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Go Back   Talk Budgies Forums > Budgie Talk > Your Budgie's Health > Diet and Nutrition


Diet and Nutrition Discuss issues related to diet and learn about encouraging your budgie to a variety of healthy foods
Thread Description:Is it really what you thought?

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Old 05-17-2016, 06:07 PM
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Lightbulb Organic Produce

So Lonny was online looking at stuff for the birds, like usual, and found this. We like many others buy organic produce with the assumption that they are much healthier, and don't use pesticides, right? He found an article that might make you all question your produce buying habits entirely. It made me think twice for sure. I wanted to share this with you all, because I think it's important to be fully informed on what we're buying for our budgies, and for ourselves. Anyway, here it is:

Mythbusting 101: Organic Farming > Conventional Agriculture - Scientific American Blog Network

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Old 05-17-2016, 07:30 PM
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Interesting article Kristen. I know over here in Australia our rules on Organic Certification are different to the UK and US. I don't usually buy organic as it is far too expensive for a person on a pension. But in my mind the only true organic food is what you grow yourself as you know exactly what you put on it or don't put on it as the case may be. I am blessed with great soil where I am now and don't need to use any fertilizers at all and I don't use any pesticides at all. The bugs don't eat that much anyway. I also have a great colony of Lady Birds and they eat so many of the bad bugs anyway. I use companion planting where plants protect each other, for example growing carrots next to onions will protect each other from the bugs that attack them. I also plant Dwarf Marigolds around the plot as they deter nematodes from eating the plants roots and thus killing the plants. Other plants cannot be grown next to each other as they do not get on with each other and can lessen production and growth. Using mulch and planting the plants closer together reduce weed growth and lower the need for using lots of water to irrigate the plants. The use of drip watering systems or mist watering systems also reduces the amount of water used. Here in Australia that is very important as we regularly suffer from drought. I always manage to get plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables throughout the summer months, much more than I can use, and hardly ever lose anything to bugs. The only thing that gets at my vegetables and fruit is the resident possum.
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Old 05-17-2016, 11:49 PM
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Kate I never would've thought to plant marigolds around my plot. I'll have to look into that. I love growing my own produce, but the last time I did, I had problems with caterpillars getting to my tomatoes, and weird little red bugs getting my peppers and corn, ugh.
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Old 05-18-2016, 12:30 AM
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Ahh, now here is a topic that I wouldn't mind sharing some insights because I happen to be in the produce business. BTW Kristen, the link you've included is very informative and truthful about organic produce and most organic foods.

First off, I can elaborate more on the topic from the perspective of an industry insider but in plain terms just like the article - having an organic certification on produce is really more of a marketing tool to promote it as a premium grade product - which really doesn't make it better but it definitely earns the right to be sold at a higher premium price. Now a very important point is made on the first line of the article starting with "Ten years ago, Certified Organic didn't exist in the United States...". Face it, we live in a more health conscious age where people are not only more conscious of what we eat but how the food is produced and processed - and an organic certified produce does give some folks an added assurance but not necessarily added value. Just like the article and pretty much in a nutshell, the properties and nutritional values of an organic fruit or veggie differs none whatsoever from its non-organic equivalent. Its simply produced under different and a bit more stringent farming standards, from plantation through harvest to packing, with a key factor in the types of chemicals used. For example as stated and not getting too scientific - pesticide is pesticide and organic or not, its purpose is to cause harm to pesky organisms - which can also harm the crop. What matters more, from my learnings this past year in the industry, is how the product is handled and preserved after leaving the farm and through the various channels to the open market (from refrigeration, transportation to import/export/customs/USDA/FDA clearance to distribution). Produce is a perishable commodity, so preservation is very important to its monetary and intrinsic value. The bottom line is - 'organic certified' surely increase its market value but not necessarily its intrinsic benefits...and the investment in organic certifications are often ten-fold as you can imagine.

In case you're all wondering what I do in the produce business - I work for a produce importer and packer specializing in mangoes, carrots, and green beans from growers mostly in Mexico and South America by truckloads daily...and no, we don't do organic. But don't let me bore you all (and myself) with shop talk after work.
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Old 05-18-2016, 02:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jedikeet View Post
Ahh, now here is a topic that I wouldn't mind sharing some insights because I happen to be in the produce business. BTW Kristen, the link you've included is very informative and truthful about organic produce and most organic foods.

First off, I can elaborate more on the topic from the perspective of an industry insider but in plain terms just like the article - having an organic certification on produce is really more of a marketing tool to promote it as a premium grade product - which really doesn't make it better but it definitely earns the right to be sold at a higher premium price. Now a very important point is made on the first line of the article starting with "Ten years ago, Certified Organic didn't exist in the United States...". Face it, we live in a more health conscious age where people are not only more conscious of what we eat but how the food is produced and processed - and an organic certified produce does give some folks an added assurance but not necessarily added value. Just like the article and pretty much in a nutshell, the properties and nutritional values of an organic fruit or veggie differs none whatsoever from its non-organic equivalent. Its simply produced under different and a bit more stringent farming standards, from plantation through harvest to packing, with a key factor in the types of chemicals used. But for example as stated and not getting too scientific - pesticide is pesticide and organic or not, its purpose is to cause harm to pesky organisms - which can also harm the crop. What matters more, from my learnings this past year in the industry, is how the product is handled and preserved after leaving the farm and through the various channels to the open market (from refrigeration, transportation to import/export/customs/USDA/FDA clearance to distribution). Produce is a perishable commodity, so preservation is very important to its monetary and intrinsic value. The bottom line is - 'organic certified' surely increase its monetary value but not necessary its intrinsic value...and the investment in organic certifications are often ten-fold as you can imagine.

In case you're all wondering what I do in the produce business - I work for a produce importer and packer specializing in mangoes, carrots, and green beans from growers mostly in Mexico and South America by truckloads daily...and no, we don't do organic. But don't let me bore you all (and myself) with shop talk after work.
Wow! That's really all I got, . That is a lot of information for 1am, Nick. I knew your business would come in handy one day! j/k. This is super informative, and incredibly helpful. I read this and was like, "Are you kidding me?" I have been spending so much on organics thinking they would be better for us and the flock nutritionally, and come to find out that we were totally off base. I'm going to have to do some research into this and find out what it's going to take to basically "farm" my own stuff here at home. I don't like the fact that being "certified organic" means basically nothing, and they still get to charge $3.50+- for two tiny broccoli stalks, and almost $5 for a small container of kale. Among other items of course, I have spent in the last 6 months somewhere around $500 on organics. It really irks me to think that this country has gone to such lengths to essentially deceive the residents, and imply that organic is a healthy alternative to "normal" produce. Ugh!

Ok, enough of my rant. If by any chance some of this doesn't make any sense, It is about 1:20am here right now, and I'm quite pooped. I actually just came on to check a few other things and my TB tab on my browser was leering at me to check it, .

Nick, you really are great for taking the time to explain everything when you already have to deal with all this type of stuff every single day. I know how annoying it can be to have to talk about work when you're off the clock. I know it bugs me, but then again, I'm not doing something that I genuinely enjoy. I tolerate my job, but that's about it.

Anyway, off to bed, lol. Thank again for the info!!!
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Old 05-18-2016, 02:53 AM
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There are really natural alternatives to get rid of lots of bugs in your garden and they truly are non harmful to the soil and the food you are growing.

Firstly Garlic. Garlic is a natural pesticide and herbicide. Economical and totally non toxic. Links.

Using Garlic as a Natural Pesticide | DoItYourself.com

Gardening Australia - The Garlic Effect

This link has a number of natural organic type treatments.

Organic Pest Spray - Burke's Backyard

Ladybirds are particularly useful all except the 28 spotted one which will eat your leafy vegetables.

Ladybirds

So if you know of anyone that has a colony of ladybirds go and get some of them for your garden.

Snails and slugs. Use a butter or margarine plastic container, don't wash it and sink it into the soil near your plants and put in some beer. They love beer and will die with a smile on their faces. Fairly harmless to your pets as well in such small quantities. Also using a mulch like rice hulls (the husk on the rice granule before it is polished to give us white rice), not sure if it is available in the US or the UK but the snails and slugs hate it as it blocks up their slimey crawling mechanism.

Similar also for Cockroaches. Use the same butter or marg container and again don't wash it and put in a small quantity of white wine or beer. Cockies love it and they also die with a smile on their faces. Here are some other handy hints for getting rid of and repelling cockies.

10 Best Ways To Get Rid Of Cockroaches / Roaches

Hope these hints are useful to people. I have an intolerance to pesticides so I have had to find alternatives that I can live with and don't make me sick.
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Old 05-18-2016, 02:56 AM
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Wow that's a really informative and interesting article Kristen, and Nick, from an insider's view you've confirmed it to be true!

Yikes... I will continue to peel the skin off the yellow squash before chopping it for the birds . I sometimes say "ahh, this one is organic, so this time I have the luxury of being lazy and not peeling first" LOL. I don't feel so bad for buying the "regular" red bell peppers now! They don't always look as good as the organic ones, but so much cheaper. Thank you for posting this you guys.
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