Terminology and FAQs
Terminology and FAQs
Organic, GMO-free, grass-fed, pastured - what do all these words mean? The health food industry is famous for having terminology that changes meaning frequently.
Here at BlossomPure, we strive to ensure that everyone understands what our products are defined as.
"Grass-fed": This new and hotly contested term can be misleading. According to the Organic Council of Canada, animals only require that 75% of their diet be based on grass. This fact means that a “certified grass-fed” animal could have their diet supplemented with grain or other fillers.
What it means for BlossomPure: When we say “100% grass-fed” we mean it. Our beef are out on pasture throughout the year with exception to winter weather. They are grass-fed from start to finish with no grain or supplements. In the winter, the animals are fed haylage. Haylage is what we feed our animal and it has a higher protein value as the hay is baled and fermented due to the moisture in the bale. Animals love it because it also has a higher probiotic content that makes it easier to digest and absorb.
"Pastured" or "Pasture Raised" (not to be confused with the word 'pasteurized'): A traditional and sustainable agriculture method in which poultry are raised outdoors on pasture with shelter provided in the winter months.
What it means for BlossomPure: We believe animals should have a healthy and natural life. The majority of our meat is raised on pasture. Our pasture raised chicken and turkey also spend the majority of their life outside grazing on their natural intended diet. Many people ask why our eggs have a superior taste to any other, and our pasture-raised hens’ diet is the answer!
"GMO": A GMO (genetically modified organism) is an organism such as an animal or plant whose genetic makeup has been modified using genetic engineering or transgenic technology. This creates combinations of plant, animal, bacterial and virus genes that do not occur in nature. GMO’s increase yields at the expense of quality.
What it means for BlossomPure: We believe everyone, from farmers to consumers, deserve to make an informed choice. We do not support any type of study that supports unnatural genetic mutation. Because of this belief, we only partner with farmers who raise their animals and plant crops 100% GMO-free. We also ensure all products in the store are either certified organic, or verified under the Standard Non-GMO Project. According to the Centre for Food Safety use of GMO’s in our food sources increase the risks of toxicity in the body, allergic reactions, antibiotic resistance, immune-suppression, cancer and loss of nutrition. We only partner with farmers who do not feed their animals GMO feed, or graze their animals on pastures that have GMO’s.
"Free Range": Animals have access to a barn, but also have full access to the outdoors to be active and graze on their natural diet.
"Free Run": Animals are allowed to roam free within an enclosed, sheltered area such as a barn or cage.
"Biodynamic agriculture": The 1st codified form of organic farming. It is an internationally recognized closed system that combines naturally occurring life processes with organic growing techniques that are a self-regenerating and self healing way of producing food utilizing multi-stacked farm enterprises, balancing crop and livestock production while enriching the local, natural habitat. The food harvested from these farms is truly nourishment for people seeking to support a socially just and conscientious way of farming.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
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Our dairy comes from local, Ontario organic farmers. Our eggs come from our Mennonite community in Huron County (within 100miles of our store). They are raised on non-sprayed pastures and forage in the fields for insects, seeds, etc - and are supplemented with certified organic grains and vegetables as needed. This is where we get our pastured chicken (seasonally).
Our chicken is 100% certified organic from a few selected farms in Quebec that specialize in their high quality poultry standards.
Our beef is raised for us on a few small Ontario farms who specialize in raising cattle.
Our lambs are raised on pasture by a biodynamic and organic farmer in Huron County.
Why isn't your 100% grass-fed beef certified organic?
To have the term “certified organic” is a lengthy process that requires farmers to comply not only with the Canadian Organic Standards certification body (CBs), but with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) as well. We make sure we partner with farmers who go above and beyond these standards. They only practice biodynamic, natural farming practices which include raising our animals on pasture as much as possible, and ensuring they are raised on land that is GMO and pesticide free.
What does 'Halal' mean?
Halal is an Arabic word meaning, “permissible to do”. Similar to the term “Kosher”, it’s essentially a guideline to the ethically raising and harvesting animals.
This means animals must be transported and slaughtered with as little stress and pain as possible. Similar to kosher standards, the animal must not be ill or injured when slaughtered. They must be harvested humanely.
Can we visit the farms?
Our farmers are people just like you and your family. Farming is a very long and time consuming lifestyle. Many of our farmers are in the Amish and Mennonite communities, which avoid the use of cars, electronics, and social media. We'd like to respect our farmers' privacy and valuable time while continuing to maintain our transparent relationship with them.
What are your criteria/standards for your farmers?
Our farmers must:
-Have the utmost care and respect for the animals they raise for us (keeping them outdoors whenever possible, keeping them healthy and well fed, raising them in the most ethical and humane way possible)
-Use either organic or biodynamic agricultural practices (such as natural controls of weeds and insects as opposed to pesticides and herbicides).
-Be conscious of the environment (reduce carbon foot print and refrain from use of plastic and synthetic materials)
-Take pride in the attention and quality of their product
Is local produce or pastured raised poultry available year round?
While we wish we could offer pastured poultry and local produce throughout the year, the Canadian winter weather is a challenge. As a result, our pasture raised poultry as well as our local produce can only be offered Spring throughout Fall. We try to keep an amount of seasonal poultry (freshly vacuum sealed) stored in our frozen section. It’s available until quantities last.