June 8, 2003 - Boston Organics: Jeff Barry served as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Comoros Islands

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Comoros: The Peace Corps in Comoros: June 8, 2003 - Boston Organics: Jeff Barry served as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Comoros Islands

By Admin1 (admin) on Saturday, June 07, 2003 - 9:41 am: Edit Post

Jeff Barry served as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Comoros Islands

Jeff Barry served as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Comoros Islands

About Us

While in San Francisco, Jeff became addicted to fresh, organic produce. He subscribed to a weekly home delivery service and soon noticed the positive changes from a diet consisting primarily of organic produce. Upon moving back east, Jeff quickly realized the lack of fresh, organic produce available on a consistent basis. As a result, Jeff started Boston Organics with the mission of offering the people of the Boston area fresh, home delivered, organic produce.

Jeff Barry, Founder.
Jeff was born in Boston and raised in Providence, RI. Most recently he was living in San Francisco, CA where he was a freelance market research and data analyst. Jeff has a Master's in Environmental Economics and International Business. He served as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Comoros Islands (East Africa). As a volunteer he taught English, and managed village-based community projects including the construction of a central market place for local farmers, fishermen, and artisans.

What is organic?
Organic refers to the way agricultural products—food and fiber—are grown and processed. Organic food production is based on a system of farming that maintains and replenishes soil fertility without the use of toxic and persistent pesticides and fertilizers. Organic foods are minimally processed without artificial ingredients, preservatives, or irradiation to maintain the integrity of the food.
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Is there an official definition of "organic"?
The following excerpt is from the definition of "organic" that the National Organic Standards Board adopted in April 1995: "Organic agriculture is an ecological production management system that promotes and enhances biodiversity, biological cycles and soil biological activity. It is based on minimal use of off-farm inputs and on management practices that restore, maintain and enhance ecological harmony."
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What does "Certified Organic" mean?
"Certified Organic" means the item has been grown according to strict uniform standards that are verified by independent state or private organizations. Certification includes inspections of farm fields and processing facilities, detailed record keeping, and periodic testing of soil and water to ensure that growers and handlers are meeting the standards which have been set.
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Can any type of agricultural product become certified organic?
Yes, any agricultural product that meets third-party or state certification requirements may be considered organic. Organic foods are becoming available in an impressive variety, including pasta, prepared sauces, frozen juices, frozen meals, milk, ice cream and frozen novelties, cereals, meat, poultry, breads, soups, chocolate, cookies, beer, wine, vodka and more. These foods, in order to be certified organic, have all been grown and processed according to organic standards and must maintain a high level of quality. Organic fiber products, too, have moved beyond T-shirts, and include bed and bath linens, tablecloths, napkins, cosmetic puffs, feminine hygiene products, and men’s, women’s and children’s clothing in a wide variety of styles.
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Who regulates the certified organic claims?
The federal government set standards for the production, processing and certification of organic food in the Organic Food Production Act of 1990 (OFPA). The National Organic Standards Board was then established to develop guidelines and procedures to regulate all organic crops. The U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) during December 2000 unveiled detailed regulations to implement OFPA. These took effect on April 21, 2001, with an 18-month implementation period ending October 2002. As of October 2002, food labeled "organic" must meet these national organic standards. USDA’s National Organic Program oversees the program.
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Are all organic products completely free of pesticide residues?
Certified organic products have been grown and handled according to strict standards without toxic and persistent chemical inputs. However, organic crops are inadvertently exposed to agricultural chemicals that are now pervasive in rain and ground water due to their overuse during the past fifty years in North America, and due to drift via wind and rain.
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Do organic farmers ever use pesticides?
Prevention is the organic farmer’s primary strategy for disease, weed, and insect control. By building healthy soils, organic farmers find that healthy plants are better able to resist disease and insects. Organic producers often select species that are well adapted for the climate and therefore resist disease and pests. When pest populations get out of balance, growers will try various options like insect predators, mating disruption, traps, and barriers. If these fail, permission may be granted by the certifier to apply botanical or other nonpersistent pest controls under restricted conditions. Botanicals are derived from plants and are broken down quickly by oxygen and sunlight.
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How will purchasing organic products help keep our water clean?
Conventional agricultural methods can cause water contamination. Beginning in May 1995, a network of environmental organizations, including the Environmental Working Group, began testing tap water for herbicides in cities across the United States’ Corn Belt, and in Louisiana and Maryland. The results revealed widespread contamination of tap water with many different pesticides at levels that present serious health risks. In some cities, herbicides in tap water exceed federal lifetime health standards for weeks or months at a time. The organic farmer’s elimination of polluting chemicals and nitrogen leaching, in combination with soil building, works to prevent contamination, and protects and conserves water resources.
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Is organic food better for you?
There is no conclusive evidence at this time to suggest that organically produced foods are more nutritious. Rather, organic foods and fiber are spared the application of toxic and persistent insecticides, herbicides, fungicides and fertilizers. Many EPA-approved pesticides were registered long before extensive research linked these chemicals to cancer and other diseases. In the long run, organic farming techniques provide a safer, more sustainable environment for everyone.
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Why does organic food sometimes cost more?
Prices for organic foods reflect many of the same costs as conventional items in terms of growing, harvesting, transportation and storage. Organically produced foods must meet stricter regulations governing all of these steps, so the process is often more labor- and management-intensive, and farming tends to be on a smaller scale. There is also mounting evidence that if all the indirect costs of conventional food production—cleanup of polluted water, replacement of eroded soils, costs of health care for farmers and their workers—were factored into the price of food, organic foods would cost the same or, more likely, be cheaper.
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© 2001, Organic Trade Association.

How it Works

Boston Organics is a weekly organic produce delivery service.

To become a Boston Organics customer you will need to sign up for a delivery every week or every other week. We will ask you to provide the following information:
Size of Box $25 or $35 box
Type of Box Fruit, Vegetable, or Fruit and Vegetable mix
Frequency of Delivery Every week or Every other week
No List and Substitute preferences Items you never want to have in your box, and items you would like to substitute.
Your Delivery Needs Drop off location
Method of Payment Visa, Mastercard, or prepaid check

Every box includes a newsletter containing recipes, environmental/organic news, storage tips, and box information.

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Story Source: Boston Organics

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Comoros; Organic Food



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