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons pepper
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground chipotle chile powder (optional)
  • 2 pounds Sunworks Farm chicken wings
  • SAUCE:
  • ¾ cup cranberry sauce
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • ¼ cup cranberry juice
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon orange liqueur
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Mix spice rub ingredients together, then toss with chicken wings in a Ziploc bag to coat. Bake the wings on a shallow baking pan for 10 to 15 minutes or until the skin starts to get crisp. Whisk together sauce ingredients in a small pot over medium heat until the cranberry sauce melts and the sauce is smooth. Pour sauce over wings and toss them to evenly coat; turn oven down to 350°F and continue baking until wings are cooked through, approximately 20 minutes.
  3. For more information on their cook book go to their website at http://www.2clevercooks.com/

 

Saffron Rice with Beef and Chicken Liver
Author: 
Serves: 4
 
If you’re not sure how to incorporate Sunworks Certified Organic & Free Range Farm chicken liver into your diet- her’s a great recipe to get you started! Enjoy!
Ingredients
  • 1 Tbsp ghee
  • 1 head organic cauliflower
  • 1 tsp celtic sea salt
  • 1 white sweet potato, peeled, small diced and steamed
  • 3 ounces sunworks farms chicken liver minced
  • 1 yellow onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • pinch saffron threads
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 1 pound organic sunworks farms ground beef
  • 1 lemon, juiced
Instructions
  1. Heat a large skillet and add ground beef and brown- about 5 min. Remove from skillet and set aside.
  2. Add ghee , onion and saffron. Saute until translucent. Add garlic and chicken liver and stir to combine.
  3. Add cauliflower, ground beef and cook for 5 min or until cauliflower is done. Stir in parsley and season with lemon juice. Enjoy!