Organic refers to the way agricultural products are grown and processed. It includes a system of production, processing, distribution and sales that assures consumers that the products maintain the organic integrity that begins on the farm.
Setting the stage for U.S. National organic standards, the U.S. Congress adopted the Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA) in 1990 as part of the 1990 Farm Bill. This action was followed by over a decade of public input and discussion, which resulted in a National Organic Program final rule published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in December 2000 and implemented in October 2002.
These stringent standards put in place a system to certify that specific practices are used to produce and process organic agricultural ingredients used for food and non-food purposes.
National organic standards set out the methods, practices and substances used in producing and handling crops, livestock and processed agricultural products. The standards include a national list of approved synthetic and prohibited non-synthetic substances for organic production.
Organic production is based on a system of farming that maintains and replenishes soil fertility without the use of toxic and persistent pesticides and fertilizers. Organically produced foods also must be produced without the use of antibiotics, synthetic hormones, genetic engineering and other excluded practices, sewage sludge, or irradiation. Cloning animals or using their products would be considered inconsistent with organic practices. Organic foods are minimally processed without artificial ingredients, preservatives, or irradiation to maintain the integrity of the food.
National organic standards require that organic growers and handlers be certified by third-party state or private agencies or other organizations that are accredited by USDA. Although farmers and handlers who sell less than $5,000 a year in organic agricultural products and retailers that do not process these products are exempt from certification, they must meet all certified organic grower and handler requirements to maintain the organic integrity of the organic products they sell.
Consumers can look for the “USDA Organic” seal or other approved labeling, and for the name of the certifier on the label of the products they consider for purchase. Products labeled “100% Organic” and carrying the “USDA Organic” seal are just that – they contain all organically produced ingredients. Products that are made from at least 95% organic ingredients, and have remaining ingredients that are approved for use in organic products may also carry the “USDA Organic” seal. In addition, products that contain at least 70% organic ingredients may label those on the ingredient listing. Producers and processors voluntarily use these labels, and may use organic ingredients without being required to label them.
Organic products can be found in grocery stores, cooperatives, specialty stores, farmer’s markets, farm stands, online, in many restaurants, and many other outlets.
Wildcrafting is the activity of foraging for wild edibles and medicines in the bush. Prior to the invention of agriculture most human civilization relied on this activity for sustenance, and today for health and economic reasons it is experiencing a revival. The edible world surrounds us, this site will help you take advantage.
It applies to uncultivated plants wherever they may be found, and is not necessarily limited to wilderness areas. Ethical considerations are often involved, such as protecting endangered species.
When wildcrafting is done sustainably with proper respect, generally only the branches or flowers from plants are taken and the living plant is left, or if it is necessary to take the whole plant, seeds of the plant are placed in the empty hole from which the plant was taken. Care is taken to only remove a few plants, flowers, or branches, so plenty remains to continue the supply.
In the United States, wildcrafted plants are regulated by the Organic Food Production Act of 1990. Harvesters must designate the area they are harvesting and provide a three-year history of the area that shows no prohibited substances have been applied there. A plan for harvesting must show that the harvest will sustain the wild crop. No prohibited substances can be added by processors.
Natural skin care is the care of the skin (the largest organ of the body) using naturally-derived ingredients (such as herbs, roots, essential oils and flowers) combined with naturally occurring carrier agents, preservatives, surfactants, humectants and emulsifiers (everything from natural soap to oils to pure water). The classic definition of natural skin care is based on using botanically sourced ingredients currently existing in or formed by nature, without the use of synthetic chemicals, and manufactured in such a way to preserve the integrity of the ingredients.
As a result of this definition, many people who use natural skin care products, generally make their own products at home from naturally occurring ingredients. While there are many wives' tales surrounding the benefits of certain ingredients, scientific studies have proven that such ingredients as Chamomile have demonstrated healing and anti-inflammatory properties when applied topically. Many people use natural skin care recipes to make remedies to care for their skin at home. Many spas and skin care salons now focus on using more naturally-derived skin care products.
Natural skin care has its roots in the 4th millennium BC in China and the Middle East. It is believed that the Egyptians developed many natural skin care treatments for a variety of skin conditions. One such treatment consists of bullock's bile, whipped ostrich eggs, olive oil, dough and resin mixed with milk. In the modern age many people with unique skin types and needs (sensitive skin, dry skin, oily skin) have turned to natural skin care solutions.
Some examples of natural skin care ingredients include jojoba, safflower oil, rose hip seed oil, shea butter, beeswax, witch hazel, aloe vera, tea tree oil, and chamomile. Many of these natural ingredient combinations can be tailored specifically to the individual's skin type or skin condition.