What is Organic?
Organic Farm Wars – “May the Farm be with you”
Organic refers to an “earth friendly” method of growing and processing food. Weeds and pests are controlled using environmentally sound practices which sustain the health of our planet and ultimately, our own health.
Growing concerns over the health of the planet and how that affects our health drives the organic agriculture movement. In recent years reports from consumer groups and government agencies suggest a connection between the use of synthetic agricultural chemicals and negative health effects.
Organic produce is grown in cooperation with the earth.
Organic growers work with nature. They use composted materials and mineral supplements to amend the soil rather than synthetic formulated fertilizers. In other words, they make the soil richer with natural growing nutrients. The soil is treated to make it nutritionally rich. The plants than use these nutrients to grow food with lots of vitamins and minerals that your body can use.
Conventional growers treat the plant with synthetic fertilizers (which are also toxic). Even if you wash your conventionally grown produce of the synthetic fertilizers, it may eliminate some surface pesticides, but most cannot be removed with water.
Organic farmers do not use chemicals (pesticides, fungicides or fertilizers) in an environmentally harmful manner. They utilize a blend of old and new technologies and scientific research to balance the Earth’s natural ecosystem.
Examples of organic farming methods include:
- Rotating crops between fields. This helps keep pests from building up and improves soil fertility.
- Planting select bushes and flowers to attract beneficial insects which ward off unwanted pests.
Organic farming produces nutrient-rich fertile soil which nourishes the plants. Keeping chemicals off the land also protects water quality and wild life. The plant will have grown extracting vitamins and minerals from the soil. Your body will be able to use these nutrients.
What about animals?
In raising organic animals such as dairy cows, hormones and antibodies may not be used and the cows are fed only organic feed.
What is certified organic?
A certified organic product has been grown and processed according to strict standards. Third party inspection verifies authenticity to the consumer. Several certification agencies exist across the country. Look for the certification seal or name of the certification agency on the label. When you see this claim, it means:
- No harmful chemicals have been applied to the land for at least 3 years.
- The farmer and processor have annual certification inspections.
- They have kept detailed records of their practices.
- They use ecologically-friendly methods and substances to improve the soil and control pests.
10 Reasons to buy certified Organic Foods
1. Support the environment – Organic farming supports the environment by using long term farming solutions which restore, maintain and enhance rather than drain our environment.
2. Support our future needs – Organic farming supports and upholds the belief that true agriculture meets the needs of the present without compromising the needs of future generations.
3. Build a biologically diverse agriculture – Organic agriculture respects diversity and growth within the environment, including protection of plant and wildlife habitats.
4. Help protect out water resources – Organic farming practice and solutions contribute to the overall quality of our ground and drinking waters, lakes, rivers and estuaries.
5. Increase productivity of the land – Organic agriculture builds productive nutrient-rich soil that resists topsoil erosion.
6. Help protect our health – Organic production practices limits inputs of toxins and chemicals into our environment. Choosing organic positively impacts our health, our children’s health, the health of farm workers and the health of future generations.
7. Help small farms – Smaller organic farms run on people power! Most organic farms are small, independently owned and operated family farms.
8. Help support a true economy – Buying organic is a direct investment in the long term future of our planet! The choices we make now can free us from costly pesticide related environmental clean ups in the future.
9. Save energy – Organic farming relies less on non-renewable energy sources, substituting renewable energy sources or labor whenever possible.
10. Organic food tastes great! – Organic food allows true flavors to shine through! Chefs across the country are committed to using organic ingredients because plants from healthy soils and organically fed livestock provide us with more flavorful foods.
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