“Organic” is a term used to describe food that is produced without the use of chemical products such as fertilizers, herbicides, fungicides and pesticides. In the United States and Europe legislative bodies enacted regulations to designate what procedures are permitted during “organic” production of food and livestock. And so arose the certifying companies: often private businesses dedicated to carry out inspections on their own clients in accordance with US and European organic procedures, and designate them as organic in exchange for a fee. Some opponents argue that US and European organic production rules are too lax; allowing organic farmers to stray from the original philosophy’s of organic. The original principles of organic agriculture utilize management practices that restore, maintain and enhance ecological harmony, allowing for nature to correct it’s self. By using 100% natural non-chemical materials and practices that enhance the ecological balance of natural systems and that integrate the parts of the farming system into an ecological whole, it is proven that gardens and crops will flourish.
Do I Need to be Certified to be Organic?
No. Organic Agriculture is a philosophy utilized by many who love the earth and care about producing nutrient rich healthy crops that are delicious to consume. While becoming certified could allow someone to sell in international markets anyone can choose to hold true to this philosophy.
How is organic processing better for the environment?
Organic farming plays a very important role in completing the natural cycle of growth by turning organic waste, that would otherwise be contaminated, into recyclable material that can be reused to grow our food. This does a great service to our local environment and helps solve part of our problem with our ever-growing landfill. Organic Agriculture also does not use environmentally harmful chemicals such as chemical fertilizers and pesticides that contaminate the rain and groundwater from which all life. Organic farming by using organic waste rather than chemicals to fertilize plants, also plays an important role reducing our impact on the atmosphere. Chemical fertilizers shift the basis of soil fertility from the sun and nature to fossil fuels because in order to make one of the key ingredients of chemical fertilizers, synthetic nitrogen, copious amount of electricity, coal and natural gas are required. In addition, Organic farming replenishes and maintains healthy, fertile topsoil with rich biological matter, which stores carbon and does not erode into waterways.
Are organic Foods healthier?
Research shows that organic food can be more nutritious, especially since it has no application of potentially harmful long-lasting insecticides, herbicides, fungicides and fertilizers. Since 1909 when German chemist Fritz Haber discovered how to synthetically take molecules of Nitrogen from the atmosphere and combining them to create chemical fertilizers, farming practices have assumed that using newly invented chemical fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides and fungicides is safe without doing extensive research. Now, as time goes on, though research is still limited, studies are increasingly showing links between these chemicals to cancers and other harmful diseases. For example in the United States the EPA considers 60% of all herbicides, 90% of all fungicides, and 30% of all insecticides as potentially cancer-causing. That is why in many countries are looking to or already have banned certain herbicides.
Do organic foods taste better?
We certainly think so, and anyone that’s grown organic agrees. It’s common sense—well-balanced soils grow strong, healthy plants that taste great.
What types of foods are available as organic?
Fruits and vegetables are the most commonly thought of organic, but many other types of foods can also be organic as long as all raw materials used to make those products are grown organically.