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Organic Food

Organic foods do not encompass any one food group: they are simply foods that are "grown and handled after harvesting in a particular way":

In the United States, organic foods are crops that are raised without using synthetic pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, or sewage sludge fertilizer, and they have not been altered by genetic engineering. Organic animal products come from animals that have been fed 100% organic feed and raised without the use of growth hormones or antibiotics in an environment where they have access to the outdoors. [...] The organic food movement has the following goals:

  • improve human health by decreasing the level of chemical toxins in food
  • decrease the level of agricultural chemicals in the environment, especially in groundwater
  • promote sustainable agriculture
  • promote biodiversity
  • promote genetic diversity among plants and animals by rejecting genetically modified organisms (GMOs)
  • provide fresh, healthy, safe food at competitive prices

(The Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine, retrieved via InfoTrac® PowerSearch; this electronic resource can be accessed anywhere in the state of Massachusetts)

Print Resources

Our library has a number of books on the subject of organic food. Start with the list of titles we own below. You can also use our library catalog to search and reserve other books, to be brought in from other MVLC libraries. Click for a system-wide selection of books that list organic food (or natural food, a related but less precise term) as a subject.

  Revolution In a Bottle
Szaky, Tom
228.7 SZA
no cover
  The Organic Farmer's Business

Hanson, David
631.5 WIS
  Fields of Plenty: A Farmer's Journey
In Search of Real Food and the People
Who Grow It

Ableman, Michael
631.584 ABL
no cover
  The Complete Guide To Growing

Everhart, Cherie H.
635 EVE
  The Gourmet Gardener
Flowerdew, Bob
635 FLO
no cover
  The Complete Guide To Growing and
Using Sprouts

Helweg, Richard
635 HEL
no cover
  MiniFarming: Self Sufficiency On
a 1/4 Acre

Markham, Brett L.
635 MAR
no cover
  Fresh Food From Small Spaces
Ruppenthal, R. J.
635 RUP

Sugar Snaps & Strawberries: Simple
Solutions for Creating Your Own
Small-Space Edible Garden

Bellamy, Andrea
635.0484 BEL

  How To Grow Potatoes
Bird, Richard
635.21 BIR
  How to Build, Maintain, and Use a
Compost System: How TerraCycle
Is Redefining Green Business

Smith, Kelly M.
639.5 SMI
  A Slice of Organic Life
Goldsmith, Sheherazade
640 SLI
  Reclaiming Our Food
Cobb, Tanya Denckla
641 COB
  The Conscious Kitchen: The New
Way To Buy and Cook Food

Zissu, Alexandra
641 Zis
  The Natural Kitchen: Your Guide
to the Sustainable Food Revolution

Tull, Deborah Eden
641.013 TUL
  Harvest For Hope: A Guide To
Mindful Eating

Goodall, Jane
641.3 GOO
  Eat Naked
Floyd, Margaret
641.302 FLO
  Super Natural Every Day:
Well- Loved Recipes From
My Natural Foods Kitchen

Swanson, Heidi
641.5 SWA
  Clean Start: Inspiring You To Eat
Clean and Live Well With 100 New
Clean Food Recipes

Walters, Terry
641.5636 WAL

Be sure to check all of the Print and Media Resources that have been purchased with funds from the How Green Is My Library? grant.

Spotlighted Electronic Resource

Organic food is not without its controversies! Use Gale Opposing Viewpoints in Context to find out more. This link should work anywhere in the state of Massachusetts. Once in, just type your search term into the search engine. If you start to type the word organic food you will find that it pops up as a suggested topic.

Once you have arrived at the topic overview for Organic Food you will immediately see an initial overview of the subject, along with a gray On This Page sidebar, with a breakdown of the kinds of materials offered: Featured Viewpoints, Primary Sources, Statistics, News, etc.

Opposing Viewpoints in Context is a Gale InfoTrac® collection, and an excellent resource for exploring a host of controversial topics, including many of environmental concern. For a more "hands on" approach to the subject of organic food (and gardening!), other great Gale collections include the Gardening, Landscape and Horticulture Collection and Home Improvement Collection. Each of these collections are great for targeted searching; however, if you want, you can also use InfoTrac® PowerSearch to search multiple Gale collections in a single search.

For more possibilities, visit our Electronic Resources With A Green Focus.

Past Events

Do you want a refresher on a program you attended,
or to learn about one you missed?
Ask for the GoGreen Program Materials folder
at the Reference desk to take extras or to make copies!

Master Gardener Betty Sanders presented Dirt On Your Hands, Soil In The Garden on March 7th, 2012. She believes that the soil we plant in is the most overlooked aspect of gardening, and discussed how using gardening methods which improve rather than hurt the soil, with an emphasis on turning kitchen and gardening waste into compost, can create gardens from the ground up.

On April 4th, she returned to discuss Healthy Lawns and Lawn Alternatives. "How much lawn do you use? How much do you need? What can you do with the rest of your property?" Betty focussed on how people can care for their lawn with minimal environmental impact, and without breaking the bank.

On May 2nd, Robert Reid, founder of the Organic Garden Cafe, gave a presentation on Going Green With Your Diet, in which he inspired patrons to grow and use their own fresh ingredients in raw food creations.

Tuesday, September 25th marked the end of our Sunflower Growing Contest., which began back in May. Participants used the seeds we provided, together with the soil and fertilizers of their choice, to grow big, beautiful sunflowers. The library received 14 entries altogether. Congratulations go to the Dobbins family, who swept the two winning categories: tallest sunflower (12'10 1/4'') and largest sunflower head (13'' in diameter.)

Thanks also go to local Hamilton student Julia, who created a Jing video earlier in the year, demonstrating how to use our subscription to the InfoTrac databases to research sunflowers and learn about growing them. It was a great help!

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On Wednesday, September 26th, Eric Seaborn of Mass. DCR Urban & Community Forestry talked about to Stop the Asian Longhorned Beetle, an invasive species that is endangering thousands of trees, by knowing its life cycle, recognizing the signs of its presence, and distinguishing it from other insect lookalikes.

Brought To You By...

IMLS logoThis project is being funded through the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners with funds from LSTA (Library Services and Technology Act), a Federal source of library funding provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Return to Special Projects >> Go Green at Hamilton-Wenham

Modified 10/11/2012