Organic maple syrup???

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  #1  
Old 12-01-12, 11:43 AM
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Organic maple syrup???

I bought a 8.5 oz bottle of pure, grade A dark amber, maple syrup today. It was $5.99. Alongside was an identical bottle from the same company only it was labeled as "organic" and it was $7.99.

When I was a kid we had a sugarbush and I helped make syrup for quite a few years. You go out in the woods, tap the tree, gather the sap, boil it down in a big vat and put it in a container. How is any of that not organic?
 
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  #2  
Old 12-01-12, 11:52 AM
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Sounds organic to me. I think the real question is what are maple syrup producers doing that would make their syrup not organic? If nothing, then it's just a way for the syrup producer to make some extra cash.

Maybe this will help: What is Organic Maple Syrup? | Coombs Family Farms
 
  #3  
Old 12-01-12, 11:53 AM
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Most people would have absolutely no idea how the product was made or by what procedure but when they see organic......it just HAS to be better
 
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Old 12-01-12, 12:00 PM
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PJ, how dare you talk about my wife like that !!! It's true, "organic" is better. Hogwash. It is more expensive...that's the bottom line. But they have their captive market, I guess. I guess the organic syrup comes from trees that only get "organic" water.....no, that wouldn't be it.
 
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Old 12-01-12, 12:39 PM
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I guess the organic syrup comes from trees that only get "organic" water.....no, that wouldn't be it
Right. It is organic nutrition only from humans who eat only organic.
 
  #6  
Old 12-01-12, 02:55 PM
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The organic syrup is more green - 2 more green bills to be exact

It's possible the organic syrup doesn't have any preservatives added..... but if that's so, how long is the shelf life before it spoils.
 
  #7  
Old 12-01-12, 04:19 PM
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Just note, I am choosing not to comment....LOL ...High fructose corn syrup anyone??? In case anyone remembers...Ha,ha....
 
  #8  
Old 12-01-12, 05:41 PM
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Mike, they are talking maple syrup, not Aunt Jemima.
 
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Old 12-01-12, 05:53 PM
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  #10  
Old 12-02-12, 05:53 AM
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Drooplug,

Thanks for the link. I read the explanation given by the manufacturer. What a crock of mealy mouthed BS. Basically they say their syrup is organic because they don't use pesticides or chemicals on their trees. Well, quess what - nobody does. So the maple syrup manufacturer is telling the consumer that their product is inspected to certify that they don't use any chemicals that nobody uses.

Incidentally, the state of Vermont very closely regulates the maple syrup industry. They dictate what containers may be used, what type of filters can be used and what type of sanitizing products. They inspect major producers for compliance.

Just another rip off.
 
  #11  
Old 12-02-12, 06:41 AM
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How is it a rip off? You don't have to buy it if you don't want to. If you are person who subscribes to what organic is all about, then that product is for you.

A rip off would be the dry clears that hang the organic signs in their windows. Yes, it is "organic", but not the same kind.
 
  #12  
Old 12-02-12, 09:08 AM
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If you're into organic you want the "insurance" that no pesticides or herbicides found their way into the products you eat. Maybe it's unusual to spray maple trees--but what about weed killer on the property surrounding them? Grub killer to keep the moles under control? Rat poison in the barn?
To be a certified organic farm you can't use chemicals on the trees OR on any surrounding plants & soil--and it's a very wide radius so your neighbors can't be spraying on their side of the fence, either. The certification process is long, difficult & expensive so products usually do cost more. If you don't care what sorts of compounds got concentrated in your syrup when it was being cooked down, then don't buy it.
 
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Old 12-02-12, 09:52 AM
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Roger Miller said:

Roses are red,
Violets are purple.
Sugar is sweet,
And so's maple syrple.

Guy48065, I seriously doubt ground water is checked over a long period during the certification process, and that is a big carrier of our pollutants. If the growers are using less pesticides, poisons, fertilizers, etc., then their overhead should be less, not more, causing the prices to be lower, not usuriously high as they are now.
 
  #14  
Old 12-02-12, 10:38 AM
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If the growers are using less pesticides, poisons, fertilizers, etc., then their overhead should be less, not more, causing the prices to be lower, not usuriously high as they are now.
What is the purpose of pesticides and chemical fertilizer? To increase per acre yield. If you don't use them, you have a smaller yield. So the price of your produce needs to be higher. Then the company that certifies the farm takes their cut. It adds up. Then you tack on a profit margin because the majority of people that buy organic are in the higher income brackets and can afford to "care about the environment" while they drive around in their oversized SUVs and live in houses twice as big as they need. Haha. That part always makes me laugh.
 
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Old 12-02-12, 10:54 AM
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But organic gardeners don't use those pesticides, etc. They just wave their magic wand, or something to have supposedly the same yield. You don't hear of organic gardeners going on Federal Farm subsidies.
Yeah, I like the "houses twice as big as they need". Two couples I know locally moved from their modest 3 BR homes to 5 BR homes, AFTER THEIR KIDS LEFT HOME!!! Wha?! Here's your sign.
 
  #16  
Old 12-02-12, 11:28 AM
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They claim to get the same yield, but I doubt it. If that were true then they never would have needed pesticides in the first place!.
 
  #17  
Old 12-03-12, 05:22 AM
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Droop - I'll repeat myself - nobody sprays sugar maples. Nobody uses chemical fertilizers. There is no decreased yield because of loss to insects or whatever. I guarantee that the "certifier" is not doing any chemical testing. The rip off part is because the organic label leads some unsupecting consumers to believe that the product is somehow safer or "greener" than an uncertified product.

I can't see how that justifies a 25% price increase.

Mike, I don't want to revisit the great High fructose debate, especially since the sugar guys seem to be winning the battle as more and more manufacturers have stopped using corn syrup.

It's a classic example of money and propaganda trumping the truth. The big money sugar guy were threatened by a locally produced sweetener that was a lot cheaper than their imported cane sugar so they started a public campaign to discredit it. The eco freaks got on board and the "corn syrup is bad" ball started rolling.
 
  #18  
Old 12-03-12, 05:47 AM
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As a Canadian in Northern Ontario (which produces huge ammounts of Maple Syrup, only second to Quebec), I find the Organic syrup as funny or more so then you guys.
I've taken my boys out in the spring every year for the horse rides and fresh syrup. No one uses chemicals to improve output of trees.
It's all in how the weather is which will dictate a great year or an ok year.

Maple syrup is maple syrup. The only difference is how much water is removed (light vs. dark syrup).
If it's 100% pure maple syrup, I'll take the cheap stuff.
 
  #19  
Old 12-03-12, 09:41 AM
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So you guys believe that bottle of Pure Maple Syrup on the grocer's shelf came from a small family farm from hand-tapped trees, grown on an isolated stand of sugar maples miles from neighboring crops, fed by crystal clean mountain streams, sap collected in clean bug-free buckets and lovingly cooked down in an oak-fired evaporator & stored in BPA-free jugs? Bwaaa haaa haaa

If you don't like the organic conspiracy then at least buy your syrup from an Amish farm, as I do.

(For the record I don't buy organic food but I'm at least realistic about the garbage I eat)
 
  #20  
Old 12-03-12, 11:29 AM
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I've been to higher yeild maple syrup farms. They are not as pretty as the tourist trap ones, but are pretty much the same.
The trees are tapped, and the tap connects to a hose (or series of hoses), which transports the contents to a storage area. The tourist trap ones still use a steel pail and a tap you see on a wine barrel.
All and all, they still all use big old maple trees and boil the crap out of the stuff.
 
  #21  
Old 12-03-12, 11:47 AM
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guy48065,

I've actually made quite a bit of syrup. There are few bugs in the sap, after all it's usually mid February when the sap starts to flow. Mostly the filter collects small chunks of bark. We used to use galvanized buckets with a hammered in tap and we used a horse drawn sled with a big galvanized tub. Nowadays many of the larger sugar bushes look like they've been infested with giant spiders with all the tygon tubing runs from tree to tree.

One point of fact, many big commercial syrup operations buy a lot of their sap from smaller producers. That's the same way many wine producers and cheese producers operate. One of the largest maple syrup producers in VT got slapped down (heavy fine and they had to change their label/marketing) by the state a few years ago because they were importing sap from Quebec and marketing it as VT maple syrup. That's a no-no in VT although I can't tell the differnece between the two.

The discussion here wasn't about the "purity" of the syrup. I simply questioned if the difference between them justified the price difference. After a little research I've concluded there's not much difference at all.
 
  #22  
Old 12-03-12, 02:34 PM
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I use Coombs maple syrup myself and we get it from our local organic food store. Sure it is more expensive as are other things but I personally like the fact that not all of those additives like high fructose corn syrup is in my maple syrup. I don't have pancakes or waffles as much now but when I do I find that the organic syrup doesn't give me as much of a sugar spike.
 
  #23  
Old 12-03-12, 04:07 PM
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And I use Kroger sugar free syrup on my morning oatmeal which I credit with helping loose and keep off 20 pounds.
 
  #24  
Old 12-03-12, 06:51 PM
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Droop - I'll repeat myself - nobody sprays sugar maples. Nobody uses chemical fertilizers.
Read the links. It's more than just pesticides etc.

Mike, I don't want to revisit the great High fructose debate, especially since the sugar guys seem to be winning the battle as more and more manufacturers have stopped using corn syrup.
There is only one reason companies are switching to sugar: cost. It is the same reason they switched to high fructose corn syrup. With corn at $8 per bushel, sugar has become more competitive.
 
  #25  
Old 12-05-12, 06:01 AM
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I e-mailed the company and asked about the difference between their regular pure maple syrup and their organic pure maple syrup. Here's the gist of their response - The underscore is mine.

There is no difference in the ingredient between Organic and Non Organic: Pure Maple Syrup

Regarding organic and non-organic syrup, in the most basic sense, organic means grown or raised naturally. For crops, this means that no chemicals (e.g., pesticides), sewage sludge, radiation, or genetic engineering are used on the product. Equipment needs to be in good working order with no repairs, and there are guidelines as to how the syrup can be stored and for how long. Organic syrup must be inspected and certified organic by a certifying agency. Our agency is QAI (Quality Assurance International).


The price we pay to purchase certified organic maple syrup is higher than non-organic maple syrup, hence the higher retail price.

For anyone familiar with the industry the thought that a sugar bush would be treated with "sewage sludge, radiation or genetic engineering is ludicrous."
Incidentally, the last comment seems to indicate that they do indeed buy the bulk of their syrup from smaller producers.

I can see the thought process - "If I pay some inspecting agency a few bucks for a bogus certification then I can raise my retail price 20%."
 
  #26  
Old 12-05-12, 06:51 AM
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If it's certified organic does that mean they can't water with fluoridated tap water?
Might as well combine 2 conspiracies into one
 
  #27  
Old 12-05-12, 07:04 AM
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Why are you so sure that NONE of the syrup producers spray their trees? To a syrup producer their trees are a crop & an investment (a VERY long term one at that). Maple trees aren't immune to attack from pests, fungus, leaf & root rots, etc. What if syrup came from ash or elm or chestnut trees? You'd be paying $20 for that 8oz bottle because all the trees would be gone.

With all the potential damage from the attacks listed in the following link, I would think it wise for a farmer to protect his crop.

Sugarbush disease & insects
 
  #28  
Old 12-05-12, 07:59 AM
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I really don't care about whether the label says "organic" or not. I do buy some Aunt Jamima syrup , but have always bought my real syrup for a guy in northern Wisconsin, about 40 miles away (for more than 10 years). I save the real syrup for the special things.

It is sort of a ritual whenever I to go and buy the syrup. The guy (over 70) does not even care or know what organic is. He has about 20 to 40 acres of maples he planted years ago. He said he has a few miles of plastic tubing (pails were too much trouble, cost and work) and gravity delivers it to one of his two sheds. He operates with his wife (over 70) and one man except for processing and bottling when he hires some locals. He sells to a few local stores and in the common cheese shops as long as he has some syrup left after he stows away his stock for direct selling at his house/shed. He even tells you if it was a good year for syrup or not.

Whenever I go to get some, he or his wife will be out the door as fast as I can be out the door. I have had numerous trips into the shed at different times of the year and appreciate the habits and care taken to make a uniform product.

For me, the difference between "organic", "natural" and ordinary is not important considering the small amount I use. I go by flavor and there is a big difference between what I get in a supermarket and the real stuff, but I use both and ration out the good stuff when the supply gets low. Most of the differences is in the taste and flavor and the enjoyment of buying from a local that you can see.

There is nothing better than a little bit of real maple syrup on potato pancakes.

Dick
 
  #29  
Old 12-05-12, 06:46 PM
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Besides at least to my thinking that you get a more pure product I like the taste much better than anything made with additives. To me taste is the most important factor.
 
  #30  
Old 12-06-12, 05:02 AM
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Sugar maple trees are not planted in a line and cultivated like fruit trees. The average sugar maple is probably taller than 50' and it's located in a bush that's quite often inaccessible to mechanical transportation. Not only are there chemical delivery problems but cost would also be a factor. IIRC the sap/syrup ratio is probably 30-40:1. Each tree will probably produce less that 1/2 gallon of end product. That doesn't leave a lot of margin for treating tree problems. My guess is that it's probably more cost effective to cut down a diseased tree and sell it for firewood.

Just for the sake of argument - An "organic" inspector shows up at the farm of a producer that sells to a large commercial outfit. "Hey buddy, you been spraying those trees, using a chemical fertilizer or dumping sewage sludge in your sugarbush?" Response from the farmer "Nah." True or not.
 

Last edited by Wayne Mitchell; 12-06-12 at 05:19 AM.
  #31  
Old 12-19-12, 12:54 PM
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This just in regarding a theft of Maple Syrup from a Canadian warehouse:

3 arrested in massive Canadian maple syrup heist, which hurt world supply | Fox News
 
  #32  
Old 12-19-12, 06:18 PM
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Interesting article Larry I wasn't aware that Canada supplies 80% of the worlds maple syrup. I am not surprised though as I think I have seen on bottles of organic syrup may contain syrup from Canada or words to that effect. It doesn't bother me though where it comes from as long as it is pure. I just hope the syrup wasn't damaged that would be a shame.
 
  #33  
Old 12-20-12, 05:31 AM
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Odds are that syrup was destin for the US. More money to be made south of the border.

A lot (or most) of the Northern Ontario syrup is purchased and shipped through the Quebec distributions.
 
  #34  
Old 12-20-12, 10:25 AM
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Police also have seized vehicles suspected of being used in the illicit trafficking of the syrup.
 
  #35  
Old 12-20-12, 11:21 AM
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I don't see how they can "fence" that much product unless it is through a large distributor.

The syrup was probably stolen and dumped by the "Save The Maple Trees" organization.
 
  #36  
Old 12-20-12, 11:30 AM
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As funny as it sounds, there is pretty big money in this stuff.
Here in Canada (my area anyway) it retails for about $34 a gallon. As per the New England Agricultural Statistic (issued June 13, 2012), this stuff can fetch as much as $73 (average) a gallon in some areas (Connecticut).
This theft was of approximately 909,091 gallons worth.

Even if they offload a part of this, it'll be huge $$ and who would suspect a major maple syrup trafficker?
 
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