Store selling only chemical-free food opens in Davao

But Bios Dynamis is trying to send across a message that makes it different from some 23,000 other business outfits that registered at the Davao City Business Bureau for this year: choose to be healthy by shifting from chemically-dependen t food to those produced only by nature's bounty.

The store sells products from around 3,000 hectares of upland and lowland farms using sustainable agricultural production systems, Johnny Danganan, store manager, told MindaNews.

The shop, reportedly the first of its kind in Davao City, sells only healthy foods including those produced using bio-dynamics and organic food products. Its slogan: "Your option for healthy living and source of bio-dynamically produced food replete with life forces".

It sells polished and unpolished (brown) rice, fresh milk, yoghurt, tea granules, wild honey, "sinamak" and plain vinegar, fruits, vegetables, native poultry products, goat meat, "danggit" (boneless dried fish), tuna products, virgin coconut oil, mangosteen capsules and tea, herb and others.

Danganan said the store's internal quality control systems ensure the products were grown without using chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

He said they are assured of a good clientele in the city, starting with those who have bought from their shop in Kidapawan City.

He said bio-dynamic products are still not very popular among consumers. But he said their research shows that consumers are starting to hesitate on buying certain food products in supermarkets because of chemical exposure.

"Consumers are becoming more health conscious," he noted.

But Danganan said they are not really out to take on supermarkets. He said they just provide the consumers with a choice.

Bio-dynamics, he said, involves farming with life forces which makes use of astronomy.

Bio-dynamics uses a combination of agricultural practices and "biological dynamics" or well-known organic farming practices that improve soil health.

"Dynamic" practices are intended to influence biological as well as metaphysical aspects of the farm, such as increasing vital force or making the farm adapt to natural rhythms like planting the seeds during certain lunar phases.

Danganan said buying from the store would be a healthy choice. "But they could also help support the livelihood of members of people's organizations who are farming the products in North Cotabato," he said.

At least 3,100 households in a number of towns in the province farm the organic products from at least 1,500 hectares of upland and 1,500 hectares of lowland farms.

Ma. Helena Betsy Ruizo-Gamela, executive director of Don Bosco Foundation for Sustainable Development, said the products sold come from these farms, which were converted from chemical-dependent to "socially and environmentally responsible" farming systems.

Danganan said they are applying for an accreditation with the Organic Certification Center of the Philippines for their products.

In 2005, President Arroyo issued Executive Order 481 on the promotion and development of organic farming agriculture in the Philippines

The EO states that the state shall “promote, develop, and sustain organic agriculture as a farming technology in agricultural communities, establish effective networking and collaboration with stakeholders, guarantee food and environmental safety.”