At Eminence Organic Skin Care, we are passionate about using the highest quality natural, organic and Biodynamic® ingredients in our award-winning skin care products. Plants like rhubarb, lavender, stone crop and chamomile are grown on the Eminence Certified Organic Farm, then sold at local farmers markets, used to make the juices provided to our Hungarian Eminence Kids Foundation partner – and even included in your favorite Eminence Organics products!
However, what you won’t find on the farm is just as important as what you will find. We pride ourselves on using organic and biodynamic farming methods to grow only the purest, most natural ingredients.
Organic vs. Conventional Farming
You are likely aware that different methods and strategies are employed for organic versus conventional farming. This can impact the nutritional value, environmental burden, quality and cost of what is grown. Understanding these differences is key to determining your own preferences and making the best choices for yourself when purchasing groceries, plants – and skin care products!
Put simply, conventional farming incorporates agri-chemicals to ensure that hearty crops are pest and disease-free, while organic farming incorporates holistic practices where each plant grown supports and improves the overall health of the farm. There are three oft-cited considerations where organic farming differs from conventional:
1. No Chemical Fertilizers
One of the most difficult aspects of farming is ensuring crops grow healthy and strong. Following World War II, “two chemicals used in warfare – DDT and ammonium nitrate – were found to have agricultural uses, and became widely used as sources of cheap pesticides and fertilizer” (Certified Organic Association of BC). Farming became increasingly dependent on chemical fertilizers as an easy and relatively inexpensive way to feed crops – despite having critics from the onset.
Organic farming seeks to encourage plant growth with natural fertilizers, such as compost. While this results in a longer and more labour intensive process, the resulting crops are healthier as unlike chemical fertilizers, compost feeds the soil rather than the plant. The growth of unhealthy plants is often due to poor soil; while compost acts as “a naturally balanced mixed of microorganisms that provide a healthy medium for plant growth,” “the chemicals in fertilizer can upset the symbiotic relationship of microbes in soil” (SF Gate). Essentially, compost heals the condition of the soil while fertilizer acts as a band-aid. At the Eminence Certified Organic Farm, we only apply natural fertilizers like compost to feed the soil and plants.
2. No Insecticides
As noted above, spray insecticides and pesticides became commonplace in farming after WWII. Initially, DDT was widely popular as it “appeared to have low toxicity to mammals, and reduced insect-born diseases, like malaria, yellow fever and typhus” (IUPAC). However, despite the benefits, these agri-chemicals are poison and many individuals have raised valid concern over the impact they have on our health and environment. As noted by the Australian Department of Health: “Some pesticides are quite hazardous, as they can be harmful to humans and other living things.They can contaminate land, the air, food crops, waterways and seriously harm or kill native animals, pets and domestic animals.”
Compared to conventional farming, in organic farming, “preventative insect and disease control methods are practiced, including crop rotation, improved genetics and resistant varieties. Integrated pest and weed management, and soil conservation systems” (Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food And Rural Affairs). These methods ensure nothing is added to the farm that could adversely affect the soil or water supply, while still protecting the crops grown. Our farmers follow this strategy by practicing companion planting and using insects, birds and natural methods to reduce pests and disease.
3. No Chemical Herbicides
Much like fertilizer and insecticides, herbicides are typically used in conventional farming to manage weeds. As with the agri-chemicals mentioned above, the use of herbicides brings about concerns over negative effects on the soil and water supply, along with the possibility of respiratory damage and cancer (Livestrong). Additionally, there is no evidence to support that conventional methods of managing weeds are more effective than organic methods. A scientific study comparing weed growth in both organic and conventional soil found no clear solution as to which method worked better than the other (ScienceDaily).
Organic weed management stays away from herbicides. Instead, crop rotation and mulching are a major component of organic farming. Plant rotations work as “weed species favored in one year or season will not be favored in another year or cropping sequence” while mulching “provides a physical barrier on the soil surface and must block nearly all light reaching the surface so that the weeds which emerge beneath the mulch do not have sufficient light to survive” (PennState Extension). The Eminence Certified Organic Farm relies on rotating crops, tilling, pulling weeds by hand or applying mulch to manage weeds.
At the Eminence Certified Organic Farm, organic is our way of life. If you enjoy organic ingredients, we welcome you to learn about our amazing organic farmers and their families. You can even tour the farm in Hungary and see how organic ingredients are grown for the award-winning products you love.