What’s THE BIG DEAL ABOUT ORGANIC??
So, WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL ABOUT ORGANIC? I get asked this question a lot, even from my own family, and so I will give you my 2 Big Deals about buying and eating Organic. (This is also the motivation behind sourcing organically grown ingredients for my Sass! Spices!)
The FIRST BIG DEAL About Organic, is that Certified Organic Spices, Herbs, Fruits and Vegetables cannot be grown using Genetically Engineered Seed, or Genetically Modified Organisms, known as GMO’s. Just to clarify, Genetically Modified Seed is not to be confused with the Hybrids that were brought about during the 60’s and have continued to be a part of agriculture advancements today. Hybrids take two whole original strands of DNA from two species or varieties, and join them to bring out the best traits of both DNA’s…kind of like selective breeding practices in livestock. GMO seed, on the other hand, has its own DNA pulled apart and altered for specific unnatural outcomes, like not dying when saturated with herbicides or pesticides! This measure taken by Organic farmers to use naturally derived seed, with it’s DNA intact, is critical in protecting our bodies’ process of digestion, or, how we assimilate the ‘natural healing components’ of spices, herbs, and all foods for that matter. Natural, or organically grown vegetation, as well as the animals that feed on naturally grown vegetation, does not corrupt the bodies’ natural design of assimilation of proteins, enzymes, fats, vitamins and minerals. Genetically modified foods DO corrupt this process. Firstly, they do NOT give us the same nutritional value as Organic foods do. Secondly, because of their very unnatural ‘test tube manufactured DNA’, they confuse and destroy our assimilation process at the cellular level, and therein lies the danger. We the people, and our children, have become their lab rats, and the long term effects are frightening. This could be something out of a Tom Cruise or James Bond movie, but it is real life!! Are the companies that produce and endorse GMO grown foods really doing so with a clear conscience??? Many scientists who have researched GMO’s know the truth, and they have spoken out against this. They have been threatened, had their families threatened, been bought off or hushed up. It really makes you think twice before jumping on the ‘feed the world’ band wagon, and next time you reach for that apple or carrot, or blend it up for the baby, pause, and please make an informed choice.
Note: The current “pro-GMO” argument, by growing crops resistant to weeds and disease we can produce higher yields to feed the world, has already been proven untrue. Farmers and scientists around the world have seen the results, as GMO seeds that have had their DNA altered, are beginning to show signs of mutations, faulty nutritional delivery and stunted growth, not to mention the long term destruction to soils and our eco-systems! That is on the plant side of things, on the human side it gets even more insidious. Remember, when you ingest GMO foods, you are also ingesting foods that have been soaked in high doses of toxic chemicals, like Round Up, which according to Molecular Biologists, and Toxicologists, will eat tiny holes in the lining of your stomach, destroying the blood barrier, even affecting the brain! Scary huh? So, in good conscience, how can we say we are doing the third world a favor by introducing these ‘life destroying’ GMO foods into their food chain??
You have to wonder who has the most to gain, from this Frankenfood…Maybe the Chemical Companies who first sell billions of gallons of toxic pesticides to the agriculture industry, or then maybe the Pharmaceutical companies who ‘supposedly’ come to our rescue when we start manifesting symptoms of the chemical poisoning?? As with any good swindle or con… follow the money.
A journalist for an Organic Food and Wine magazine, made this comment after asking a certain local Organic Winery in British Columbia, what they meant by ‘beyond Organic’. He was told they practice this form of ‘old school’ farming, with no pesticides, natural fertilizers, and crop rotation.
“ They do not use chemical fertilizers, knowing that natural gas is chemically converted into ammonia based fertilizers and that petroleum products are actual ingredients in manufacturing fertilizers and pesticides. Scientists discovered that plants could look great when grown with chemical fertilizers containing the three macronutrients shown on bags as three numbers representing N, P and K (Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium). Unfortunately, without the balance of dozens of micro nutrients found in natural systems, these plants were inferior in nutrition and in flavor. “
The Second BIG DEAL about Organic Herbs and Spices is the shocking fact that most non-Organic Spices and Herbs, and some fruits, nuts, and meats imported into this country are subject to huge amounts of ‘gamma radiation’ for sterilization purposes. (Spices are at the top for most doses of irradiation!) These large doses of radiation also destroy the ‘natural healing components’ and our assimilation process of spices and herbs. Our bodies then absorb the radioactive residue after ingestion and our liver, kidneys and cells are left with trying to clean it out of our system. Organic Spices and Herbs on the other hand are subject to a quick but effective Steam Sterilization process to halt any mold or insect invasion.
So higher nutritional values combined with leaving our Digestive, Immune and Detoxification systems intact, and not eating foods that have toxic radioactive residue, are just two of my top reasons to explain “what’s the big deal about Organic?”
Herbs and Spices grown and harvested in their natural state are a gift from Nature, with so many benefits for the body, so enjoy this gift to the max with Sass! Spice & Co.!
FYI: How to tell if your fruit, veggies, herbs and spices are Organic! When shopping in the Grocery Store, you have probably noticed the stickers on your fruits and veggies, and a #number on there. US Dept. Of Agriculture uses this number to identify how they are grown.
Numbers starting with 4: Naturally grown, still with traditional farming practises, Traditional pesticides and little crop rotation, and some irradiation.
Numbers starting with 9 and then 4: Organically grown, using Organic methods of crop rotation, resting the soil, and giving it a chance to build up its nutritional composition, safer, organic pest control, NO irradiation or GMO seeds..
Numbers starting with 8 and then 4: Genetically modified to resist dying after being saturated with toxic chemicals. AVOID these!
By buying Organic, even local, you support and endorse the laborious measures that Organic farmers have taken to keep our generations healthy!
Your body will thrive, and will love you for it!
I have to admit, as much as I love to cook and invent recipes using my Sass! Spice Blends…with 34+ degrees registering on the thermometer outside…heating up the kitchen by having the oven on, just isn’t my cup of tea. (Make that Iced Tea! whew!) Is it hot out or what?? Summer cooking can be fun if you have the convenience of Sass! Spice Blends, and Dip mixes to keep your cool! Plus you save a trip to the store for just a few ingredients! So…my go-to summer meals are salads, with lettuce from the garden!, a platter of fresh veggies with dip, and some grilled meat with a few grilled veggies. Cooking anything on the grill when it’s that hot outside takes full on attention, as the temperature inside the grill seems to stay on 500 degrees no matter how low you turn the dials! But I will persevere for the taste of a juicy Rib Eye seasoned with Sass! Kickin’ Steak Spice or succulent Chicken done with my Sass! Kickin’ Homemade BBQ Sauce!
I whipped up a couple bowls of dips, Cheeky Chive & Cheddar Dip, and Garden of Eat’n, along with some fresh veggies, and then a Caesar Salad with fresh garden Romaine! The other thing I love to do is slice a large sweet onion in half, then drizzle with a little OVO, and Miracle Dust, and the same with some large slices of Yam, and throw them on the grill as well for the last 15 min. and then you have a scrumptious meal, without breaking a sweat! Well…almost!
Summer Tip: Always have a large watermelon on hand, for messy and delicious snacking, as with all fruit, wait 1 hour after meals, or eat in between meals! Watermelon is very cleansing to the kidneys!
Organic Spices and Herbs can bring ‘life’ to your food, and your body. One of my visions for this company is that Sass! Spice will always be committed to not only bring awareness of this simple fact, but to provide convenient and healthy seasoning options for cooks everywhere! I have had a lot of fun and satisfaction on this journey creating these ‘seasonings with a conscience’, and now I can share them with you as my company progresses and develops!
It has been a roller coaster of emotions and decisions! Just as uncovering truth about the degradation of our food sources and their impact on our well being, has almost caused me to grieve, so has the joy of finding like minded people who are doing what they can to turn things around, kept me motivated and enthused! I was stunned to learn that Non-Organic Spices and Herbs imported into this country are subjected to huge amounts of gamma radiation to kill bugs etc. (equivalent to 30,000 chest x-rays) so that added fuel to my fire in sourcing out only Organic Spices and Herbs which are cured through Steam Sterilization. It is time consuming, and more expensive to produce anything that warrants Organic certification, but I support them because Organic methods produce exceptional spices and herbs, in both flavour and health benefits!! Kudos to the Ranchers and Farmers around the world who are raising their livestock with Organic and Humane practices and farming with Organic protocol for Agriculture and feed. Please support them, for their dedication and taking the ‘high road’, and acknowledge their contributions to our well being!
For the past few decades, the Scientific Health and Wellness community has been researching and providing evidence connecting the deconstruction and tampering of the food chain, to health issues of every kind. It seems that the more processed foods reached grocery store shelves, the more health issues were ‘cropping’ up. Genetically Modified Organisms, Pesticides, MSG, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Artificial Additives for Colour, Flavour and Sweetener, and preservatives have been linked to everything from Autism, ADHD, Asthma, Allergies, Gluten Sensitivity, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Crones Disease, Celiac, Obesity, Diabetes, Heart and Cholesterol issues, Fertility Issues, Hormone Disruptors, to Mental Disorders, and ultimately… Cancer. The realization of how our generation, our children, and their children, will fare, being raised on this “Frankenstein Food” is coming to the forefront, as we are seeing diseases and ‘conditions’ appearing in younger and younger people. Our Medical System is flooded with health ‘conditions’ that never even existed 50 years ago! Awareness and education are the first steps in stopping this travesty!
Being of a curious nature, and seeing first hand with my own health, the crippling effects of embracing a diet of processed foods, and then later, the huge benefits of switching to primarily a Whole Food Diet, I was catapulted into a quest for education and truth. And although my quest is ongoing, over the past 10 years, I became a student of using ‘nutraceuticals’ for their healing benefits. The term ‘Nutraceuticals’ was coined in the late 1990’s, to describe any food component that has ‘extra’ health benefits, creates optimum performance in the body, or can be used for prevention of disease. The ‘nutritional science’ of food has been a passion of mine for two reasons: First, the healing power of nutraceuticals has proven effective since the beginning of man, and second, the rise in cancer and disease has been proportionate to the corruption of our food chain, as well as pollution of our environment. According to statistics from medical and science journals, the incidence of cancer diagnosed in the late 1800’s was 1 in 8,000 persons, and just over 100 years later, it is 1 in 5. Wow! And that’s progress??!!
My quest has also taken me on a journey back through time, fascinated by how ancient cultures seemed to have an ‘innate Wisdom’ in the use of foods, herbs and spices. This ‘innate Wisdom’ not only used spices and herbs to create certain flavour profiles, but to heal and prevent disease. This ‘innate Wisdom’ is one which we have lost, or, in our arrogance, have dismissed. Wisdom that validated the power of certain spices and herbs used in medicinal application, and facilitated our bodies survival instinct. When given the ‘right parameters’, our body will fight for us to maintain balance, heal, and correct deficiencies.
Pouring over many Nutritional Manuals and Spices and Herbs textbooks, I thought, “Why can’t I combine “the science” with “the taste”?? Why not bring a “flavour revolution” to kitchens everywhere, using organically farmed ingredients, and great taste combinations, and the health benefits will just be the proverbial icing on the ‘organic carrot cake’ ?
Over 2000 years ago, when Hippocrates (considered the Father of Medicine for the Western World) stated his famous words: “First, do no Harm…” he also said:
“Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food”
In his original Physicians oath given in Greek, his first plan of action in curing disease was to ‘create a food plan’… in other words, he used nutraceuticals! Imagine that! To use a play on words, Hippocrates was the first to dispense ‘FARMaceuticals’ to cure and prevent disease. Unfortunately the pharmaceuticals we are given today, only ‘manage’ disease, and leave a trail of side effects promoting other deterioration in their wake.
I believe that our Creator, in His infinite Wisdom, and benevolence, provided all the necessary ingredients on this earth, to keep our bodies functioning well. Oxygen, Pure Water, Enzymes, Probiotics, Proteins, Minerals and Vitamins, healthy Fats and Carbs… Nature has every single component that is needed for our survival. If we spurn this gift– what is to be our fate??
In being a ‘gracious’ recipient of this gift, I have decided to utilize what Nature has given us.
Crafting artisan spice blends in small batches, Sass! Spice uses Organic, Non-GMO Spices and Herbs, in taste tested, and proprietary combinations. These combinations also include: Unrefined Sea Salt (see further Blog Notes on the difference in Table Salt vs Sea Salt), Organic, plant derived nutrient rich Sweeteners (Raw Cane Sugar, Stevia, Coconut Palm & Date Sugar ), with as little processing as possible, Organic Air/Freeze Dried Vegetables & Fruits and naturally derived Flavours. There is no added MSG, Chemical preservatives or Anti-Caking Agents, no Un-fermented Soy, and No Citric Acid (Sour Salt), which, although it is a derivative of citrus fruit, has now been found to be a nerve- irritant to some folks! And with the exception of ONE Chick Flicks recipe, Wacky Teriyaki, no Gluten or Wheat** or Grain Flours! Sass! Spice’s product line comprises of Popcorn Toppings, Cooking/ Grilling Spices, Rubs, Party Dips and ‘Chick Flicks’–the Sass! version of Shake & Bakes! The Spice Blends, Popcorn Toppings, Rubs and Dips. **There is a “Gluten Alert” and “Soy Alert” on my Wacky Teriyaki, as it does contain a powdered Soy Sauce which contains fermented soy, and wheat. When I can find a ‘wheat –free’ alternative, I will use it! I have and will continue to do my best to always combine the most wholesome, non-processed, organic ingredients to give you the best flavour, variety and convenience in seasonings!
Here is a quote from Neely Quinn, a nutritionist from Colorado, avid Rock Climber, and author of several books. After numerous health issues which the doctors couldn’t help her with (Migraines, Digestion issues), she turned from being a Vegetarian to Paleo (balanced diet of Selective Meats, Fats, Greens, Fruits, Non-Grain Carbs from Whole Foods, Legumes, Nuts and Seeds):
“If you’re eating good meat, seafood, eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, or any other nutritious whole food, you’ll feel full after eating a regular sized meal and be done. Processed foods tend to leave you wanting more and that is what their manufacturers want because that is how they sell more of their product and make more money.
Many large processed food companies actually have “food scientists” who study addiction and intentionally engineer their foods to appeal to those natural human cravings. Our minds instinctively seek out sweet and salty flavors more than anything else and processed foods blast our senses with an overload of these pleasurable sensations.
Processed foods also include artificial flavors and sweeteners that have next to no nutritional value and are often unhealthy in and of themselves. For example, monosodium glutamate (MSG) is a flavor enhancer commonly found in Chinese food that lends a delicious salty flavor to many dishes but may actually be bad for your health. MSG has been linked to heart problems, obesity, and even brain damage, yet it continues to be used in foods because it’s so addictively delicious.
Artificial flavors and preservatives are loosely regulated, vaguely labeled, and within our bodies once combined there is little knowledge of how they inevitably impact our overall health. Many health conditions ranging from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), leaky gut, gluten sensitivity, and other food related allergies are more than likely influenced by the effects of artificial ingredients acting on the body. When you think about it, these “food scientists” turn processed foods into drugs, which make kicking the habit a very hard thing to do. You may initially experience withdrawals, but over time these urges pass.”
Food for Thought.