Organic food is becoming more and more popular. But navigating the maze of organic food labels, benefits, and claims can be confusing. Is organic food really better for your physical health? Do GMOs and pesticides cause cancer and other diseases? What do all the labels mean? Can eating organic be as affordable as it is enjoyable?
At Martino, we’re always committed to producing a nutritional range of couscous products to the highest standards of bio farming and packaging. Each and every one of our products represents the successful marriage of century-old tradition along with modernization to bring taste, texture and variety of a new generation.
What are bio products?
Organic or bio foods have been produced through methods and practices approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and its National Organics Program (NOP) or the EU regulation on organic farming. Organic is also one of the single best steps a brand can take to safeguard the quality of its products. In many cases, bio is also a good step for the environment.
Many people think about “bio” as meaning “earth friendly.” And in most cases, this is true. As part of its commitment to bio production, Martino could be represented by the endless golden fields in Molise, with countless wheat spikes gently caressed by the wind. The source of our products can be traced all the way back to the seed and we take extra care to ensure only the highest quality, purest wheat makes it into our production facility.
It is Martino’s goal and great achievement that when consumers choose our bio Couscous, they have can have the confidence that it complies with strict EU rules. Products that do not meet these standards may not be referred to as organic or bear the EU’s organic logo or a national equivalent. This is why we take extra care to source the best organic wheat and employ a production process that refines it into our signature range of couscous products.
Since 1994 Martino has been producing Italian bio Couscous known for the unique quality of the raw materials, 100% Made in Italy, and with a distinctive range of products to cater to every taste. But what makes an organic product truly organic?
The first thing to keep in mind is that the term “organic” can be applied to a variety of different kinds of foods. The term can be used on agricultural products, as well as on meat, poultry, eggs and dairy. And it also applies to the methods used to process organically grown foods in preparing them for market or to retard spoilage.
Organically Grown Wheat
The crop must be produced on land without the use of synthetic substances (pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers) except those provided by the standards.
No prohibited substances can have been applied to the land for 3 years prior to harvest.
The land must have defined boundaries and buffer zones preventing the crop from having contact with prohibited substances from adjoining land.
Soil fertility and crop nutrient management must be done in a manner to improve soil conditions, minimize soil erosion, and prevent contamination of crops, soil or water by plant nutrients, pathogenic organisms or heavy metals.
All of these criteria are met with the wheat used in all of Martino’s bio products and is locally grown in Italy under strict mechanical and physical methods for pest and weed control that never rely on the use of pesticides. We strongly believe in sustainable agriculture and working with wheat farmers who respect our environment, culture and commitment to preserving biodiversity.
Afterwards, we move on to process the organically produced wheat inside our factory for the purpose of retarding spoilage or otherwise preparing the bio couscous product for market. This includes acceptable processing aids and ingredients, appropriate packaging materials and labelling, cleaning methods, waste disposal and pest management at our processing facilities.
Why Bio products are good for you?
Consumption of organically grown food is a great way to reduce your exposure to contaminants commonly found in foods that have been grown using conventional agricultural practices. These contaminants may include not only pesticides – many of which have been classified as potential cancer-causing agents – but also heavy metals such as lead and mercury, as well as solvents like benzene and toluene.
Minimizing exposure to these potential toxins has many benefits for your health. Heavy metals can damage nerve function, contributing to diseases such as multiple sclerosis, and interfere with hemoglobin production in a way that increases risk of anemia. Solvents can damage white blood cell function and lower the immune system’s ability to resist infections.
What’s even more, organically grown foods, on average, contain higher levels of many nutrients including vitamins and minerals.
These two aspects of organic food consumption – decreased intake of contaminants and increased intake of nutrients – have both been topics of controversy in research. While we understand the reasons for this controversy, at Martino we are also firmly convinced that organically grown foods contain significantly fewer contaminants than their conventionally grown counterparts, as well as significantly richer nutrient content.
When you combine a significantly lower exposure to food contaminants with a 5-20% greater intake of nutrients, you get a winning combination. That’s exactly the way we think about our range of certified bio foods with respect to health: they are a winning combination, and clearly deserve a place in your meal plan.
Whole grain products made from conventional wheats are not the healthy foods they are promoted to be. Pesticide residues tend to accumulate in the bran so that whole wheat flour which is not organic has, in fact, a heavier pesticide content than a white flour. That’s why at Martino we only work with certified organic farmers who have taken numerous steps and processes to ensure organic integrity from when products arrive at our facility until you put them in your basket. That integrity is important to us as it shows in the quality of our products.
Aren’t you glad Martino’s bio couscous products are organically grown and prepared?