Fresh organic fruits and vegetables contain more nutrients, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. They taste better too. That's because they come from good nutrient-rich soil which impacts the earth positively and the plants more deliciously.
Organic fruits and vegetables are grown without chemical and petroleum-based pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides. Nor may organic farming use sewage– or sludge-based fertilizers as is typical in conventional farming (yuck!).
Organic products are free from Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), hormones, growth stimulants, antibiotics, and cloning. Since conventional products are not forced to label each product, the only way we are assured that the item we are eating and feeding our children is not cloned or genetically engineered is by choosing the organic option.
Organic products cannot contain chemical colors, nitrates, nitrites and are free of artificial ingredients.
Organic standards implore humane treatment of cattle, dairy cows, chickens, sheep, etc. Organic farming allows them fresh clean water, a clean place to sleep, access to the outdoors, room to move and exercise, and fresh air. Seems like a minimum we can offer but yes, that had to be spelled out in the guidelines. Conventional animals are treated very differently; to say that they are treated poorly is a misleading understatement.
There is even new research that indicates that people who eat more organic products have an easier time maintaining their ideal weight and that choosing organic foods can actually help us lose weight! That's because when we consume chemicals and pesticides our liver is in overdrive protecting our body from those toxins. When we eat wholsome real foods created without chemical pesticides, instead of overburdening our liver to clear our body of toxins, our liver can take on it's other big responsibility and use up calories!
By supporting organic farmers, we are encouraging more farmers to choose sustainable methods. We are encouraging other countries not to destroy precious rainforest to make way for cheap crops. We are paying more directly to villages that grow coffee, offering them an opportunity for education, schools, and a better way of life while their earth-friendly harvesting protects our birds allowing them a place to nest.
Organics are better for people, our planet, and our future.
How do I know if something is organic?
The USDA has identified for three categories of labeling organic products:
100% Organic: Made with 100% organic ingredients
Organic: Made with at least 95% organic ingredients
Made With Organic Ingredients: Made with a minimum of 70% organic ingredients with strict restrictions on the remaining 30% including no GMOs (genetically modified organisms)
Products with less than 70% organic ingredients may list organically produced ingredients on the side panel of the package, but may not make any organic claims on the front of the package.
What does the USDA Organic seal mean?
The USDA Organic seal assures consumers of the quality and integrity of organic products. Organic-certified operations must have an organic system plan and records that verify compliance with that plan. Operators are inspected annually in addition there are random checks to assure standards are being met.
How does a farmer go about converting land to organic status?
Converting land to organic status is a three-year process. There is a two-year conversion process consisting of building up the fertility of the land. Produce grown in the first year cannot be stated as organic. In the second year produce may be stated as “In Conversion”. It is not until the third year that produce may be stated as fully organic. Soil and natural fertility building are important parts of organic farming.