A Leader in Stimulating the Growth of Our Organic Community

Squash blossom, a promise of things to come

B&B Organics is dedicated to helping the people of our community eat healthy! We are committed to taking an active role in the development of our organic community and have been doing so for more than 10 years. We are proud of our vision to continue to lead in six major areas:

1. Supplying the best quality organic produce available at affordable prices all year long to the people of Michiana.

We are dedicated to helping the people in our community eat healthy by providing certified organic produce carefully chosen from reliable sources. We understand that the chemical fertilizers and sprays used in conventional farming can be harmful, especially to children, and believe that everyone deserves the opportunity to eat healthful, organic food at affordable prices.

We currently grow some organic food locally, but due to the weather conditions in our area, need to bring in certain products. For instance, bananas, pineapples, kiwi fruit and oranges always need to be sourced elsewhere. We buy from organic farmers locally when their quality meets our standards.

2. Purchasing organic produce from local growers.

We currently purchase from three organic farmers in Indiana and three in Michigan. Many of the organic farmers in our area are still learning proper organic farming methods and are as yet unable to meet our quality standards. We are constantly reviewing the produce of local organic farmers and are eager to help them learn more about effective organic growing methods. We support the sharing of ideas and methods and are always looking for ways to promote the success of our local organic farmers.

3. Growing organic food locally on six acres of certified organic land we lease.

Our certified organic crops are farmed by people in our community. We pay a local organic farmer to start the seeds in his greenhouses for us. Once the seeds are hearty enough to be planted in the fields, we employ local people for this task. They then tend to the day-to-day growing under the supervision of our organic experts.

Environmental responsibility is always on our minds. We are always seeking ways to use and recycle our materials. We continually read research and look for information from experts who have been successful with the development of organic processes and are eager to share our knowledge with other organic farmers. Using humane farming methods is also important to us. For instance, we keep animals away from our fields with solar noise which is not audible by humans.

At this time we are focusing on certified organic Brussels sprouts and butternut squash, both of which thrive in this climate. Once we have more organic land and greenhouses available for growing, we plan to expand into other important areas including kale, tomatoes, and lettuces.

4. Sharing the importance of eating healthy, organic foods through free lectures, blogs, articles and presentations.

B&B Organics and our sister company, B&B Organic Express, have websites designed to help people understand the importance of eating organic. By reading our informative blog posts and articles, anyone can learn more about the ways organic eating supports a program of good health. Topics include poignant issues such as the potential dangers of genetic modification in foods and more everyday topics like alerts regarding food dyes. Please see our two sites: www.bborganicexpress.com and www.bborganics.com.

Free lectures on healthy eating are given locally by nutritionist Cynthia Harington, who presents important issues to the people of our community including such topics as, how eating organic can help children with certain problematic health conditions.

5. Providing free organic food to needy people in our community through selected, not-for-profits and facilities.

Each week, the organic food in our warehouse which has not been sold but is still good, is offered to Hannah’s House, a not-for-profit home for unwed mothers-to-be. We believe that children need proper nourishment from the time of conception and believe in the importance of donating food to this worthy cause. Food which is not needed by Hannah’s House is donated to the local homeless shelter where it is given to needy people in our community.

6. Teaching everyone, especially children, about the way organic food is grown and showing farmers in our area how organic farming methods work.

Everyone in our community is welcome to learn from us, but we are especially enthusiastic about working with young people. For instance, any Future Farmers of America in Indiana are always welcome to learn from our organic experts. Organic alternatives are entirely different from the use of harsh, chemical fertilizers and pesticides, so we are eager to share what we know about options such as the use of fish emulsion on the ground for improved growing.

We believe that if young people learn how food is grown and how organic methods work, they will grow up with a better understanding of the importance of healthy eating. Studies have indicated that people who eat healthy and embrace other good habits are less likely to need as much serious medical attention later in life, helping to ease the pressure on our medical resources as well as enabling them to enjoy a better quality of life.

Nourishing Our Children with Wisdom and Healthy Food

Nourishing Our Children with Good Old Fashioned Wisdom and Healthy Food is more important than ever.

The “computerized classroom” is a reality in most public schools today. Kids start learning how to use computers at a very early age (in some families it’s as important as their baby taking a first step). Parents are tickled by their child’s ability to stay amused with animated characters, bright colors and playful sounds. But is it a good idea? Lots of experts are looking at test scores and saying, no.

At the same time, our country has gone through a period of desperately searching for a way to keep kids focused. “My kid has ADD so I’m giving him medicine to help him focus,” is not an uncommon remark. But what has happened to the millions of children who have been given drugs to reduce their Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder?

We believe a major factor in learning and ability to focus is proper nutrition. What can you do? Make sure your child is eating a well balanced diet of organic foods which are not genetically modified and are grown without harsh chemicals and fertilizers which could be dangerous to health.

Children raised with an emphasis on healthy eating, lots of love, and good old fashioned wisdom and learning are believed to have a better chance in this complex world we live in.

We found this article interesting:

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Global_Economy/NA31Dj01.html

Our children need our guidance and good, healthy food to succeed in this complex world we live in.

Five Good Habits to Start 2012

Sounds funny when you start saying, “2012” – there’s a hesitation as you resist saying “2011” – it’s like the feeling you have when you’ve just gotten a new pet and the name quite doesn’t roll off your tongue. You need to get used to the new sound, the new feeling, the new ideas it might bring. So, it’s exactly the right time to formulate the NEW YOU we all vow to become as we make our list of New Year’s resolutions.

Most people really want to be healthy. But, many see it as just too much work. Here are a few easy suggestions that can make a difference in your health:

1. As You Seek to Improve Your Health, Aim High, but be Realistic

    Unless you are a super achiever, you don’t have to make grandiose resolutions. Experts say it’s better to aim for something realistic that you really can do rather than work toward an almost impossible goal  and realize after just a couple of days that you’ll never succeed, and then quit trying altogether.

    2. Choose a Healthy Snack

    A snack now and then provides a welcome energy boost and a break. For instance, you might start a healthier diet program by deciding to eat healthy snacks (like organic fruits or vegetables) rather than candy bars and soft drinks. Fruits and vegetables provide important nutrients and don’t cause the spike in blood sugar that can leave you feeling flat once the candy bar sugar rush has passed.

    3. Where You Eat Makes a Difference

    According to Cynthia Harington, a nationally recognized Nutritionist and founder of the Rose Quest Nutrition Centre in Mishawaka, “Try sitting and eating at a table in the kitchen or dining room. Over the past 30 years, many of my clients have confirmed my belief that eating in front of the television or computer may stimulate ‘mindless eating’ – continuing to eat even after one is full because the plate full of food is still in front of you and you’re focused on something else.”

    4. Portion Control Matters – Choose Your Dishes Carefully

    Serving size matters, and choosing your dishes carefully can help you control the size of your portions. Reach for a skinny glass. Harington has found that her clients feel they have had more to drink if the same amount is served in a tall, skinny glass than in a short, fat glass. The tall, skinny glass makes the serving look larger.

    Plates and bowls come in all sizes. Go for the 9-inch plate rather than the 11-inch plate and the same size helping will appear larger. Harington added, “I’ve observed that the bigger the bowl or plate, the more people will eat.”

    5. Start Learning to Read Nutrition Labels

    We all know, reading nutrition labels can be a challenge at first, but if you can zero in on even a few of the facts, they could help you maintain better health. For instance, you might want to check the number of servings in a package, the amount of sugar, sodium, or calories. Harington explained, “For instance, the amount of sodium the 2010 Dietary Guidelines and the AHA  recommend has an upper limit of 1,500 mg for most of the population. So, the 800-plus milligrams that you can find in a single frozen dinner can be problematic for some people. Knowing how to avoid foods which could present a health risk to you is important.”

    To learn more, see www.fda.gov/Food/LabelingNutrition/ConsumerInformation/default.htm

    Wishing you a happy and healthy New Year!

    Grandparents Can Be Champions of Healthy Eating

    When we were kids, my grandmother always made us each a root beer float in a tall glass with a massive scoop of vanilla ice cream. We were overjoyed! My health conscious mother was aghast, but my round little grandma always said, “Oh, it won’t hurt them just this once.”

    “Just this once…” words that can open the door to all kinds of bad habits and questionable decisions. I really wish my grandmother had said, “Look here’s a special treat – a delicious carrot!”

    According to Cynthia Harington, founder of the Rose Quest Nutrition Centre in Mishawaka, “More moms today encourage their children to eat healthy meals and snacks like fresh organic fruit, organic popcorn, or organic yogurt. Grandparents need to respect these decisions. Though they might not have grown up with these foods, they need to understand the importance of encouraging their grandchildren to eat healthy.”

    Choosing organic fruits and vegetables means that they were grown without the use of products containing harmful chemicals, petroleum based fertilizers, genetic modification or irradiation. Organic farms treat plants, soil and animals with natural products instead of synthetic chemicals and drugs. Because of their lower body weight, children are particularly susceptible to harmful chemicals, making organic choices especially important.

    Thankfully, more kids are learning about organic foods, healthy eating and pushing back when they are offered foods they know they shouldn’t eat. Last week in the grocery store, I overheard this conversation, “Grandpa, I love you, too, but Mommy says I’m not allowed to eat Twinkies!” The energetic five-year-old pushed away the brightly printed package as his seriously overweight grandfather added, “I grew up on these! It won’t hurt you to eat them just this once.” I smiled at the brave little boy.

    If your grandchildren are going to be visiting you, here are some suggestions.

    1.       Ask your grandkids’ mom what she wants them to eat for meals and snacks.

    2.       Resist buying just your favorite food treats or the foods you liked when you were a kid.

    3.       Buy some healthy foods you can prepare or cook together with your grandchildren. For instance, try organic almond butter spread on rice cakes for a delicious treat.

    4.       Bake muffins or breads with fruits or vegetables like bananas or zucchini.

    5.       Bake Sugar-free Applesauce Cookies. See recipe below.

    6.       Make Banana and Chocolate Chip Pops. See recipe below.

    7.       Have a great time enjoying every minute with your grandchildren!

    Sugar-free Applesauce Cookies

    ½ cup organic butter, softened

    1 cup unsweetened organic applesauce

    2 organic eggs

    2 tsp. organic vanilla

    1 cup organic spelt flour

    1 tsp. baking soda

    2 tsp. organic cinnamon

    1 cup organic rolled oats

    2/3 cup organic walnuts, chopped

    2-3 cups organic raisins

    Cream together moist ingredients. Combine dry ingredients (except for walnuts and raisins) and gradually combine with batter. Stir in walnuts and raisins. Drop by the spoonful onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes.

    Banana and Chocolate Chip Pops

    1  small ripe organic banana

    1  8-oz carton organic banana yogurt

    1/8 tsp. ground organic nutmeg

    2  Tbsp mini organic chocolate chips

    Slice banana; place in food processor with yogurt and nutmeg. Process until smooth. Transfer to a small bowl; stir in chips. Spoon banana mixture into 4 plastic popsicle molds. Place tops on molds; set in provided stand. Set on level surface in freezer. Freeze 2 hours or until firm. To unmold, briefly run warm water over popsicle until each pop loosens.

    “Gluten” – not bad, definitely misunderstood!

    Today’s grocery store shelves are loaded with packages boasting, “Gluten-free!” Retail sales of gluten-free food and beverages in the U.S. were estimated to be $2.6 billion in 2010.* It is boldly proclaimed on labels and menus, but what does it really mean?

    Gluten, a protein commonly found in rye, wheat and barley, is important to our health. It contributes to the balancing of our immune system. Unfortunately, many people today cannot digest gluten because they lack the proper digestive enzymes. Generally, their diet has included too much pasta, bread and cereal and not enough fresh organic fruits and vegetables, so they don’t have sufficient enzymes to digest gluten.

    Symptoms of gluten intolerance include bloating, constipation and/or diarrhea, migraines, multiple sclerosis (MS), psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis and other conditions. The most exaggerated cases are those with celiac disease.

    People with gluten intolerance have two choices – avoiding gluten or eating healthy to get their digestive enzymes working. Avoiding gluten is one way to go. Not all foods from the grain family contain gluten. Examples of grains that do not have gluten include wild rice, corn, buckwheat, millet, amaranth, quinoa, teff, oats, soybeans, and sunflower seeds. Avoidance isn’t always the answer – in some people, lack of gluten in the diet can lead to extreme nervousness and other undesirable conditions.

    The other option is to find out why your body cannot break gluten down and to make the necessary dietary changes to improve your digestion. Cutting back on processed foods and eating a selection of fresh, organic fruits and vegetables can help restore the enzymes and nutrients necessary to handle gluten.

    If you are suffering from symptoms of gluten intolerance, consider starting your healthy eating with the addition of a fresh, organic Bartlett pear as an evening snack every day. To make serious progress, consider seeing a professional nutritionist who will help you learn which foods can enable you to digest gluten and enjoy breads and cereals without discomfort.

    “Gluten free” labeling is always important for people with celiac disease. Sometimes gluten is used as a stabilizing agent in products like ice cream and ketchup, where it may be unexpected. But, some companies have created confusion and cashed in on the gluten scare by labeling foods “gluten-free” even if they would never contain gluten (like applesauce or vegetables) and then charging a premium price. Read labels and make sure you are not paying more than necessary for “gluten free” products.

    Gluten has taken a bad rap. Before you cut gluten out of your diet, try replenishing your digestive enzymes with fresh organic fruits and vegetables. Gluten isn’t a bad thing, but it is certainly widely misunderstood.

    *Earlier this year, a Packaged Goods report, “Gluten-Free Foods and Beverages in the U.S., Third Edition,” put retail sales of gluten-free food and beverages at $2.6 billion in 2010 and projects that the market will grow to $6 billion in 2015.

    Four Questions to Ask at Your Local Farmers Market

    Going to the farmers market is a festive, social occasion – they are now more popular than ever! Chatting, making new friends, enjoying the fresh air – all very fun. However, before you actually shop, you need to understand which questions you should ask before you buy. Just because food shows up for sale at your local farmers market doesn’t mean it’s good for you.

    Protect yourself and your family’s health by asking the important questions explained here before you buy.
    According to Cynthia Harington, a nationally recognized nutritionist based in Mishawaka, “The fruits and vegetables sold at farmers markets might come from farms or gardens sprayed with potentially harmful chemical pesticides or grown with harsh chemical fertilizers. An analysis of U.S. health data has linked children’s attention-deficit disorder with exposure to common pesticides used on fruits and vegetables.”
    Parents need to be aware of these dangers because children are especially vulnerable to these harsh chemicals. Harington explained, “Children may be especially prone to the health risks of pesticides because they are still growing and may consume more pesticide residue than adults relative to their body weight.”
    Question 1
    Was the product grown on a certified organic farm or garden?

    Why buy organic? Organic fruits and vegetables are grown on certified organic farms and gardens without the use of products containing harmful chemicals, petroleum based fertilizers, genetic modification or irradiation. Organic farms treat plants, soil and animals with natural products instead of synthetic chemicals and drugs.

    Question 2
    Were the seeds guaranteed to not be genetically modified and to be grown organically?

    Another increasingly important issue concerns seeds. Harington pointed out, “Genetically modified seeds are a major issue which too few consumers know to ask about. A genetically modified organism (GMO) is one whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques. For example, fish genes have been placed in tomatoes, human genes in tobacco, bacteria in corn, and viruses in squash and fruit.”
    According to the Council for Responsible Genetics (www.councilforresponsiblegenetics.org), “Genetic engineering may cause unintended side effects that make foods hazardous for human consumption. Unpredictable gene expression may result in the unanticipated toxic effects or allergies. We have indisputable evidence that genetically engineered foods may produce serious, even fatal, allergic reactions.”
    Harington added, “Seeds grown organically in the U.S. are generally safer and of better quality than those grown in foreign countries like India where a staggering amount of chemicals are commonly utilized for seed production.”

    Question 3
    What kind of fertilizer was used?

    Some farmers and gardeners appear not to be well informed of the potential dangers associated with commonly used fertilizers. Such toxic fertilizers are frequently used on farms and in gardens which are not adhering to organic growing practices.

    Harington explained, “The toxic substances found in some tested fertilizers have been linked to adverse human health conditions. The metals found in these fertilizers are known or suspected carcinogens, reproductive and developmental, liver, and blood toxicants. For example, beryllium is a suspected carcinogen, chromium and arsenic are known to cause cancer and barium can cause kidney and lung damage.”

    Question 4
    Have these fruits and vegetables been properly refrigerated?

    On many days, uncut fruits and vegetables do not require refrigeration for the few hours they are out on display at a farmers market. However, prepared fruit and vegetable products (such as cut-up strawberries and cucumbers) require special handling and should be kept cold. Refrigeration helps protect against the growth of harmful bacteria. The state health department advises consumers to only buy products from vendors who keep freshly prepared fruit and vegetable products cold, either in refrigerator units or on ice. Once purchased, freshly prepared fruits and vegetables should be kept cold, according to the department.

    Harington advises, “Especially on a hot day, it’s best to bring a cooler to help protect your fruits and vegetables, especially berries.”

    Shopping at the farmers market is especially fruitful, once you know the right questions to ask!

    Cynthia Harington, a nationally recognized nutritionist, is founder of Rose Quest Nutrition Centre with offices in Chicago and Mishawaka, Indiana. She works directly with clients seeking improved quality of life through proper eating.

    Raw Organic Honey – A Powerful Boost

    Eating healthy foods, like raw organic honey, can help build your family’s resistance to bacteria and viruses by strengthening the immune system. However, raw honey is not recommended for children under 18 months.*

    As a child, when I complained of a sore throat, my mother would mix warm water (not hot), a tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice and a teaspoon of raw honey. It was a soothing drink and made me feel better. Today, most people reach for a plastic bottle of something brightly colored from the drug aisle in the supermarket and complain that it doesn’t help.

    Turns out, Mom knew what she was talking about. According to Cynthia Harington, certified nutritionist and founder of the Rose Quest Nutrition Centre in Mishawaka, “Organic raw honey is antiseptic, antibiotic, antifungal, and antibacterial — it never spoils! What’s more, it is also packed with vitamins and nutrients which can enhance the immune system. It contains beneficial live yeast and enzymes because it has not been processed. The heat of pasteurization kills those beneficial enzymes, so be sure you use raw organic honey.”

    Finding raw, organic honey can be a bit of a challenge since most honey stocked on supermarket shelves is pasteurized. Harington explained, “Almost all honeys on the market are pasteurized in high heat and filtered to make them clear, removing many of the beneficial nutrients and enzymes. Pasteurization is unnecessary as honey does not spoil (even after 5000 years in an Egyptian pyramid). Finding raw honey which is also organic is important because many of the plants that produce the flowers needed for honey (clover, orange blossom, etc.) are grown with potentially harmful chemical pesticides and fertilizers. Organic raw honey uses only flowers grown without any harmful pesticides and fertilizers.”

    Research studies have shown that raw honey can be useful in the treatment of a number of diseases. Harington added, “Raw honey has been used internally to help cure ulcers, particularly stomach ulcers.  It has been used to relieve canker sores, high blood pressure and constipation. And, since, it is a good source of anti-oxidants, research shows it works naturally to relieve pain, neutralize toxins, harmonize the liver, and can play a role in the prevention of certain types of diseases.”

    Moreover, raw honey is useful as a dressing for abrasions or burns. Harington explained, “By applying raw honey to your wounds, you can prevent infections. Raw honey contains antimicrobial agents which may help prevent infections by killing the bacteria in and around your wounds. Applied every 2 to 3 days under a dry dressing, raw honey helps promote healing of ulcers and burns. Due to its natural anti-inflammatory effect, it will help to heal the wounds more quickly. It also has different phytochemicals–chemicals found in plants and different foods–that kill viruses, bacteria, and fungus making it a good substitute for wound dressings.”

    Raw honey can also play an effective role in helping alcoholics handle their cravings during their hangover period. Harington reports, “Alcoholics in their hangover period can find relief from their cravings for alcohol by eating a spoonful of raw honey when those cravings occur.”

    If you are buying raw honey for the first time, you might be surprised to see that it is not clear and that the consistency is thicker than pasteurized honeys. Fine, smooth textured crystals are characteristic of totally pure, unheated, unprocessed, raw honey. Crystallized honey preserves natural goodness and doesn’t drip. It may turn harder over time as it crystallizes, but can be softened by briefly placing the jar of honey in a bowl of warm water (never in a microwave oven).

    Next time you feel a scratchy throat coming on, reach for the raw honey, warm water, and lemon juice. Relief is on the way!

    *One note of caution, Harington explained that children under 18 months of age should not be fed honey since their digestive system is not well developed enough. Babies don’t yet have the ability to break down botulin, so raw honey fed to babies can cause botulism.

    Cynthia Harington, a nationally recognized nutritionist, is founder of Rose Quest Nutrition Centre with offices in Chicago and Mishawaka, Indiana. She works directly with clients seeking improved quality of life through proper eating.