As consumers, our purchases can be powerful tools. We can influence advertisers, change trends and make or break brands. We can also use our buying power to change political policy and the world environment. If we buy responsibly, even if it means putting ethics and quality above a lower price and convenience, we truly can make the world a better place. And, as Delicious Living Magazine author Rachel Cernansky explains, ‘Bee Better Certified’ could help with pollinator-friendly choices you want to make.
As a consumer, you will soon have another label to help guide you in choosing ethical, environmentally-sound products: a certification for foods produced on bee-friendly farms. Recognizing the growing threats facing pollinators around the world—and a huge percentage of agriculture as a result—as well as increased consumer interest in combating those threats and wanting to help bees, The Xerces Society has launched Bee Better Certified.
Farmers participating in the program agree to adopt practices that provide habitat for bees and protect them from pesticides. The pillars of the program are: dedicating a minimum 5 percent of land to providing habitat—meaning abundant sources of pollen and nectar, such as hedgerows or flowering cover crops; providing nesting sites for pollinators in the form of (depending on the pollinator species) plants with pity-stems, undisturbed ground and plants butterflies can lay eggs in; and eliminating or minimizing the use of chemical pesticides.
Farmers partnering with the program grow a wide range of crops, including almonds, blueberries, apples, wine grapes, grains and a number of vegetables. The third-party certified program, the first of its kind in the world, was developed with a grant from the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. Oregon Tilth is providing the third-party verification to ensure transparency.
Bee Better Certified is currently working to certify 13 farms across the U.S., including both organic and conventional farms and ranging from small (15 acres) to large (more than 5,000 acres) operations. Two “pollinator pioneer” farms are among the earliest adopters, and you can expect to start seeing the seal at farmers markets and in local grocery stores in fall of 2017, and eventually on frozen foods, nut butters and nondairy beverages. The program is also working with farms that supply major brands working with commodity crops.
September’s Curated Product from New Hope Blogger Network and Delicious Living Magazine
At Green Gal of the Midwest we are thrilled to test and recommend our first product from the great folks at Delicious Living Magazine and GloryBee Foods. We have simply fallen in love with GloryBee Foods and one of its newest products: Artisan Fermented Honey, featuring honey from exotic Thai longan blossoms. This is a sweet and silky fermented syrup that we thought made one of the best salad dressings we’d ever tasted. While it works great brushed on vegetables or added to marinades for chicken and fish, here’s our take on this up-and-comer:
Whisk together three tablespoons of Artisan Fermented Honey with two tablespoons of flaxseed oil and two tablespoons of hempseed oil. Add a dash of good-quality garlic powder, a teaspoon of Dijon grainy mustard and salt and pepper to taste. That’s it! Delicious over a spinach salad with heirloom tomatoes, blanched sweet corn kernels (cut off the cob and added while still warm) and red onion rings.
The only thing we liked better than the product was the company. GloryBee Foods is dedicated to saving honey bees and works busier than bees to do this. Their “Save the Bee” campaign combines education and fundraising with strong partnerships and ethical company practices. You can be sure of this product and the people who produce it when you make your purchase. And, trust us, you’ll love working with Artisan Fermented Honey in your kitchen. Give it a try and let us know what great creations you made!
About $15.00 per bottle. About eight and a half ounces per bottle. And a little goes a long way–very rich, sweet and tangy.