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NBN Partner Profile: 420 Food Safety

  • by Kevin Mahmalji, NORML Outreach Coordinator July 21, 2015

    The Associated Press recently highlighted public and industry 420 Food Safety Logoconcerns regarding the use of herbicides and pesticides in the commercial cannabis operations.

    Understandably, many commercial growers, producers, and wholesalers have numerous questions about good agricultural practices, food safety, and quality management systems.

    420 Food Safety, a NORML Business Network Partner, assists cannabis businesses with those important questions!

    420 Food Safety’s President and CEO is a certified Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) auditor through the American Society for Quality (ASQ) with extensive experience in food safety and quality management. 420 Food Safety helps companies make food safety and quality systems work from seed to sale.

    420 Food Safety offers:

    • Consulting in safety and quality management from seed to sale
    • Training on safety and quality management systems
    • Help with HACCP MJ Planning and practice
    • Help with Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) Planning

    Right now, 420 Food Safety is promoting their “Food Safety Helpdesk”.  For just $50, an organization can get 30 minutes of top-grade consulting on quality and safety management systems for their business!

    To learn more about 420 Food Safety and their great services, visit their website! 420FoodSafety.com

    DISCLOSURE: This post is provided as a service of the NORML Business Network, which works to create mutually beneficial partnerships with marijuana-related businesses that seek to use their enterprise as a positive example of corporate social responsibility. 420 Food Safety is a proud member of the NORML Business Network. To learn more about our Network partners, or to become a member, please visit here.

     

    10 Responses to “NBN Partner Profile: 420 Food Safety”

    1. Anonymous says:

      All weed should be organic, period.

    2. Julian says:

      As part of your disclosure, why not add that ” 420 Food Safety does not support pesticides or herbicides in the cultivation of cannabis.”? We can research your GAP planning, but when the AP is still spinning yarns about marijuana and pesticides there should be some bold print up front in advertising educating how your organization recommends PESTICIDE FREE CANNABIS and how chemically safe cannabis is being sold in legal dispensaries because organizations like 420 Food Safety are helping industries implement, market and brand clean and safe cannabis.

      Spider mites and mold are a real problem in outdoor growing operations, which makes it vital to teach farmers how to rotate and diversify their crops so that “responsible corporations” don’t fall into the monocultural trap of big agribusiness, or sell their heirloom seeds in exchange for some terminator variety because growers start relying artificially on herbicides and pesticides. It never ceases to amaze me how people grow crops touching eachother then wonder how they got the plague. If your going to do that, grow hemp. For outdoors with crop leaves touching, hemp is a hardier investment.

      For all you indoor growers wearing bunny suits and playing music to charm the mites away, here are some good tips I found at 420 magazine:

      Re: Preventitive measures to avoid spidermites?
      Here’s a few tips:
      -Don’t bring any “stray” plants into the growroom without giving them a 2 or 3 week quarentine 1st.
      -ALWAYS wash your hands before going into the growroom.
      -Mites–indeed most insects–build up a resistance to certain types of insecticides rapidly. You need 3 types of insecticides and rotate their use. Pyrethium and neem-oil based are 2 types. Insecticidal soap is another one. Make sure they are non-toxic to humans. Use a light mist of them every week, followed the next day with plain water. But don’t use them during flowering.
      -Mite eggs can hide in the smallest crevices, therefore the floor should be either linolium or put a tarp down.
      -Mites thrive in warm environments. Keeping temps at 65–70F will reduce their reproduction rate.
      -Have a pair of overalls that you only wear in the growroom.
      -Inspect the plants weekly, especially the undersides of leaves.
      -Avoid having the plants touch or almost touch each other. And use sticky tape (available at large plant nurseries) on the planters. This will keep the mites from spreading from plant to plant in case some gets in.

      Of these tips, the 1st is the most important. The most common way for mites to get inside in by hitchhiking on an infested plant.

    3. Julian says:

      Adding to my last post… Im very interested in the tip that says “non-toxic” pesticide. Isn’t that an oxy-moron? I suppose when we ask corporations and people to be responsible we need to discuss crop insurance to keep growers from abusing pesticides for profit. There’s clearly a concern among responsible growers to keep a pesticide free image without losing their entire crop to mites. And we need clean, responsible solutions more effective than raising colonies of lady bugs or something to that degree…

    4. Julian says:

      Here are some more preventive measures; remember, abusing pesticides makes pests more RESISTANT, and kills the predator insects of the pests youre trying to kill…

      Re: Preventitive measures to avoid spidermites?
      Some more info from another site.

      Integrated pest management (IPM) is an eco-sensitive way to manage pests of all kinds in the garden and landscape. It is an approach that focuses on preventing pest problems by growing healthy plants in well-designed landscapes. If pests do occur, there are a variety of ways to manage pests safely and effectively.

      Prevention is the cornerstone of IPM. This means choosing the right plant for the right place, using pest-resistant varieties, looking after soil fertility and watering properly. “Look before you leap” is a rule to live by in IPM. This means regularly checking plants for damage and making sure that suspected pests are correctly identified before taking any action. This is important because similar damage can have different causes (not all of them pests!). Also, many insects found on plants are beneficial — they are there because they are eating the pests. If treatment is needed, there are many different methods, including:
      biological controls: beneficial insects, nematodes and microorganisms that attack pests are sold at some local garden centres;
      physical controls: floating row covers, screens, sticky traps (for insects), mulches, hot water, hand pulling (for weeds);
      cultural controls: using resistant varieties, crop rotation, and pruning;
      chemical controls: naturally occurring or synthetic pesticides.
      Using Pesticides
      There are many different kinds of pesticides (insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, etc.) with active ingredients that range from the extremely poisonous to the completely non-toxic. If other methods do not keep pest numbers down to acceptable levels, you may need to use a pesticide. If so, then choose the least toxic, low-risk product and limit its use to the plant that has the problem.

      Bacillus thuringiensis (Kurstaki) or Btk

      Soil bacteria which produce spores and protein crystals that when ingested, kill caterpillars. However, Btk is non-toxic to other insects, animals and people. Used on leaf-eating caterpillars in greenhouses and gardens.

      Dormant and Summer Oils

      Mineral oil acts on contact via the suffocation and disruption of the target insects’ physical processes. Dormant oil is used for over-wintering eggs of aphids, some moths, mealy bugs, pear psylla, pear and rose slugs, scale, spider mites and is best applied to deciduous woody trees and shrubs after leaves drop and before the new growth starts. Summer oil is used on mealy bugs, rust mites, scale, spider mites, and white flies. Check label or test spray to see if the plant is oil tolerant.

      Insecticidal Soap

      Biodegradable fatty acids that act on contact against insects and mites; used on aphids, earwigs, mealy bugs, pear and rose slugs, psyllids, scale, spider mites, white flies and other insects; outdoors and indoors. Such soap is phytotoxic to some plants, so check the label first.

      Silicon Dioxide (Diatomaceous Earth)

      Ground-up fossilized shells of diatoms; acts on contact on most insects by piercing their skin and causing them to dry up. Non-toxic to people, animals, birds, fish and earthworms. Limit use on outdoor plants to spot treatments.

      Pyrethrins

      Extracted from pyrethrum daisies, this pesticide acts on contact; used for crawling and flying insects on plants, pets, in structures, indoors and outdoors. Modest toxicity. Avoid inhalation or contact with skin or eyes.

      Fatty Acid Herbicide

      Fatty-acid compound that acts on contact to kill foliage of plants. Used to control annuals and/or provide suppression or top-kill of some perennials. Avoid spray drift on desirable plants.

      Sulphur

      Sulphur provides broad spectrum control for fungi and mites. Use on foliage for black knot, black spot, leaf spots, powdery mildew, rusts, apple and pear scab and others. Also controls russet and rust mites. Use only on plants tolerant to sulphur.

      Lime Sulphur

      Calcium sulphur compound; used for control of fungi, mites and some insects; used as a dormant spray or growing-season spray for fungal diseases as well as scales, spider mites, rust mites, aphids mealybugs, and peach borers. Phytotoxic to most actively growing plants. Check label and use in correct dilution.

      Pesticide Safety Tip

      Before you use any pesticide, it is critical that you read the label and throughly understand what the product contains in terms of active ingredients, instructions, cautions, safe handling and proper disposal.

    5. Galileo Galilei says:

      This seems like responsible corporate citizenship to me.

    6. Dave Evans says:

      Hey Julian, when it comes legal, are you going to open a farm? Sounds like you know more than some of the folks already doing it.

    7. Matthew says:

      Marihuana should never touch human skin, throughout its production: nothing but well filtered and ionized air (clean ‘gorilla’ gloves) Only biological microbes should be used to provide ‘soil’ nutrients, to the plants; synthetic salt-chemical ‘fertilizers’ should be refused at all costs. Authentically food grade TLO. Classical music doesn’t hurt.

    8. Julian says:

      @Dave,
      Wouldn’t you? What other crop as productive and rewarding as hemp and marijuana could inspire generations of farmers to grow their own? I went to the dump last week to drop trash from a cleaned out office building only to be greeted by a semi dumping a trailer load full of “expired” food from the local food bank in Austin.. Now I don’t want to get Mexweed inspired to go drinking left over beer in discarded cans or anything (still recovering from that image… You can find better leftovers at your local brewery if you can’t make your own beer.. :-) ) …but then I just watched the latest episode of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver covering the whopping %40 of our total food production wasted by Americans on a daily basis and I say to myself, “WHAT is it going to TAKE for me to build a better compost box and a decent fence around my garden?!… And by “garden ” I really mean the large overgrowth of weeds suffocating the remnants of what was once a row of tomatoes, bell peppers and some white corn I had to smuggle up from Mexico. (Hey, were all busy, aren’t we?)
      But the subject of fertilizer, pesticides and herbicides is striking in their expense and abuse because we appear compelled to produce an excess of popular crops in monoculture, ripping up the roots and discarding the leftovers so we can overstock, overfertilize and poison the water supply before we think twice about the sustainability of our soil, all for makeshift fears that our product wont sell, we’ll get sued by “trial lawyers from the hungry” or our crops will fail if we dont continue the hopeless model of excess.

      What fascinates me about marijuana and hemp is that they are fast teaching tools for upstart farmers not only on how to research toxicity or even READ ingredients and labels (because lets face it, who actually thinks of reading the directions of a so-called “non toxic” soap-based pesticide was interesting unless you were REALLY stoned?) …but a rather unintended benefit of both farming and consuming marijuana and hemp is that it involves us in an agrarian community just naturally waiting to happen. Like when Washington state outdoor marijuana growers started pulling their roots out for the fall wondering what they were going to do with all those roots and stems… So they started feeding them to pigs, and remarkably the pigs that ate marijuana stems and root grew %40 leaner meat, tasted better, lived happier lives( outside of gestation cages) and sold better as word of mouth caught on. Not to mention the pigs became highly introspective and began to psychoanalyze eachother, but the point is, they were HAPPY.

      Clearly, we have a relationship with chemicals and waste with our food that has been an ugly denial for too long… But theres something about cannabis that is changing the way we educate ourselves and the way we produce, consume and even recycle our food. The monoculture of excess isn’t what cannabis consumers prefer over the local community garden, and for that, the very fabric of human kind’s coexistence and sustainability with our planet is at stake.

    9. Julian says:

      …And if there IS such thing as “responsible, non-toxic pesticide” than lets help our movement out by educating ahead and setting standards for the industry so the media doesn’t get a soundbite every time we use the P-word. Because not every one of us consumers is a phytokinetic pathologist to understand that limited use of certain soaps and oils in combination with clean preventive measures is a relatively harmless method for growing operations compared to the kind of poisons your average corn field is pumping into the soil and water we all share.

    10. mexweed says:

      @Julian not to worry, the trash is mostly more safe than they want us to think, only a time or two did an abandoned partial beer can turn out to have a (YUK) $igarette Butt in it, which I did then hideously spitlerize.

      Bad enough the food waste, how much abandoned food goes UNRESCUED because the buttflickers have poisoned the whole damn wastebarrel (Johnny don’t touch that!”). No other commodity (other than soap, hospital waste or military ordinance) teaches use-once-throw-away wasteculture as intensively as $igarettes, 20 throwaways per Pack etc.

      $oap $ell: 6 ways Propa & Ganda makes money off the tobacco $igarette afterfartage:

      1. $ecret Deodorant to banish the $igarette $tink from your body

      2. Wa$h your Mouth out with $cope to remove $igarette $tink before kissing lady

      3. Tide etc. to get $igarette $tink out of your clothes (and “kill 99.9% of the germs”)

      4. Mr. Clean, $pic ‘n’ $pan, Comet Cleanser to remove $mokegrime from walls, floors and baseboards

      5. $igarettes cause appetite for junk foods made with Cri$co (“Oil to be Boiled, the Lard is Gum!”)

      6. P & G owns numerous pHARMaceutical companies $elling meds used to treat illness caused by $igarette $moking

      Could go on and on why your favorite corporations don’t like LEGAL CANNABIS “butting in” and dooming their hedgemoney, heh heh. (How: Substitute cannabis for tobacco, Substitute Vape for $moke, Substitute 25-mg single toke for 500-mg Joint.)

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