Are you into organic products, specifically citronella lotion and sprays? Have you ever wondered how they’re made? If they’re true to their claim, if there really are citronella extracts in every bottle — or are we just being duped — that chemicals are used instead?
I’m doing my best to support green products so I buy if I can, although I must admit, I still have a lot of chemical-based stuff as well. The market for organic and eco-friendly products is growing — more are becoming aware that going green is not only good for the environment, but it’s also what’s best for our health.
So why choose organic?
1. It’s more safe to use. I am not claiming to be an expert (and I definitely am not) but apparently, there is not much attention on skin care products by the Food and Drug Administration, and because of this, harmful chemicals like Mercury, Dioxane, and Ammonium Laureth Sulfate (among others) still get to be used in the manufacturing of most skin care and make-up items. These chemicals get absorbed by our skin and get into our system.
2. It’s greener. Using organic products is more environment-friendly. When we use chemical-based products, that means we also take part and indirectly are okay with all the chemical emissions and spills that are involved in the manufacture process. Also, since the products have chemicals, washing them off also means polluting the waters that we eventually get to “reuse”.
Anyway, going back and speaking of citronella, I was able to see for myself that yes, real extracts are in those bottles.Last month, we had the privilege to visit a citronella (among many others) farm and observe the process of extraction when we went to Mt. Kitanglad Agri-Ecological Techno-Demo Center (MKAETDC) in Sinaburan, Imbayao Malaybalay City in Bukidnon (in Mindanao) — managed by the multi-awarded, super kind Maputi Family. We got to see how citronellas are planted, dried, and placed into a “boiler” to cook so its oil could be extracted. The “boiler” as I call it, is an Essential Oil Distillation Chamber, and its operation’s being assisted by the Local Government of Malaybalay, the Department of Science and Technology, the Philippine Federation for Environmental Concern, the Protected Area Management Board, and the Imbayao Multi-Purpose Cooperative.
If you wanna see for yourself, the farm welcomes visitors and researchers — they even have a Training House with rooms for people who would want to spend the night. There’s a lot to see there — trees and crops, koi and frog ponds, and animals like pigs, goats, and chickens. Ben Jr., Sir Ben’s eldest, even shared with us plans on marrying Eco-Techno and Tourism in the farm in the coming years.
If you want to know more about our visit to the farm (in short, a better and more detailed write up about our experience), kindly check out this Farmers on the Forefront article.