Organic Maple Syrup: Why You Should Choose Vermont Certified Organic Maple Syrup

There is an estimated 2,000 maple producers in the state of Vermont and in 2011, those producers made approximately 1,140,000 gallons of maple syrup making Vermont the largest producer of maple syrup in the United States. Of those producers, only 91 are “Certified Organic”. In addition to compliance with the USDA National Organic Program standards, guidelines for certified organic maple syrup production in Vermont are drawn from many sources most notably the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont, (NOFA-Vt.). Being Vermont “certified organic” requires the producer to work with registered foresters to develop a holistic forest management plan for the maple orchard to support it’s health and vigor for generations to come. NOFA-VT places stringent standards for good forest management by establishing the diameter the maple trees must be before they can be tapped, limits the number of taps per tree to prevent over tapping ultimately damaging the tree, indicates the depth of the tap, where to position new taps above or below old tap wounds and recommends “health spouts” which have proven to be less invasive to the trees.

For more information on the benefits of organic Canadian maple syrup and the energy-boosting effects of maple sugar visit

Natural Health Care Products And Their Advantages

Natural health care is not a new concept, but has existed since the time immemorial. A number of countries like China and India have contributed towards the practices of using natural products for prevention and treatment of different health conditions. Synthetic and chemical based health care products were introduced much later and unfortunately, they over shadowed the benefits of natural products.

Synthetic products gained popularity for offering instant relief for many health conditions. However, the some serious draw backs of these products started surfacing soon. Extreme exposure of the body to the chemicals introduces their side effects and dependence. The patients using them fail to build natural defense against health issues, enforcing them to use these medications forever. Here is how natural health products prove advantageous.

The common understanding of the people makes them consider only herbs and plant based products as natural health care products. Though these are most popular ones, there are many other categories as well. Vitamins and minerals based supplements should also be counted among these products. Essential fatty acids and probiotics are other good examples. In fact, the products used in homeopathy and traditional therapies too are included in this group.

These products have started making an increasing presence all over the world, including countries like the UK, USA and Canada. The governments in the countries like Canada have set up regulations for these products, making them even more noticeable. Natural health care products are manufactured in many regions of the world and supplied to various markets. According to the popular regulations, these products are usually available for over-the-counter sale and can be purchased without doctors’ prescriptions. However, it is recommended to consult a natural doctor or specialist before using them.

The most noteworthy advantage of natural health care products is that they don’t cause serious side effects. Because of their origin from natural sources like plants, these products are safe for all age groups. The second advantage is that their long term usage does not make the patients dependent on them. In fact, their usage can be stopped at the point when they succeed to strengthen the body’s defense mechanisms.

Another significant fact about these products is that they are free from laboratory prepared chemicals. This means that using them does not introduce the threats like skin irritations, allergies and entry of chemicals into the blood stream. There are no artificial colors or aromas added to these products which make them even more useful.

Health care products prepared from natural ingredients don’t contain artificial preservatives like parabens that are present in chemical-based products. Only natural preservatives are used to increase the shelf life of these products. They are also known for rendering long-lasting results in many types of health conditions. Last, but not the least, these products are nature and environment friendly as their manufacturing doesn’t involve harmful chemicals or practices.

Natural Foods Defined

With so many people concerned about natural and organic foods these days, it’s useful to stop and really take a look at what “natural” and “organic” foods really are. We all know that natural and organic foods are better for us than highly processed or artificial foods, but do we really know which foods are natural and organic? When you buy food that is labeled “natural,” what does that really mean? What about “organic”?

It turns out that the term “natural” doesn’t mean all that much. Because it’s only been broadly defined by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it’s a fairly arbitrary term, the meaning of which is left up to the conscience of the food manufacturer. The FDA says that any food can be labeled as natural so long as it doesn’t include added color, synthetic substances or artificial flavors.

This definition sounds good–until you realize that it can be stretched to include such definitely non-natural substances such as aspartame, the artificial sweetener. More liberal food manufacturers argue that “natural” means any material that exists in nature. While aspartame does not exist in nature (you have to use a chemical process to create it), manufacturers say that the resulting product is made up of two amino acids, both of which do exist in nature. Never mind that they don’t exist glued together as aspartame!

So what can the savvy nutritionally-conscious consumer do about this? Go with a term that is clearly defined and regulated by the FDA: organic. In the next issue we’ll delve into the intricacies of organic foods, including basic regulations and differing levels of organic production. In the meantime, avoid foods that are only labeled as “natural” and go for those labeled “organic” or “natural and organic.” It’s the real stuff.