Natural-Habitats
organic products grown in a sustainable habitat

Organic awakening

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11 November 2013

environment, health

Consumers are realizing that the industrial food system that is currently in place is flawed and cannot be relied on for any longer, as they have grown more health conscious and environmentally aware, which leads to great opportunities for the local and organic food industry according to researchers Field and Bell. The organic food industry is the largest growing market worldwide according to the Organic Trade Association.

This type of food heavily relies on organic farming, which uses green manure, compost, organic pesticides and biological pest control that helps replenish soil and protect important resources such as water and air from harmful substances. In contrast, conventional farming uses synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, which can contaminate soil and water with chemicals. Pesticides are defined as any material (natural, organic or synthetic) used to control, prevent, kill, suppress or repel pests according to the Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resources from the University of California.

According to Crop Life International up to 80% of the world’s potential crop production would be lost annually if existing pesticide uses were abandoned. Pesticides help in:

Removing unwanted insects and weed – In this process, the food production is increased and as well the costs for the products is decreased.
Preventing plant diseases – It allows the production of high-quality produce.

The University of San Diego states that synthetic chemicals are harmful for our health and are classified in terms of its effects as:
Acute effects- injuries or illnesses that appear immediately after exposure. These effects are reversible if appropriate medical care is given right away;
Delayed effects- illnesses or injuries that do not appear immediately, which includes immune system disorders, asthma, breast cancer, lymphoma, leukemia and cancer. Over 160 synthetic pesticides are listed to be possible carcinogens and many of them are still in use.

In organic agriculture, organic pesticides must be derived from natural sources and not be synthetically manufactured. In addition, the equipment that will be used to apply the organic pesticide has to not have used to apply any synthetic chemicals for the last 3 years. In regards to the land being planted on, it cannot have been treated with synthetic materials for the last 3 years either. Also, buffer zones (around 25 to 30 feet according to the Rodale Institute) have to be created in order to protect the organic crop from contamination if conventional farming surrounds the organic area.

Organic food is 100% natural, as it does not contain any chemical additives, with no artificial colors or preservatives – all organic farming methods using only natural ingredients in order to control and prevent the crop being damaged. Dr. Oz asserts that organic foods have 94% fewer health risks than conventional foods. All in all, it is time to take action to save the environment and protect our health at the same by choosing organic products!

For Natural Habitats, organic and fair-trade palm oil production is deeply embedded as a long-term commitment to being sustainable and in harmony with the environment! Natural Habitat’s agronomists help independent small farm holders in having the necessary skills and information about organic and sustainable farming practices in order to conserve biodiversity and to minimize the impact of climate change by offering:
Technical support on integrated pest management, nutrient management plans and controls based cultural knowledge;
Control the application of best production practices in the farms to nurture the soil and avoid the destruction the environment;
Controlling the quality of compost and plants.

One of Natural Habitat’s esteemed agronomists; Gabriel explains the natural ways of controlling pests without using any pesticides through traps in this video . Inside the traps a mixture of molasses and water is used along side a palm fruit in order to attract the insect. The insect enters through the window of the trap and once it is inside it cannot leave the container. As can be seen, it is easy to use organic practices!

 

Blog & News

Palm Oil Is Everywhere

Palm oil (Elaeis guineensis) originates from West Africa. Once planted, after 3-4 years’ palm oil trees start to producing its first fruits and will continue all year-round for up to 30 years. Oil Palm is high yielding; it produces more oil per hectare than any other major oil seed crop.

Did you know that half of your items in your house contain palm oil?
Palm oil is also the most widely consumed vegetable oil on the planet

farmers, social reponsibility, environment, organic

Why Farm Organically?

With a growing population, nearly 10 billion people by 2050, and an increasing demand for food, agriculture is placed under extreme pressure. We heavily rely on services that the industry provides to us, such as food, clothes, wood, and many others. Unfortunately, with biodiversity losses and deforestation practices that accompany modern agriculture, these services are currently at risk. Therefore, we must take actions to sustain biodiversity, soils and forests for the generations to come

social reponsibility, environment, farmers, organic

An Important Role of Intercropping in Modern Agriculture

Population of our planet is constantly growing. The threat of insufficient food supply in the near future encourages intensification of the search for more productive agricultural technics. At Natural Habitats, we believe that well-planned intercropping is one of the most effective and sustainable ways to increase agricultural productivity.

Intercropping, as well as other forms of multiple cropping, is an ancient method of intensive agriculture that involves cultivation of two or more crops simultaneously on the same field

environment, farmers

Mainstream Sustainable Palm Oil Production in Ecuador

Deforestation caused by many palm-oil producers, harming wildlife habitats, has been a widespread concern around the world. However, more and more palm oil is now being sourced sustainably with a help of the certification initiative promoted by a non-profit association Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) that aims to transform markets to make sustainable palm oil the norm. Natural Habitats as 100% organic and sustainable producer was certified with RSPO standard in 2013.

In May 2013, Natural Habitats in Ecuador (Exportsustent) together with Solidaridad and National Association of Oil Palm Growers (ANCUPA) developed a pioneering project Mainstream Sustainable Palm Oil Production in Ecuador

farmers, environment, partnership, social reponsibility

An Ongoing Education of Farmers

Natural Habitats believes in doing business in harmony with the environment. This is the reason for us to continuously encourage smallholder farmers in Ecuador and Sierra Leone into getting involved in organic and sustainable production of palm oil.

On a regular basis, we educate and train our smallholder farmers in nature preservation and organic farming practices for not only their own good but for the betterment of the society

farmers, partnership, social reponsibility

Fair Trade Explained

Today, we are surrounded by numerous certifications on the products we buy at supermarkets. It is getting more and more confusing to figure out what exactly most of them stand for. Some labels are self-explanatory and some are not. Fair for Life Social and FairTrade certification belongs to the second category. Therefore, most of the consumers do not even realize that while they purchase Fair for Life or FairTrade certified products they contribute to the empowerment of poor around the world

farmers, social reponsibility, environment

Why Healthy Palm Oil is not an Oxymoron

When people hear about palm oil the first thing that usually comes to their mind is heart disease. The logic is pretty simple: fifty per cent of the oil consists of saturated fat that supposed to be bad for the heart, therefore, palm oil causes heart disease. However, numerous studies continue to confirm that palm oil does not promote heart problems and, if anything, it protects against them

cooking, health

Sustaining Food Security

Pressure on the world’s food supply is constantly increasing due to population growth, changing diets and government policies promoting biofuels. Current estimates suggest that by 2050 the food demand will be twice what it was in 2005. Biotech companies have strongly promoted the idea that genetically engineered (GE) crops are the key to “feeding the world”. According to Environmental Working Group , recent studies show that this promise has fallen flat

environment, farmers, social reponsibility