March 13, 2006

Sticky Gold #3 - Organic Maple Syrup Maple syrup at first glance seems to be a pretty “natural” product as many of us see it as an unprocessed food. Contributing to this perception is that many labels often carry the word ‘pure’ inferrng no preservatives, additives or colorings. So in researching this series I began to wonder about organic maple syrup. We all have many reasons for seeking out organic food whether it’s for health, environmental, nutritional or to support small family farms. Understanding the value and the how behind organic maple syrup requires you to think about inputs, the steps taken in the preproduction stage of harvesting and producing this liquid sugar. Organic maple syrup falls under the "wild-crop harvesting" section of the National Organic Standards, which partly states that "a wild crop must be harvested in a manner that ensures that such harvesting or gathering will not be destructive to the environment. In an organic sugar bush, as in any organic system, additives are strictly regulated and synthetic chemicals are generally not allowed. Organic certifiers ask producers how they control rodents, whether they spray pesticides on trees, and whether chemicals are used to keep tap holes open. The most concerning one is the use of formaldehyde. Large producers use this chemical to keep bacteria at bay while allowing the tap hole to say open and the sap running leading to a higher grade and lighter quality syrup. Yes, it’s illegal but recent reports have found an alarming presence of it. This may be the only...


what happens to the hole when the donut is gone?

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