4 Facts You May Not Know about Certified Organic

It seems like everyone has fallen in love with all things “organic.” But why? The organic industry has convinced the average consumer that if a product is stamped with that “USDA Certified Organic” label, it implies that the product is healthy. That the product is somehow free of factory farming practices, chemicals, pesticides, and carcinogens. Is that really the case though?

It’s not that certified organic farming is bad. But its just not as pure as they’d like consumers to believe. We aren’t saying certified organic is a conspiracy theory, but marketers are marketers and in a 50 billion dollar premium based industry, facts are going to be presented in the best light possible.organic fruit photo

Here are 4 little secrets the “Certified Organic” industry doesn’t want to get out.

1. Certified Organic Food Production can Include a Ton of Pesticides

Guess what? Even plants that are “certified organic” need pesticides. The impression that organic crops don’t require pesticides is entirely false. Organic production allows for the inclusion of more than 40 different pesticides. The purpose of pesticides is to kill. Doesn’t matter if it is applied in organic or non-organic farming. Obviously, they’re not designed to kill people, there’s really no guarantee they are any safer than their non-organic brethren.

You can find a list of what’s allowed here.

2. Food Labeled as Organic May Not Even Be Organic

Yep. You read that right. In short, most sizable organic producers also produce non-organic crops. Often of the same foodstuff.  This can lead to sloppy record keeping and the unintentional blending or mixing of those organic and non-organic crops. You’d be hard-pressed to tell the difference between an organic orange and a non-organic by sight alone. Good thing they have that sticker saying they’re “certified organic.” Right…

certified organic is visually difficult to seeWhat’s more, the official definition of “certified organic” by the USDA seems to acknowledge some of this unintentional blending. After all, only 95% of contents must be organically produced to carry the certified organic label. 95% is pretty good, but even if the realistic blend is only 70% organic, it can be labeled “made with organic ingredients.” And again, you can’t tell just by looking at a piece of fruit or a bag of nuts and definitively tell which are organic and which are conventionally produced.

3. Organic Food Can Contain Non-Organic Ingredients

So, number two doesn’t really matter. Organic food production allows for the inclusion of 43 synthetic substances.  In addition, there are 34 non-synthetic, but also non-organic, substances allowed in the production of something labeled “certified organic.”

The organic industry likes to imply that their food is pure, justifying the higher cost, but, that isn’t strictly true. It’s not as though all of these substances are nefarious, but when you’re paying a premium for organic cheese, you probably would like it to be free of wood pulp filler. Check the ingredient list. Take a look and see if there’s cellulose in that cheese. That’s wood pulp.

4. Certified Organic Food is Healthier

If a consumer is paying a 20% premium for certified organic food, ought it not be healthier? One of the central tenants of Native Soil is that it helps restore the soil nutrients. Those nutrients are then transferred to the plant and then to the food. If certified organic practices produced healthier food, we’d be on board. Problem is there is no evidence to show that certified organic is really any better.

When the UK produced a study between organic and non-organic food, the nutrient density was nearly indistinguishable.

“Any consumers who buy organic food because they believe that it contains more healthful nutrients than conventional food are wasting their money.” – Joseph P. Rosen (Professor Emeritus of Food Toxicology at Rutgers University)

So if it isn’t any healthier, why do consumers continue to throw money into the certified organic system with such enthusiasm? Marketing.


At the end of the day, just because something isn’t “certified organic” doesn’t mean that it isn’t an outstanding product. Certified organic is basically a marketing scam. Why buy certified organic fertilizer when all you’re paying for is someone’s enormous marketing budget. Kudos to that industry for getting their message out in such a successful way, but its just a marketing message.

Give Native Soil a whirl. Come find your soil mate.


Superfood Consumption – You Really Are What you Eat

As Americans, we have developed a bad habit of not really watching what goes into our bodies as fuel. We tend to eschew this part of our daily routines. So busy that we run out of the house without eating breakfast, subsisting on coffee and donuts until the mid afternoon when we break for a lunch that ends up being pure junk. Because junk is quick. At Upcycle, we prefer to take life a little slower and make sure that we keep an eye on our superfood consumption.

Superfood Consumption Benefits

What’s more is that you can grow so many different superfoods right in your own home. You don’t have to go to the local health food store to get some fancy macrobiotic, genetically engineered frankenfood. No way. You can pull your superfoods for consumption right out of your own plants. And it’s a double whammy. While you’re saving money growing your own superfoods for consumption, the basic act of nurturing a plant from seedling to mature, produce producing, plant is mentally satisfying in its own right. Wait… that’s a triple whammy.

Recent dietary research has uncovered 14 different nutrient-dense foods that time and again promote good overall health. Coined “superfoods,” they tend to have fewer calories, higher levels of vitamins and minerals, and many disease-fighting antioxidants.

What Should I Grow?

Blueberries are a great food for beginning superfood consumptionBeans (legumes), berries (especially blueberries), broccoli, green tea, nuts (especially walnuts), oranges, pumpkin, salmon. soy, spinach, tomatoes, turkey, whole grains and oats, and yogurt can all help stop and even reverse diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and some forms of cancer. And where one might have an effect on a certain part of the body, it can also affect the health of other body functions and performance, since the whole body is connected. With these 14 foods as the base of a balanced, solid diet, weight loss gimmicks and other fly-by-night programs can become a thing of the past in your life.

Why Should I Be Consuming Superfoods?

Conversely, the ill-effects of an unbalanced diet are several and varied. An unhealthy diet causes low energy levels, mood swings, and exhaustion. Add weight change, body image issues and you’ll know your diet is unbalanced. An unbalanced diet can cause problems with maintenance of body tissues, growth and development, brain and nervous system function, as well as problems with bone and muscle systems.

Symptoms of malnutrition include lack of energy, irritability, a weakened immune system leading to frequent colds or allergies, and mineral depletion that can trigger a variety of health concerns including anemia.
And since the body is connected, realizing that an unhealthy body will result in an unhealthy spirit only makes sense. When we nourish our body with these superfoods and complement them with other nutrient-dense and healthy fresh foods, our spirit will be vitalized and healthy as a direct result.

Start Today

Don’t wait. Every day you wait is a day you’re living with your poor diet.

Many modern diets based on prepackaged convenience foods are sorely lacking in many vitamins and minerals. That vitamin deficient diet will affect our mental capacities as well. It will cause anxiety, confusion, and the feeling of ‘being in a fog’ all the time. If you’ve ever spent a day at the office where you have the mental prowess of a block of ill-treated wood, you know what brain fog is all about.superfood consumption can mitigate stress, anxiety and brain fog

As a result it is so easy and rewarding to grow your own superfood from scratch. Native Soil serves as a perfect amendment to any home garden. Urban areas, tend to have nutrient deficient soil. It is as if the soil absorbs the personality of the humans scurrying around it. Just a little bit of Native Soil to restore the soil health is a no-brainer.


Superfoods can be the basis of a sound, healthy, nutritious solution to curing many of these ailments and more. Don’t let another foggy day slip by. Seize the day. Get your hands dirty.

10 Superfoods That Will Save Your Life

What are so called “Superfoods?”

Superfoods are nutrient dense, almost magically so, foods that have so many health benefits, they take on a mystical status. Not all superfoods are created equal. Some are grains, berries, nuts, or fish. So while you can’t grow all of your own superfoods, there are plenty that you can get right out of your own soil.

This curly lettuce may not seem like much, but its health boosting aspects have earned it a place on our Superfood list. Kale regulates the body’s pH level which leads to overall improved health and well-being. It also helps absorption, regulates value, and can even thwart disease due to its immune boost and anti-inflammatory assets. As a vegetable rich in the essential phytonutrients, it protects against a wide array of cancers, with studies showing its ability to help the liver raise cancer-fighting enzymes. A rich source of potassium and phytonutrients a humble container of yogurt contains all sorts of superhuman health benefits. Oats have a special type of fiber that helps to lower cholesterol and thwart heart disease. Since oats also contain magnesium, which works to regulate blood sugar levels, studies suggests that munching whole oats may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.


Grow Your Own Superfoods

Tomatoes – the delicious red-faced vegetable which isn’t actually a veggie. Yet, did you know that its red-faced shade comes from lycopene, a strong antioxidant rarely found in other fruits. Studies have found that this fantastic nutrient could protect the skin against dangerous UV lights, slowing the development of certain types of cancers. If that isn’t enough, tomatoes also help to lower cholesterol. Astonishingly, the most difficult health help comes from tomatoes which have been cooked, as the heating process increases the amount of lycopene our bodies are able to absorb. Kefir, the centuries-old fermented milk product, makes “good feeling” in Turkish offering a clue as to why it has compiled this top 10 inventory.

Containing high levels of vitamin B12, calcium magnesium, vitamin K2, biotin, folic battery-acid, enzymes and probiotics, kefir indeed is a SUPER food. Acclaimed as mending digestion-related illness and cankers including IBS and Crohn’s disease this sour tasting and elixir even cures those suffering with lactose intolerance.

Broccoli is a superfood much hated by kids everywhere. This tree like lettuce is actually one of the greatest Superfoods.

The humble Avacado, one of nature's greatest superfoods
Photo by DesultoryMe

An enormous source of vitamin C and folic acid, it also contains vitamins A and K, as well as calcium fiber, beta-carotene and many other antioxidants. All of this means that broccoli boosts the immune system, lowers the incidence of cataracts, encourages cardiovascular health, and builds bones.

Superfoods May Help in the Fight Against Cancer

What is more, in 1992 a researcher at John Hopkins University announced the detection of a combination found in broccoli that not only slowed growth by 60%. They found further shrinking of the pre-existing tumors by 75%. Another lettuce meditate is the avocado.

A few of its little healthy properties. It contains all 18 essential amino acids, omega 3, vitamins B-complex, C, E and K. Avocados also contain fiber necessary to bunker excess cholesterol and remove it from the body. Avocado is also an good sidekick, helping us to suck essential nutrients when eaten in conjunction with other Superfoods.

The humble avacado’s Superfood status spreads further when studies noted that a lipid in avocados, may be helping to fight leukemia.

How about Some Small Superfoods

All berries are full of cancer-fighting phytonutrients. Famous is the blueberry; nonetheless, pitch-black raspberries are worthy of more consideration. Containing the highest concentrations of certain phytochemicals these juicy shields help to slow the expansion of pre-cancerous cells and stop brand-new blood vessels from assembling which would potentially feed a cancerous tumor.

Several large studies have found that those who ingested more garlic are less likely to develop various kinds of cancer.  Especially cancers relating to digestive organs such as the esophagus, belly and colon.

This is because the nutrients found in these fragrant bulbs help to prevent cancerous elements in your body from forming. For this superfood to really sing, you have to eat it fresh. So warn your neighbors. A member of the ginger family, turmeric can be used for much more than merely flavoring curries. This orange-colored spice has been identified by the American Cancer Society as containing curcumin. Curcumin is an incredible ingredient capable of stopping specific types of cancer cells from growing, and even shrinking pre-existing tumors.

Don’t Forget the Grains

brown rice photo
Photo by Arria Belli

Brown rice is known for being healthier than white, but black rice, its darker cousin is far superior. Known as “Forbidden Rice” in Ancient China when it was only eaten by royals, pitch-black rice differ from other rice as it has the highest iron and zinc content. As with black raspberries and other vibrant colored foods, pitch-black rice contains more antioxidants than lighter colored grains. Black rice is rich in anthocyanins which are accredited as preventing DNA damage that can cause cancer. So, looks like there should always be a few colors on the plate.

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The Amazing Health Benefits of Superfood Kale Grown with Native Soil

What is the Superfood Kale?

One of our favorite plants to grow with Native Soil in San Diego is the superfood kale.

Kale has some amazing health benefits and is relatively easy to grow in most of the San Diego microclimates year round. Now, while we’re crazy about digging in the dirt, science and manufacturing, I’m not going to pretend that we are the best fitness experts. So here is Mitch from Fitness Radar to tell us about just a few of the health benefits of the superfood kale.

And remember, if you’re in San Diego and want to get seriously health crazy? Try mixing a superfood kale and local seaweed salad. Come to think of it I know what’s going on the plate tonight. Nothing says a warm holiday like a little superfood.



Health Benefits of Kale

Did you know that Kale is probably the king of all greens? Kale is loaded with Vitamins such as B6, Vitamin a, c, k manganese, calcium, copper, potassium magnesium iron..I could go on for days it’s like a living breathing vitamin store lol This green leafy vegetable sometimes comes in purple can have a smooth or curly appearance is a part of the cabbage family. and is related to broccoli collard greens and Brussels sprouts they must have very steamy family reunions lol! Kale contains very little fat is low in calories and has a bitter taste when eaten raw. (Don’t worry, you get used to it. We did!)

Doesn't superfood kale look delicious?The benefits of kale are high in antioxidants Lowers cholesterol helps eyesight is 4 and a half times the amount of vitamin c than in spinach and A single cup of raw kale actually contains more vitamin C than an orange. There are many ways to eat kale You can sauté it or add it to salads you can bake it with some and salt for some kale chips and you can definitely add it to a smoothie so it is very versatile Click the card up here or the link in the description for the playlist of all of the other fruits, vegetables, and vitamins that we are going to be covering.

Don’t forget to subscribe then hit the bell next to it to receive updates when we post new videos. Until next time, stay focused stay fit please hit the like button show your support. I’m Meech with the Fitness Radar salute! .

Want to learn more about how to grow superfood like kale in your own home using Native Soil? Sign up below for more tips, tricks and discounts!

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