Saigon Naturally www.saigonnaturally.com
The Case of Cocoa
The Organic ISSUE: Meet Organik, Vietnam
AYURVEDA: the science of life Fall 2011 | Saigon Naturally | 1
We’re so pleased to be issuing the inaugural edition of Saigon Naturally’s health and wellness magazine; thank you for taking a look! When we decided to go forward with our online shop, it was with the understanding that the storefront would be just one part of our contribution to the community. We are invested in bringing together everyone interested in holistic living, both by vocation and avocation. Saigon boasts a wealth of untapped resources, but in this ever-transforming city, it is not always easy to stay on top of all that is available. We started by initiating Holistic Saigon’s 3rd Saturday events, in collaboration with Robert Bridgeman and Sarah Martin. Now as we learn more about what and whom this city has to offer, we want to provide a forum that spotlights these unique individuals, services, and products. In this first issue, we feature an intriguing selection of local business, practitioners, and products, many from which a motif emerged and The Organic Issue was thus titled. In that vein, we interview Arlene Fast, co-founder of Organik, an internationally-recognized organic farm in Vietnam, (certified HACCP, but not organic), while Marou Fasieurs de Chocolate contribute their thoughts on the real-life impact of organic and fair-trade certification on local farmers. Sergey Kahn and Jean Bernard Baudron explore whether we should be drinking only organic tea and wine and we take a look at the status of certification in Vietnam and beyond. Happy reading Rebekah & Jessica
EDITORS Rebekah Maley Jessica Maley CONTRIBUTORS Jean-Bernard Baudron Moktar El Ayari Pascaline Emms Sergey Kahn Samuel Maruto Urvashi Naithani PHOTOGRAPHY Marc El Ayari Jessica Maley Rebekah Maley
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AYURVEDA: THE SCIENCE OF LIFE An overview of Indiaâ€™s traditional holistic practice
IS CERTIFICATION WORTH IT? THE CASE OF COCOA A Saigon-based business explores real sustainability
COLORTHERAPY+ACUPUNCTURE Innovative approach to body/mind treatment
ORGANIK VIETNAM: FROM DALAT TO YOUR DOORSTEP Neighbor & founder Arlene Fast shares the story
REGULARS ASK MR. TEA Your questions answered TASTEMAKER Spotlight on local options DIRECTORY Find a practitioner or product
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Keeping focus on the Tea 4 | Saigon Naturally | Fall 2011
Ask Mr. Tea Which Tea is the healthiest?
Sergey Kahn is Saigon’s very own tea infusionist. He does tea workshops both public and private and has his own line of tea, OperationTEA, www.operationtea vietnam.com If you are interested to learn more contact him at sergey@operationtea vietnam.com.
If only I had a tealeaf for every time a customer has asked me that. Many people will be quick to answer ‘green tea’ but that isn’t always true. Tea has a category of polyphenols called catechins, which have been shown to reduce the risk of cancer, lower cholesterol, promote weight loss, and even strengthen your teeth. The oxidation of green tea, which produces black and oolong teas, lowers the level of catechins. However, which tea do you like? If you prefer the taste of black tea to green tea then you will naturally be more inclined to drink tea more often if it’s black and get more of the health benefits than if you were to only occasionally drink green tea because you felt that you should. Drink what you want!
Which Tea has the most caffeine? Popular belief has for a long time held that black tea has the most caffeine, but this isn’t true. Caffeine content depends mostly on growing factors. For example, the first harvest of the season will have more caffeine than the second or third. What will affect the caffeine in your cup is how long you infuse your tea and how hot the water is. Hotter water infused for a longer time will lead to more caffeine. That is why black tea will sometimes have more caffeine because it is traditionally steeped with hotter water for a longer time than most other teas, but if you drink a fresh, young green tea then you still might get more caffeine.
Should I only drink Organic Tea? This is a rather touchy subject. The truth is that many high quality tea plantations don’t use pesticides or harmful fer tilizers because it negatively impacts the flavour of the tea and reduces the price at market. However, they will never receive an organic rating because they can’t afford to get their farms cer tified. In China, the laws for Organic cer tification are even stricter because farmers are not even aloud to trim their tea trees to waist height for easy harvesting. Instead of looking exclusively for the Organic logo, why not let your taste be the judge?
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ayurveda The Science of Life
DR. URVASHI NAITHANI B.A.M.S, P.G.D.Y, C.PK
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or centuries, healing traditions around the planet have agreed that health is the foundation of all facets of life. Ayurveda is considered one of the world’s oldest healing sciences, originating in India at least 5,000 years ago. It’s a Sanskrit word combining Ayus=life/longevity & veda = science, that literally translates as “the science of life/longevity”. Ayurveda therefore views health as much more than merely the absence of disease.
Health from Ayurvedic perspective ex-
ists when the three fundamental energies (doshas) namely VATA, PITTA and KAPHA, digestive fire and enzymes (AGNI), waste products (MALAS), tissues (DHATUS), soul (ATMA) and mind (MANAS) are in balance as described in the following shloka Samadoshah Samagnischa Samadhatu Mala Kriyah Prasannatmendriya Manah Swastha Ityabhidheeyate” - Su. Su 15/41
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PRINCIPLE OF AYURVEDIC TREATMENT The key to Ayurvedic wellness and healing is the knowledge that health is not a “one size fits all” proposition. One must understand the unique nature of each person and situation, taking into account the individual, the season, the geography, and so on. A Person is seen in Ayurveda as a unique individual made up of five primary elements. These elements are ether (space), air, fire, water and earth. Ether and Air combine in dominance to form what is known in Ayurveda as Vata Dosha. Vata governs the principle of movement and therefore can be seen as the force which directs nerve impulses, circulation, respiration and elimination etc., Fire and Water in dominance combine to form the Pitta Dosha . The Pitta Dosha is responsible for the
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process of transformation or metabolism. Finally, water and earth elements combine in dominance to form the Kapa Dosha. Kapa is responsible for growth, adding structure unit by unit. It also offers protection, for example, in form of the cerebral-spinal fluid, which protects the brain and spinal column. Each person has a constitution that is specific to him or her, made up of unique proportions of vata, pitta and kapha called one’s PRAKRITI. Movement away from that constitution creates health imbalances; if such imbalances are not addressed, disease may develop. So, the early signs of imbalance serve as a wakeup call to make gentle and natural shifts in behavior to return to balance- such as adjusting diet, modifying daily activities and taking herbal remedies and therapies like panchakarma etc.
DIET AND LIFESTYLE The Ayurvedic approach views eating as an art form, and takes into consideration the energies and qualities contained within the food when preparing a meal. Besides qualities, an Ayurvedic diet revolves around combining the six tastes in each meal to make it tasty, delicious, balanced and medicinal. The right touches of these tastes help to make food Prakriti specific, thereby keeping the doshas in balance and harmony. Similarly, Ayurvedic lifestyle called ‘Dincharya’ focuses on the co-ordination of day-to-day activities in a manner such that it keeps the mind, body and spirit in equilibrium. PANCHAKARMA Panchakarma is a traditional Ayurvedic cleansing and rejuvenation program for the body, mind and spirit. It is very effective in cases of insomnia, stress, anxiety, depression, anger; disorders like rheumatism, backaches, joint disorders, spondyli-
tis, slip-discs, sinusitis, rhinitis, migraine, headache etc. It also has a significant role in beauty care and hair care. HERBAL MEDICINES Ayurveda stresses the use of plant based medicines and treatments, ensuring mental and physical health free from any kinds of side-effects. Ayurvedic treatment is non-invasive and non-toxic, so it can be used safely as an alternative therapy or alongside conventional therapies. AYURVEDIC YOGA Yoga and Ayurveda are not merely two separate but related healing disciplines of India. A healthy body demands a balance of factors. Just like Ayurveda, yoga also affects constitution, balancing the whole system, mind and body,
Ayus: life/longevity + veda: science
therefore one can use different yoga poses to benefit particular doshas under the supervision of a trained Ayurveda professional. Thus, we see that Ayurveda is not only a system of medicine but a holistic approach, which does not focus merely on the absence of disease but also on integration of body, mind and spirit and this can only be achieved under the guidance of a trained and experienced Ayurveda doctor who determines an individualâ€™s constitution and then charts out his/her treatment plan accordingly. Therefore, each one of us should adopt this preventive, protective, health primitive and curative science to remain healthy in the true sense of the word.
ABOUT ME I am a B.A.M.S doctor (Bachelor of Ayurveda in Medicine and Surgery) from an ayurvedic institute of international repute i.e. Gurukul kangri ayurvedic college and hospital, India, also a certified yoga teacher, specializing in pragya and ayurvedic yoga and a trained panchakarma specialist. I am a member of Indian Council of Ayurveda doctors and also on the advisory board of Yoga teacher Council of Uttarakhand, India aiming towards practicing and working in the field of Ayurveda and yoga wherever I go. Dr. Naithani is currently available in HCMC and can be reached at urvashi. email@example.com
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Is certification really worth it?
The Case of Cocoa If you are reading this there is no doubt that you care
PHOTO: MAROU CHOCOLATE
about what you eat, about the quality and sustainability of the products you buy. The odds are that you favor certified products over non-certified and artisanal over industrial. Using the example of our companyâ€™s activity, making pure, artisanal chocolate in Vietnam, we would like to draw your attention to the somewhat mixed feelings we get about certification and how it affects farmers. >> Fall 2011 | Saigon Naturally | 11
In the world of high quality chocolate it seems that almost every bar you can buy carries a little medal on its lapel: Fair Trade, Organic, Max Havelaar... Certification schemes have been around for the past 10-15 years, with the worthy aim of allowing customers to vote with their wallet in favor of products that are more sustainable. As our philosophy is all about making great, natural products, when we started with the idea of making the finest artisanal chocolate in Vietnam we assumed that we too would be wearing such certificates like deserving boy scouts their Merit Badges. What we found out instead was that we couldn’t get any organic or fair trade cocoa beans in Vietnam, and because our product is intimately bound to the place where we are buying imported certified cocoa did not make any sense. After getting over the disappointment we started wondering why we couldn’t get certified cocoa in Vietnam. Not it turns out because the cocoa farms are horrible places where child slaves toil in fields that are toxic wastelands of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Quite the contrary: the farms we work with are small structures, often no more than a couple acres, sometimes much less, they’re quiet places where the days go by slowly, punctuated by afternoon showers, they’re enchantingly laid back places, light years away from the agitation of Saigon. Devoid of luxury as the farms may be, you never get a sense that the farmers are poor, because they live happily from their land, eat well, and save enough to send their children to school, or even to university in the big city. 12 | Saigon Naturally | Fall 2011
Also because cacao trees like to grow in the shade of larger trees forming a canopy overhead, cacao is ideally suited to growing in areas of reforestation, where biodiversity can be restored, this makes planting cacao more environmentally friendly than similar cash crops that require the complete clearing of forest.
Find out more about Marou at www.marouchocolate.com
“A recent study on coffee in Laos has shown that when you take into account the extra cost and labor incurred by farmers to be certified fair trade, they are often worse off than if they were not certified.”
If our cocoa comes from good farms that are not harmful to the environment, why don’t they get credit for it? If our cocoa comes from good farms that are not harmful to the environment, why don’t they get credit for it? The only Organic cocoa project in Vietnam is entirely sponsored by a foreign aid agency. This agency is doing great work, but once they’re done with the project, it’s not obvious that the farmers will have the capacity to perpetuate the scheme or even to pay for its upkeep. Authors like Michael Pollan have shown that you can have certified organic produce from soulless industrial farms, I think that most farming in a place like Vietnam is sustainable without getting any credit for it. Worse still, the actual implementation of certification may lead not to the liberation of farmers from market forces but to a certain form of alienation. A recent study on coffee in Laos has shown that when you take into account the extra cost and labor
incurred by farmers to be certified fair trade, they are often worse off than if they were not certified, surely this is not what the certification should be about! In the case of cocoa, we note that the official ‘fair trade’ minimum guaranteed price has been very far below market prices for years, and the small premium gained by certified fair trade farms pales in comparison with the large premiums commanded by chocolate manufacturers of fair trade chocolate. When you’re dealing with a family on a 2-acre farm, with two hundred cocoa trees, some other marketable crops, a pond for raising fish, a pig or two and some chickens running around the vegetable patch, the whole paperwork and/or heavy cooperative bureaucracy and the thousands of dollars worth of certification seem a bit absurd. And so our chocolate made purely from cocoa grown in Vietnam has
no fancy Fair Trade or Organic logos to show, but it is still made by people with a real interest in protecting biodiversity and ensuring that farming families can make a decent living out of their work. At the end of the day, we know the farmers who sell us cocoa by their first name, we pay them a premium over the market price, not out of charity, but to reflect the extra care they give to processing our beans and when we finish weighing the bags, the money goes directly in their pocket with no intermediaries to pay; we are happy to call such trade fair.
Samuel Maruta Marou Faiseurs de Chocolat
ALL PHOTOS COURTESY OF MAROU CHOCOLATE
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make it local
CHICKEN & MINT 2 Tablespoon Lemon Juice 1 Teaspoon Olive Oil 1Tablespoon Mint 2 Cloves Garlic -- Finely Chopped 2 Large Chicken Breast -- Cubed Salt And Pepper -- To Taste In a large bowl combine lemon juice, olive oil, mint, garlic and seasonings. Add chicken and marinate overnight. Thread on skewers that have been soaked for 30 minutes. Broil or barbecue for 4 minutes per side. Serves 4
From Omi Hafsia in Tunisia: All the ingredients can be easily found in Vietnam and the end result is five-star.
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The Low Down on Organic Wine
Article courtesy of Jean-Bernard Baudron, The Warehouse, 178 Pasteur, D.1, HCMC. www.warehouse--asia.com
What is organic wine?
Organic wine is defined in different ways in different countries. There’s also a difference between the general term ‘organic wine’ and the specific legal term ‘organic wine’ used for labeling purposes. All definitions of organic wine agree on one thing: it is wine made from grapes grown ‘organically’ without the use of synthetic fertilizers, insecticides or herbicides. Only natural fertilizers may be used, and only naturally occurring elements such as copper and sulphur may be applied for the purpose of protecting vines from disease.
Why would I want to drink organic wines? There are at least three good reasons: 1) The Taste Just as organic fruit and vegetables tend to taste better than those grown with synthetic fertilizers, so organic grapes tend to have better flavor intensity than their chemical counterparts. In the hands of a good winemaker these grapes can be turned into outstanding wines. 2) Your health The US Environmental Protection Agency considers 60% of all herbicides, 90% of all fungicides, and 30% of all insecticides to be potentially carcinogenic. Pesticides are poisons made to kill living organisms. Residue from these chemicals inevitably end up in the wine you drink. 3) The Environment According to US EPA estimates, pesticides are contaminating the groundwater in thirty-eight states, polluting the primary source of drinking water for more than half the country’s population. Repeated use of chemical fertilizer destroys the natural balance of living organisms in the soil, so that its natural nutrients are almost totally depleted. This effectively deadens the soil, causes serious erosion, and perpetuates a cycle of requiring more and more synthetic inputs.
How do I choose an organic wine? Essentially, you can choose an organic wine in the same way you would choose any wine – by deciding on type (red, white etc), your budget, if you
Organic wines available at The Warehouse: Chateau Pillot Cotes de Bourg (red) 375 000 vnd Cotes du Rhone (red & white) M.Chapoutier 330 000 vnd Crozes Hermitage “Les Meysonniers” (red) M.Chapoutier 495 000 vnd Chateauneuf du Pape “La Bernardine” (red) M.Chapoutier 990 000 vnd Cote Rotie “Les Becasses” (red) M.Chapoutier 1 650 000 vnd Tavel (rose) M.Chapoutier 414 000 vnd Cotes de Provence (rose) Domaine Ott 800 000 vnd Condrieu Invitare (white) M.Chapoutier 1 298 000 vnd Yalumba Organic Viognier (white) 400 000 vnd Yalumba Organic Shiraz (red) 400 000 vnd Fall 2011 | Saigon Naturally | 15
Colour therapy or chromotherapy is an alternative healthcare field that focuses on correcting energy imbalances in individuals with the use of colour treatment. Misalignments occur in the body and cause interference to energy flow causing pain or a loss of desired mental state. Colour therapists locate specific acupuncture points of blockage and correct them with an appropriate colour program& or acupuncture needles allowing the body to re-establish its balance and heal itself to the best of its ability. Vivacolour offers targeted treatments for a variety of conditions including, but not limited to: Headaches, lower back, leg and body pains Depression and lowered levels of mental state Skin problems e.g. acne, eczĂŠma, irritations Asthma and breathing difficulties Infections and other bacterial ailments
h t r o l o c
Pain (muscular+joint), Sleep issues, Jet lag â€Ś
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a r e
As an expanding field, colortherapy offers clients a tailored solution to their specific need with a monitored program to focus on health improvement.
e r u
Vivacolour contact details Pascaline Emms firstname.lastname@example.org 33 /19 Quoc Huong, Hem 33, An Phu, District 2 +84 (0)903873599
About Vivacolour Established in HCMC as an operating entity in 2010, Pascaline has been a life long practitioner of the use of colours in domestic and business environments. She completed a Diploma for Interior design at the French Ecole Boulle in Paris . She has since developed several solutions for local clients. Seeking to explore colours further, Pascaline completed a Certificate in Colour Therapy at the Institute de la Couleur course in Lausanne, Switzerland in 2008 and followed a certified Diploma in Vietnamese Acupuncture in 2010. Fall 2011 | Saigon Naturally | 17
O 18 | Saigon Naturally | Fall 2011
The first time I walked into The Organik Shop on Thao Dien's main drag, I was taken back to 1978, rural Pennsylvania and the local health food store with its plain wooden floors and simple shelves stacked high with cans and boxes and jars of products like pulses, alfalfa, farmer's honey, and Panda natural licorice. It was wonderful. Aspects and moments in Saigon can bring to mind other places and times, but this particular association was entirely unexpected, given the forward-moving intensity of development in the city. Then again, since I first came across Organik in 2006 everything about the work it does was both surprising and improbable. At that time, demand for organic products was only just gaining some mainstream currency in the United States. How was it that here in Vietnam where I couldn't buy hydrogen peroxide at the pharmacy I could have organic produce delivered to my door? Recently my sister Jessica and I were able to meet with Arlene Fast, one of the founders of Organik, to learn more about the company's history, operations, and vision. Fall 2011 | Saigon Naturally | 19
The Organik Story The Fasts Originally from Manitoba, Canada, John (68) and Arlene (65) Fast, were living in the Philippines when in 1996 they made the move to Vietnam. Through John’s sister and brother-in-law, a Canadian Viet Kieu, the couple began visiting Vietnam when heavy regulations on tourism began to ease “We immediately liked Vietnam, and believed it was a good move,” explained Arlene. Since then, the Fasts have lived in most of the city’s districts, as well as Dalat, and have witnessed and been part of Vietnam’s ever-changing landscape and lifestyle. In the beginning While in Dalat to explore potential for establishing a dairy farm, the Fasts met Dr. Nguyen Ba Hung and in 1998 collaborated with him on a nursery providing seedlings to local farmers and later raising lettuce for export to Taiwan. Following Arlene’s conviction, the team decided to bring organic farming to Vietnam in 2003. “I just felt it was something that should be done,” she told us. At first this meant applying organic standards to the growing, harvesting, and processing of crops on a rented parcel of land. By standards of organic certification, crops must grow on land that has not been used for conventional agriculture within the previous seven years and the rented farmlands did not meet this standard. With Dr. Hung overseeing the farm in Dalat, John and Arlene set up in Ho Chi Minh City and Organik began home delivery in 2004 after publicly advertising the service at Saigon South International School’s Christmas Bazaar. Produce was sorted into selections – small, medium, or large bags – and sent from the farm by overnight truck every Monday. The Fasts personally delivered orders on their motorbike to a modest client base of about fifteen families. Arlene fondly recalls this time exploring the nooks and crannies of the city. Arlene chuckled as she described John driving with her behind him. “We had bags and bags of vegetables hanging off the sides of the bike, and it would take us a whole morning to deliver.” Their last personal delivery was the day they had a serious 20 | Saigon Naturally | Fall 2011
All photos on these two pages courtesy of Organik.
motorbike collision with a joy rider in District 4; Arlene spent several weeks in hospital and the Fasts decided to hire local drivers. Organik grows Word spread and by 2005, Organik employed a team of ten delivery persons making 100 deliveries every Tuesday. At the same time, Organik Dalat became the first farm in Vietnam to obtain EurepGAP certification, allowing them to export vegetables to Europe. It took several years to find the right location, but by 2007, Organik had expanded exponentially on a new wholly-owned four-hectare farm of clean land in a picturesque valley. In 2008 John built the online shop, remarkably his first experience with web design at an age when his peers would more likely be resting on their laurels and settling into retirement. Organik‘s retail point in Thao Dien opened in 2009 and today offers organic vegetables, seafood and rice, free range eggs, chicken, and pork - all from Vietnam - as well as selected imported vegetables and fruits, and groceries from trusted labels like Eden Foods. The farm and shop currently employs about 40 people, as well as working in cooperation with many local farmers, and sells its vegetables in Vietnam to individual consumers, five star hotels, restaurants, cruise ships and catering companies, as well as for export. Organic in Vietnam Elevated, isolated, and free from residual dioxin and other historical contaminants as well as most contemporary pollution, “Dalat is a special place,” Arlene explains. With plenty of clean air, water and soil, she sees the real challenge of achieving organic in Vietnam in maintaining the rigorous procedural standards organic farming requires in tandem with creativity. To this end, she attributes her business partner, Dr. Hung, Organik’s problem-solver and process manager, as the critical component. Dr. Hung earned a PhD in vegetable genetics from the French National Institute for Agricultural Research and has carefully shepherded the farm’s operations from its beginning. There is presently no Vietnamese national certifying body for organic production and the Organik farm has not been certified “organic” by external organizations. Under the care Fall 2011 | Saigon Naturally | 21
of Dr. Hung, however, operations follow European standards for organic agriculture from start to finish. This means utilizing land that is free of contaminants, (including residue from conventional farming methods), and employing chemicalfree pest deterrent strategies. Plants are nurtured through their early life in greenhouses protected by double door access to control insect entry. When semi-mature, the crops are moved outdoors and methods such as crop rotation and color mixing come into play. As different predators are attracted to different plants, crop rotation removes the target food that drew pests throughout the growing season and replaces it with one unattractive to the specific predators now resident in that area. Similarly, planting a color mix of leafy vegetables serves to confuse predators that rely on visual cues when assessing food supply. Aerators control the growth of microorganisms in the farm’s reservoir. Certified HACCP* in 2009, Organik’s processing center employs exacting procedures; vegetables are vacuum-cooled and triple washed. As Arlene puts it, “Those vegetables are ready to eat straight from the bag!” What’s to come Arlene and John anticipate a move into retirement that would ideally see them splitting their time between Canada and Asia, but the work of Organik will continue to grow under the care of Dr. Hung and his family. His daughter and son-in-law are actively involved in the business, currently managing the shop in Thao Dien. At the farm, safe and organic methods are influencing tomorrow’s decision makers, with many local university students in agricultural studies visiting as part of their coursework. The farm also hosts research fellows for three-month stints and has often been featured in both domestic and international academic theses. Dr. Hung likewise reaches out to local farmers in the Dalat area, working to 22 | Saigon Naturally | Fall 2011
increase the use of ecologically-sound practices and to enable small farms to meet European export standards. Through patience, dedication and persistent effort, Dr. Hung and Organik are slowly changing the nature of agriculture in Vietnam.
Open to visitors, the Organik farm is located on Highway 20, 14 kilometers west of Dalat city.
Organik Dalat JVC. Da Tho, Xuan Tho, Dalat, Lam Dong Tel: (084) 63 2211 516 The Organik Shop. 11A Thao Dien Street, Thao Dien, District 2, HCMC Tel: (084) 8 3744 6950
* Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points (HACCP) HACCP is a management system in which food safety is addressed through the analysis and control of biological, chemical, and physical hazards from raw material production, procurement and handling, to manufacturing, distribution and consumption of the finished product. See more at http://www.fda.gov/food/ foodsafety/
Organic Certification a brief primer
What is certification? While the specifics vary from country to country, organic certification regulations generally deal with the growing, storage, processing and packaging of produce and other agricultural products. The primary stipulation is the avoidance of chemicals such as pesticides and genetically modified organisms. To that end, regulations mandate use of land that has been free of synthetic chemicals for a certain number of years, strict record keeping and regular testing of soil for contaminants. The main intention is to ensure the quality of organic products and to prevent fraud. Certification around the world For some countries, organic regulations are set and monitored by the government. These countries include the United States, the European Union, Canada and Japan which all have specific legislation requiring that the term “organic” only be used by certified producers. In countries that lack organic certification laws, non-profit organizations and private companies may identify farms and products as organic. Some organic certification bodies are now working towards standard international agreements. One of the largest bodies to attempt this is the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), which includes members from around the world cooperating to unify standards. Certification in Asia Currently in Asia, only China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan have fully implemented organic certification. Australia, New Zealand and India have regulations only concerning products for export. Vietnam’s national standards have been in development since 2003. Currently in Vietnam there are a number of foreign certifying bodies that certify for export. These include SKAL, an organic certifying body for the Netherlands, the Institute per la Certificazion Etica ed Ambientale (ICEA) in Italy, the Organic Agriculture Certification Thailand (ACT) and the Institute for Marketecology (IMO) a Swiss certifying body which is the only organization to have set up a local office.
Organic, Natural or Authentic? In countries where standards are dictated by the government, even the mere use of the word “organic” is under strict regulation. The US, which shares very similar standards to the European Union and Japan, has three levels of organics. The first, 100% Organic, are products made entirely with certified organic ingredients and methods. Products with at least 95% organic ingredients are permitted to use the word “organic” and both of these categories are allowed to display the USDA organic seal. The third category, which are products containing at least 70% organic ingredients, may be labeled “made with organic ingredients.” In cases like the US where laws exist, producers cannot use the term legally without certification. However, to get around this obstacle, various alternatives are enacted. These include using undefined terms like “natural” and “authentic” rather than “organic.” The Organic Debate Organic certification is greatly contested by some due to the fact that it may drive independent farmers out of business with additional costs and paperwork. As one farmer writes, “The growing emphasis in certification on record keeping, data collection, and reporting (the three-headed monster) hurts dedicated, smaller organic growers. Some of the paperwork is irrelevant to actual farming operations and practices, and some is about matters that may be confidential in nature like marketing and financial data. The cheaters will insure their “fraudulent” records meet the highest requirements so as not to raise suspicion. Large operations with built-in administrative overhead have the advantage in producing the three-headed monster, as do the more academically inclined. But we who care about the integrity of organic care little for reports and record keeping that do not help us in our growing practices.” Another fear is that standards may slide when amendments pushed for by lobbyists result in “legally organic” products that would be no different in production from conventional food. Fall 2011 | Saigon Naturally | 23
directory practitioners ACUPUNCTURE Valerie Cudelou CMI Pascaline Emms Vivacolour 0903873599 email@example.com Dr. Ciro Gargiulo Care 1 3514 0757 www.care1.com.vn Joel G. Key JGK Physiotherapy 01202049469 firstname.lastname@example.org Dr. Kim Sung Soo Happiness Oriental Medicine (Hanh Phuc) 0906684969 Dr. Le Hung Institute of Traditional Medicine 3997 1146 Lizzie Perry Family Medical Practice
Nutrifort 0937442516 www.sarahmichaela.com
Dr. Thich Tam Duc Vietnam Buddhist Research Institute Van Hanh Pagoda 750 Nguyen Kiem Phu Nhuan 0913985403 email@example.com
Robert Bridgeman 01659463198 Robert@bridgeman.nu www.robertbridgeman.com
Vajrayana Buddhism Meditation Group firstname.lastname@example.org www.saigon-gompa.org
IFC Individual & Family
Pascaline Emms Vivacolour 0903873599 email@example.com
A2.4 Parkview Building, D. 7 31 Dong Du, D. 1 0903617101
Nicolas Dupaux CMI firstname.lastname@example.org
Briar Jacques 01224808792 email@example.com
David Truong Tan International SOS Clinic, Nutrifort, D.1 0903098124 firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Steve Halford 0942408629 email@example.com
MASSAGE Daphne Chua Thai 01266626467 firstname.lastname@example.org www.daphnechua.com
BOWEN THERAPY Jane Rowland 01206504305 Janer3956@gmail.com
CHIROPRACTIC Dr. Wade Brackenbury American Chiropractic Clinic info@vietnamchiropractic. com Dr. Matthew Shepherd David Shepherd Chiropractic Clinic email@example.com 24 | Saigon Naturally | Fall 2011
Henni Biscoe Therapeutic, sports, deep tissue Nutrifort, D.2 0126 8749596 Sarah Martin Hawaiian, pre-natal, deep tissue Nutrifort , D.2 0937442516 www.sarahmichaela.com
MEDITATION Robert Bridgeman The Lyon Center 01659463198 Robert@bridgemnan.nu
Monique van Leeuwen 01217490452 Monique@lyonyoga.com www.lyonyoga.com
Jim McGlasson Shamballa 13D firstname.lastname@example.org
THETA HEALING Jodie Eastwood 0918591933 email@example.com www.thetahealing.com
PHYSIOTHERAPY Chantel Gorton American Chiropractic Clinic firstname.lastname@example.org
Lizzie Perry Family Medical Practice
Dr. Bui Quoc Chau Vinatherapy Center (Reflexology) 0906684969 Dr. Kim Sung Soo Happiness Oriental Medicine (Hanh Phuc) 0906684969
Dr. Le Hung Joel G. Key JGK Physiotherapy 01202049469 email@example.com David Truong Tan International SOS Clinic, Nutrifort 0903098124 firstname.lastname@example.org
Institute of Traditional Medicine
3997 1146 Dr. Urvashi Naithani Ayurvedic Consultation email@example.com
Daphne Chua Yoga with Daphne 01266626467 firstname.lastname@example.org www.daphnechua.com
01224808792 email@example.com Michelle Lloyd Michelle Lloyd Yoga 0909648193 firstname.lastname@example.org www.michellelloyd.com Dr. Shiva L’Apothiquaire 0908531472 email@example.com
Paul Simos Star Fitness firstname.lastname@example.org www.myyogaexercise.com Monique van Leeuwen Lyon Center 01217490452 Monique@lyonyoga.com www.lyonyoga.com Nhu Y Soham Yoga & Boutique email@example.com Suzanne Vian Saigon Yoga 0908352265 firstname.lastname@example.org www.saigonyoga.com
practices American Chiropractic Clinic www.vietnamchiropractic. com 8 Truong Dinh, D. 3 3930 6667 Care 1 www.care1.com.vn The Manor, 91 Nguyen Huu Canh, Binh Thanh 3514 0757 CMI (International Medical Center)
www.cmi-vietnam.com 1 Han Thuyen, D. 1 3827 2366/67
David Shepherd Chiropractic Clinic www.saigonchiropractic.com 10 Tran Phu Street, P.4, D. 5 3832 1843 Family Medical Practice www.vietnammedicalpractice.com
Diamond Plaza 34 Le Duan Street, D. 1 3822 7848 Happiness Oriental Medicine (Hanh Phuc) 432 Pham Thai Buong, D. 7 0906684969 Institute of Traditional Medicine 273-275 Nguyen Van Troi, Phu Nhuan 3997 1146 International SOS Clinic 167A Nam Ky Khoi Nghia, D. 3 3823 6520 The Lyon Center www.lyonyoga.com So 60, Duong So 4 Thao Dien, D. 2 email@example.com 01217490452 Nutrifort (NTFQ1/2) 2B1 Chu Manh Trinh, D. 1 3825 8560 34 Nguyen Dang Gai, D. 2 3744 6672 Soham Yoga Studio & Boutique www.soham.vn 84T/4 Tran Dinh Xu, D. 1 3920 5813 Star Fitness Gym Manor Apartments 91 Nguyen Huu Canh, Binh Thanh 3514 0255
Yoga & Meditation Center www.ymc.org 335/31 Dien Bien Phu, D. 3 3929 1707 Yoga Living www.yogaliving.com.vn 95 Pasteur, D. 1 5 Ton Duc Thang, D. 1 0988804598 firstname.lastname@example.org Vinatherapy Center 432 Pham Thai Buong, D. 7 0906684969
great initiatives Aveda Herbal Spa 35A Street 41, D..2 bornsage Hema Kumar www.bornsage.com Harvest Baking Tim Ottaviani www.harvestbaking.net Loaves and Fishes Lulu Ottaviani www.loavesandfishes.net Marou Chocolate Samuel Maruta www.marouchocolate.com Operation Tea Sergey Kahn “Mr. Tea” www.operationteavietnam. com OUT-2 STUDIO 4 Le Van Mien Street Thao Dien D2 out2studio.wordpress.com
We strive to ensure our listings are both complete and correct. If there is a holistic wellness practitioner or practice that you feel we have overlooked, please do let us know by contacting customerservice@ saigonnaturally. com
Want to learn more? Holistic Saigon Google Group is the forum for mindbody-spirit matters in Saigon.
Fall 2011 | Saigon Naturally | 25
directory products BABY Annam Gourmet Seventh Generation baby wipes Chi-Chi 2 BPA-free bottles, dishes, utensils, Multivitamin, Headstart, Fish oil, saline spray, BabyRub, organic puffs, babyfood , BPA-free bottles, dishes, utensils Citimart, D.7 Powdered goat’s milk from New Zealand L’Apothiquaire Erbaviva SPF 15 sunscreen and other baby skin care Little Angel Organic puffs, Bottles, dishes, cutlery Oh, Baby! 1 BPA-free bottles, dishes, utensils, Multivitamin, Headstart, Fish oil, saline spray (non-medicated), Omega oil, BabyRub, organic puffs, oatmeal, babyfood 1-3 stages, berry fiddlesticks Oh, Baby! 2 Multivitamin, Headstart, Fish oil, saline spray (nonmedicated), BabyRub, organic puffs, oatmeal, babyfood 1-3 stages, berry fiddlesticks , organic puffs, oatmeal, babyfood 1-3 stages, goat-milk based powdered formula from New Zealand UMA plastic cutlery, various Organik Organic Formula 26 | Saigon Naturally | Fall 2011
Viet An Organic Organic Formula
FOOD Veggy’s Organic produce; organic dry goods, including hot/ cold cereal, snacks, dried beans, couscous, Better Than Boullion; buckwheat & other alternative flours; Bragg’s Apple Cider and Liquid Aminos, Newman’s Own products, etc. Annam Gourmet Organic produce; organic dry goods, including hot/ cold cereal, snacks, dried beans, couscous, chicken & vegetable broths; buckwheat & other alternative flours, organic tea Organik Organic produce; organic dry goods, including canned goods, cereals, snacks, teas, etc. Also carry Delicious Greens/Reds. The Warehouse Organic wine
HOME Annam Gourmet Seventh Generation detergents, cleansers, dryer sheets L’aturelle Essential oils, carrier oils organic rose water L’Apothiquaire Essential oils (not meant for topical application) Azial, rendez-vous Natural candles, home scents
Azial, rendez-vous Sulfate-free shower gel, soap, natural body care Citimart Fluoride-free natural toothpaste and organic shampoo, conditioner, shower gel L’Apothiquaire Paraben-free, organic/natural skincare, belly balm, lip balm, lotion (not all skincare is paraben free)
VITAMINS & SUPPLEMENTS GNC
Citimart throughout the city GNC 19 Han Thuyen St., D. 1 29 Thao Dien St., D. 2 94 Ng. Van Troi, Phu Nhuan 113 Ng. Duc Canh, D. 7 L’Apothiquaire www.lapothiqauire.com 100 Mac Thi Buoi, D. 1 64A Truong Dinh, D. 3 103 Ton Dat Tien, D. 7 L’aturelle laturelle.com 407 Nguyen Dinh Chieu, D. 3
Littla Angel Shop Ng Duc Canh, D. 7
Van Duy Phuong B12 (sublingual), Echinacea, Gingko Biloba, Ginseng, Lutein, Milk Thistle
Maximark 3/2 Duong, D. 10
Viet An Organic Vitamins & Supplements Delicious Reds/Greens/ Chocolate, powdered juice mix, Calcium/Magnesium/ Zinc, Coral Calcium, Cranberry, Echinacea, Lutein, Silymarin (Milk thistle), Flaxseed oil capsules
shops Annam Gourmet www.annam-gourmet.com 16-18 Hai Ba Trung, D. 1 41A Thao Dien, D. 2 SB2-1 My Khanh 4, Ng Duc Canh D. 7
Oh, Baby! 1 212 Vo Van Tan, D. 3 Oh, Baby! 2 272 Vo Van Tan, D. 3 Organik 11A Thao Dien, D. 2 www.organikvn.com UMA www.uma.vn Saigon Pearl, Binh Thanh 1419 - 1421 Ng. Van Linh, D. 7 Van Duy Phuong 214bis Vo Van Tan, D. 3 Veggy’s 29A Le Thanh Ton, D. 1 S54 - Pham Van Nghi, D. 7
Azial www.naturalrdv.com www.rdvskincare.com www.azial.com
Viet An Organic 201 Ng. Thi Minh Khai, D. 1 vietanorganic.com
Chi-Chi 2 218 Vo Van Tan, D. 3
The Warehouse 178 Pasteur St, D. 1
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Fall 2011 | Saigon Naturally | 27
Saigon Naturally, Fall 2011 www.saigonnaturally.com 28 | Saigon Naturally | Fall 2011
Health, wellness, and holistic living magazine for and about Saigon, Vietnam.