The story of chocolate, as far back as we know it, begins with the discovery of America. Until 1492, the Old World knew nothing at all about the delicious and stimulating flavor that was to become the favorite of millions.

The Court of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella got its first look at the principal ingredient of chocolate when Columbus returned in triumph from America and laid before the Spanish throne a treasure trove of many strange and wonderful things. Click here

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Benefits And Tips When Choosing Organic Products

You probably have heard about them, but are they really that much better? The Organic Trade Association defines organic products as a farming system that not only maintains the soil but nurtures the soil without any added fertilizers or harmful pesticides which have been determined to be harmful to our ecosystem. These foods or products have been processed very little without any artificial ingredients or preservatives, which more and more people are looking for. Americans are becoming more and more environmentally aware these days and you likely have noticed that organic products are becoming more popular everywhere you seem to go.

The term organic also includes other items other than foods or organic products, such as personal care products like shampoo, soap, toothpaste and more that are also available in organic form. There are also organic products such as cosmetics, organic mattresses and even organic pet products such as organic cat litter. Although there are a few laws that govern the personal care ingredients within personal care products, most personal care products are exempt from strict guidelines, so you really need to check the labeling to see what the ingredients are before choosing something that may not be all that beneficial. The USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) allows products that contain at least 95 percent organic ingredients to display the the organic label. Certainly, there are organic farms that exist here in Arizona, but one of the more popular organic farms is Shamrock Organic Farms.

I don't know about you, but I personally believe that it can be quite confusing when looking for organic products. Here's the USDA Definition of Organically Produced Organic Products Regulations and tips to help you decide if these products are right for you. In order for products to be able to display the USDA Certified Organic seal, each product is required to contain 95 to 100 percent organic ingredients.

Products can be labeled 100 percent organic if they contain 100 percent of organic ingredients. In order for an organic label to be displayed on a product, the item must contain at least 70 percent but less than 94 percent of organic ingredients to make the statement that organic ingredients make up the product. (These products cannot use the USDA Certified-Organic seal, however) Stiff penalties as much as 10,000 dollars can result for any violators misusing these organic labels. Farmers need to do their homework if they are to display an organic label. Farmers are required to document and prove that their products and farming operations actually comply with these USDA guidelines.

In addition, farmers are required to submit their farming system plans along with their well documented records in order to remain compliant with the guidelines. Inspections are required on the farms and the farmers understand that they can have their goods inspected at any time. The reasons why so many people are choosing organic food and organic products are probably the same set of reasons that people prefer organic in any other state or country. More and more Americans are in agreement that organic food and products made without pesticides and fertilizers are the best thing for the future.

Many consumers and environmentalists firmly believe that going organic isn't just about promoting better health. Organic proponents believe that these products are good for everyone. They are good for the soil because they are not grown with fertilizers, which is also good for humans. Many people believe that eating organic foods is healthier because these products contain very little, if any, pesticides or chemicals that will harm you or your children. Many people believe that choosing 100 percent organic products benefit consumers because these items do not contain any chemicals such as fertilizers or pesticides or any growth hormones and antibiotics.

Many people believe that just growing organic means healthier soil, which is healthier for everyone. Organic crops do not require any fertilizers because of the fact that they are rotated, which in turns replenishes the essential nutrients needed for healthier and more nutritious fruits and vegetables. To know whether you are really purchasing something that is said to be organic, look for the organic certification. If you do not know the difference between organic and sustainable, you are not alone. It can be very confusing trying to decide whether or not food without pesticides are better. Just keep in mind that, organic farms must be independently certified every year and then approved by the USDA, to be officially identified as an organic farm.

Organic products may not be a priority to some people, but there is one thing that cannot be disagreed upon. Fertilizers are not used with these products which is always a benefit when it comes to pollutants that enter our rivers, lakes and streams.

Cecilia Valenzuela is a full time entrepreneur and supporter of small businesses. Cecilia Valenzuela works with entrepreneurs striving to become successful like herself. Valenzuela supports other online business owners. More information about organic products including resourceful information about the state of Arizona and the desert southwest is available at:


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