Photos: a “beyond-organic” farm


Barney Bahrenfuse and his wife Suzanne Castello run a small farm in Grinnell, Iowa. They raise livestock, including hogs, sheep and cattle. The couple practices sustainability with their farming. They strive to preserve their topsoil, and they try and stay away from using chemicals on their land.

Additionally, Barney and Suzanne take a humane approach toward their animals; all of their livestock are given lots of room to roam. They also avoid giving their animals hormones and antibiotics, opting instead for a more natural approach to farming.

Continue reading

Pitfalls of organic food’s popularization


Photo by suzettesuzette, Flickr

The organic food market continues its boom, but does this rise in popularity come at the expense of “organic principles”? Eastern Iowa Health recently reported that organic food has become a mainstream industry:

Continue reading

Looking “Beyond Organic”


Photo by Donna Schill/IowaWatch

Are you a health-conscious consumer?  If so, be sure to check out this piece from IowaWatch.org about the evolution of the organic food industry and a growing trend of farmers who say their methods go “beyond organic.”

For nearly a decade, the word organic has stood for all that is wholesome and pure to the health-conscious consumer.

But an emerging movement of farmers who consider themselves the real organic purists are saying their methods go “beyond organic.” Although still in its infancy, adherents to beyond organic methods are enlivening the debate about the effectiveness of the government certified organic program.

And now, a new report by a presidential advisory group has raised alarms about some of the same environmental issues that devoted organic farmers worry about, and it urges people to eat organic food to minimize health risks.

The report, released in May by the President’s Cancer Panel, warned that federal regulators have greatly underestimated the risk of environmental cancer caused by pesticides, herbicides and antibiotics. Continue reading