Report from Tingo Maria, Peru, 1999

Translation from original Spanish document signed and sealed by the Ministry of the Presidency – INADE (National Institute of Development) Republic of Peru, Special project Alto Huallaga

The Headquarters of the Zone Leoncio Prado-Padre Abad Certifies:

That since 7 months ago, in the area of Alto Huallaga, an Organic and Ecological technique called HOMA THERAPY, is being applied in the rejuvenation of the crops of the region, achieving to substantially reduce the existence of different pathogenic agents. As a consequence, plagues and diseases were eradicated, the yield of the harvest was increased, the fruit grew healthy, with better color, taste, weight, texture, etc.

Since many years, efforts have been made to overcome the critical situation regarding plant health, with methods such as: cultural control, chemical control, biological control, legal control, etc., without having achieved any success.

In the zone of Alto Huallaga to date we have established 30 modules and more are being installed in agricultural areas in which HOMA THERAPY is being applied, each one with 40 hectares. This makes a total of about 1,200 hectares; all of them are under an integrated system of perennial crops such as plantain, bananas, papaya, cocoa, citrus, avocados, coffee, tea, star fruit, mango, etc. These are combined with annual crops of a short vegetative cycle such as rice, corn, soya bean, nuts, sesame, etc., and complemented with apiculture and cattle rearing.

We give full support to Dr. Gloria Guzman Mendez in her capacity as expert and the person in charge of AGRICULTURAL HOMA THERAPY in our area of influence and we have considered to give total support to the farmers who have been working in the application of HOMA THERAPY because with their work, they are making a contribution in favor of agriculture, of the conservation of soils, forests and the preservation of the environment in the area of Alto Huallaga.

Tingo Maria, May 17th, 1999
MINISTRY OF THE PRESIDENCY-INADE
Special Project Alto Huallaga

(Signature)
_______________________
Engineer Jose A. Muñoz Cardenas
Chief, Support Office of the Zone L.P.-P.A.

Organic Foods vs. Conventional Food

It’s a sad state of affairs when more than three billion people around the world suffer from malnourishment – including in the U.S. – and yet most ‘improvements’ to increase food production is simply making our food less nourishing, rather than more so.

But more and more people are getting wise to this problem and are inciting change through their shopping habits and pocketbooks.

A 2007 study published in the American Journal of Agricultural Economics found that shoppers were willing to pay more for locally grown food, and those shopping at farmers’ markets were willing to spend the most for food grown close to home.

Small local farms are cropping up as a result, and many of them use organic, sustainable farming practices even though they may not have been certified as such.

The top reasons people cite for wanting organic, locally-grown food?
• Better food quality
• Better taste
• Freshness

And no wonder, considering the fact that studies, such as the one above, is finding that conventionally grown produce simply isn’t what it used to be.

Many “health” experts continue to state that there is little difference between organic and conventionally raised produce, but if they review this and other evidence, they will likely have to change their tune.

Organic Foods – a Far More Nutritious Choice
The simplest way back toward health is to focus on whole, organic foods, grown or raised as nature intended. Meaning, it’s grown using sustainable farming practices, and without the use of chemical additives, pesticides and fertilizers.

Food grown in healthier soil, with natural fertilizers and no chemicals, simply has to be more nutritious. It is common knowledge — though knowledge that is greatly suppressed in the United States.
A 2003 study in the Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry, for example, found that organic foods are better for fighting cancer. And in 2005, scientists found that, compared to rats that ate conventional diets, organically fed rats experienced various health benefits. Rats that ate organic or minimally fertilized diets had:

Improved immune system status
Better sleeping habits

Less weight and were slimmer than rats fed other diets
Higher vitamin E content in their blood (for organically fed rats)

But perhaps one of the best studies out there on the benefits of organic versus conventionally-grown foods is the 2007 QualityLowInputFood Project — a $25-million study into organic food — the largest of its kind to date.

The researchers grew fruit and vegetables, and raised cattle, on adjacent organic and non-organic sites, and discovered that:

Organic fruit and vegetables contain up to 40 percent more antioxidants
Organic produce had higher levels of beneficial minerals like iron and zinc
Milk from organic herds contained up to 90 percent more antioxidants

The results were so impressive they stated that eating organic foods can even help to increase the nutrient intake of people who don’t eat the recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables a day.

As illustrated in the two charts below, this four-year, European-Union-funded study also found marked differences between dry matter, mineral, vitamin, protein, and amino acid concentrations between organic and conventional crops.

And, Don’t Forget About the Chemical Toxins!
In addition to simply being depleted of many essential nutrients — for all the reasons mentioned in the article above — conventionally grown food is also typically tainted with a multitude of chemical residues, including chemical fertilizers, insecticides, and herbicides.

These chemical concoctions can cause a wide variety of health problems, including:
Neurotoxicity
Disruption of your endocrine system
Cancer
Immune system suppression
Male infertility and miscarriages in women

Traditional, Local Farming on the Rise

Unfortunately, whereas organic foods were once truly raised naturally, on small farms with great integrity, big business has now stepped in and tainted many of the principles upon which the organic label was founded. You are, in fact, being ripped off by much of the organic food you are buying, so buyers beware…
However, increasing numbers of people are now reverting back to the ways of our ancestors, choosing to purchase food directly from local farmers – who generally apply organic farming practices — and cooking it using slow, traditional methods.

Proof of this trend can be seen in the rise of small farms. After declining for more than a century, the number of U.S. small farms has increased 20 percent in the past six years.
But there is still a long way to go. Organic food represents less than 2 percent of the food economy, and local food makes up well under 1 percent. There is some debate on the issue of which is better: organic or locally-grown. Ideally you’ll want both.

But keep in mind that even if your local farmer is not certified as organic, by speaking with them and establishing a rapport you will truly know how your food is raised and grown. Many small farmers grow their crops according to organic standards, yet are unable to afford the federal certification progress to legally call them so.

But in the end, it’s not really the certification itself – which big food manufacturers can afford – that matters, but whether or not your food has been grown in a manner that is compatible with nature and will sustain your good health.