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4 items worth learning more about from Canadian Organic Growers 2013

Hello Organic Learning,

As a continue on my wellness journey, I am amazed by the wonderful people I meet along the way.  On Saturday, February 16, 2013, I attended the Canadian Organic Growers (COG) conference in Toronto.  This was my second year attending and so much has changed for me in my understanding of organics and nutrition.  Last year, I was just starting to change how I ate and noticing small differences in how I felt.  This year, I am enrolled to become a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, I eat organic foods, I am super healthy and have increased my knowledge on how good nutrition affects your overall health.  My morning started off great with an amazing discussion with Meals the Heal author, Julie Daniluk who inspires me daily to create meaningful content that I can share with others.

Julie Daniluk and Jo-Ann Blondin at COG 2013

Julie Daniluk and Jo-Ann Blondin at COG 2013

This year, I choose to attend sessions that showcased a lot of science and case studies on how food affects the body and COG’s presenters delivered a story that left me in awe.  There is just so much to learn and so many good people doing quality work to make our food system better.

Here is a list of 4 items that I think are worth more of your time to better understand:

Nurturing Soil – it all starts here.  Good soil and good stewardship of the land makes for good food.  Friday night was the feature film Symphony of the Soil so it was fitting that film director Deborah Koons Garcia would kick off the day with her insights into meeting soil scientists around the globe as she made the film and her own personal journey of wellness through organic food.

Investigate GMOs – I don’t think I really understood the impact of GMOs until in-depth research findings were presented that clearly demonstrated that GMOs negatively impact health.  The research that was presented by CRIIGEN was well done and statistically valid.  It has changed my views and I will make sure I avoid GMO foods.  The impact of genetically modified foods affects women and men differently.  Be sure to click on the images of the slides below to see some of the results.

Impact of GMO foods on intestine and stomach lining

Impact of GMO foods on intestine and stomach lining

Food Heals and Creates Challenges – I was pleased to hear how changing over to an organic, processed food free, gluten-free, dairy-free and non GMO diet changed the life of a young child that Dr Michelle Perro, MD, DHom was tending to. Eating a diet with chemicals and GMO foods may affect the brain, lower IQ and may cause or enhance symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder.  What was also interesting was seeing how GMOs are thought to damage the micro villi in the intestine and cause leaky guy.  You could actually see the damage in images.  Dr Perro is seeing an increase in the number of patients who are coming to her with food and nutrition related challenges.  The good news is, with the support of a nutritionist or a specialized doctor like she is, feeling great can be achieved through changing your diet, discovering and eliminating the foods that cause you challenges.

Julie Daniluk then followed with her own personal account on how changing her diet improved her health dramatically.  She also shared the foods we should watch for that are GMO based and gave us insights into anti GMO efforts being done by  Here is a list of the food you should watch out for along with insights into how GMO foods spread beyond the farmers field where they are planted.

CBAN GMO Foods in Canada and USA

CBAN GMO Foods in Canada and USA – download a fridge friendly version at

Future of Farming – Organic farming is on a decline in all provinces except Quebec.  When I attended the Guelph Organic Conference, I certainly got the impression that Quebec is doing a lot for its young organic farmers that our other provinces could learn from.  Sadly, 75% of farmers do not have a succession plan and new farmers who want to get into farming require 50% of the money upfront to buy into farming.  FarmStart is doing great things to help farmers get started, but there is more work to be done.

What can you do as a consumer? You can make a difference when you:

    • Eat organic
    • Tend to the soils in your domain
    • Avoid GMO foods
    • Shop local and organic markets
    • Lobby for changes in your food system
    • Learn as much as you can about the food you eat and how it gets to your table.

I find that going to conferences allows me to meet and hear from experts and helps me connect the pieces of the information I am learning in class and online.  Maybe it is the circles I live in, but it sure feels like a lot of people are making changes to the way they eat to improve their health.

May your day be filled with organic food and organic learning.

To knowledge,

Jo-Ann Blondin, your 9CupChallenge partner

Jo-Ann Blondin

Hello Gorgeous.
So glad we connected. I truly believe that in order to change the way people eat, you need to provide great images and stories that inspire people to change their current habits.

I am a Holistic Nutritionist, a Culinary Nutrition Expert, a plant-based professionally trained cook and I have over 25 years of marketing experience in programs that drive results for all kinds of businesses.

It is my goal to help spread the wellness message by helping wellness businesses with their marketing so we can inspire many people together.

Read about my journey, wellness tips and recipes at and follow me daily on Instagram @JoAnnBlondin

Please be sure to check with your medical team before you implement the ideas in this blog. The owner of this blog takes no responsibility for any action that you may take as a result of reading this blog. The reader takes all responsibility.

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