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Organic options for everyone

Author tracks down organic stores, restaurants across B.C.

Author Marya Skrypicajko, a former Whistler local who moved to Nelson six years ago has written and published a new book on organic foods titled: "The Organic Way: Where to Find Organic Food in British Columbia."

After applying for and receiving a government grant to produce the book, she spent the last two winters writing and researching the content. It was published a few weeks ago.

She wrote the book out of a desire to share her beliefs in the importance of organic food, and used her energy to search out the progressive people in B.C. who work hard to supply the province with organic food.

The book is intended to be a guide for people to locate organic foods and food producers It directs readers to cafes, bed and breakfasts, restaurants and grocers that use at lease 20 per cent organic produce in their food.

Most of us are aware by now that buying organic food is the best option for our health and the environment, but often these foods are more expensive than those that aren’t certified organic.

If money takes priority when purchasing your groceries, perhaps some of the facts and ethical considerations outlined in "the Organic Way" will help you to reconsider where your priorities lie:

"Conventional’ agriculture relies on synthetic fertilisers, pesticides herbicides and fungicides."

This is relatively common knowledge, but the types of chemical compounds, and the possible illnesses they can cause may not be. Some unintentional ingredients include industrial waste such as lead and mercury, which aren’t required to be labelled on the product.

DDT, now banned in North America may find it’s way back to your dinner table in the form of imported food from developing countries that still use DDT that they, ironically, import from North American companies.

Toxic residues on food are strongly linked to cancer, and diseases affecting the immune, neurological and reproductive systems.

Little is known about the safety or potential side-effects of genetically modified foods, but according to Skrypicajko’s research, it is estimated that at least 60 per cent of "conventionally farmed" foods in grocery stores contain genetically engineered crops. Like lead and mercury, it’s not currently mandatory in Canada to label genetically modified ingredients.

Organic agriculture prohibits genetically modified organisms in any step of the growing or producing process.

Grocery items that have been irradiated are also potentially harmful and not required to be labelled as such. Food irradiation is a method of food preservation, in which foods are exposed to election beams, x-rays or gamma rays to increase shelf life.

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