10 Really Good Reasons Why to Buy Organic
1. ORGANIC FOOD TASTES GREAT!
It's common sense-well-balanced soils grow
strong healthy plants which taste better. Simply try an organic orange or vine ripened
tomato for a sweet and juicy flavor treat! Recent research indicates organic foods may
contain more nutrients as well.
Great chefs just can't get enough of it. Across
the continent many leading restaurant chefs are using organic produce. Many have joined
together in "Chefs Collaborative 2000" designed to encourage production of
superior tasting foods through sound environmental practices
You get delicious, nutritious foods when you buy
certified organic products- an everyday practice that's also good for Mother Earth
2. CERTIFIED ORGANIC PRODUCTS CARRY A
Starting in 1996, all food products labeled
organic must be in compliance with the US organic law. Certification is the
public's guarantee that products have been grown and handled according to strict
procedures without toxic chemical inputs. Farmers and processors alike must keep
detailed records. All practices and procedures are annually inspected by a third-party
certifier. All farms and handlers are required to maintain organic management plans. No
prohibited substances are applied to the land on which organic food is grown for at least
3. ORGANIC PRODUCTION REDUCES HEALTH RISKS
Many EPA-approved pesticides were registered
long before extensive research linked these chemicals to cancer and other diseases. Now,
the Environmental Protection Agency considers as potentially cancer causing 60% of all
herbicides (weed killers), 90% of all fungicides (mold killers), and 30% of all
insecticides (insect killers).
Children, farmers and farm workers are
particularly vulnerable. According to the 1933 National Academy of Sciences study
Pesticides in the Diet of Infants and Children, pesticide regulation and monitoring are
outdated and flawed. Risk assessment is based on adult consumption, assuming exposure to
only one pesticide at a time. IT does not take into consideration our multiple exposures
to chemicals in water, rug shampoos, common household cleaners, flea powders and dozens of
substances common in our modern environment. The 1993 report Pesticides in Children's Food
stated that, "the average child exceeds the EPA lifetime on-in-a-million risk
standard [of cancer] by his or her first birthday."
Reducing the number of exposures to all toxic
chemicals should be everyone's goal.
4. ORGANIC FARMERS BUILD SOIL
Soil is the foundation of the food chain
and the primary focus of organic farming. By building healthy soil,
plants are better able to resist disease and insects. Each small piece of living soil
contains thousands of microorganisms which help retain water and provide nutrients to the
plants. Organic farmers foster soil fertility through proper tillage and crop rotation.
Chemical-intensive agricultural practices result
in farms with deal soil so lacking in nutrients it requires large amounts of fertilizer.
Reduced organic matter diminishes the soil's ability to retain moisture. The result is
expensive irrigation using ever larger amounts of water. The resulting runoff takes the
soil and chemicals with it.
We're facing the worst topsoil erosion in
history due to our current agricultural practice of chemical intensive, mono-crop farming.
The U.S. Soil Conservation Service estimates over 3 billion tons of topsoil are eroded
from the U.S. crop lands each year, 25 billion tons globally. "Sediment loading"
in streams is a major factor in the decline of our fish population. One third of all fish
species nationwide are threatened or endangered.
5. ORGANIC FARMS RESPECT OUR WATER RESOURCES
Water makes up two-thirds of our human body
mass. It covers three-quarters of our plant. While it may seem that there's and unlimited
supply of clean water, consider the current status report:
The EPA has found 98 different
pesticides in the groundwater of 40 states, contaminating the drinking water of over 100
million people. The agency has identified agriculture as the number one non-point polluter
The elimination of polluting chemicals and
nitrogen leaching, coupled with soil-building efforts, protects and conserves water
resources from nitrogen contamination and sediment loading. Organic agriculture requires
less water because the humus in its living soil retains moisture.
6. ORGANIC PRODUCERS LEAD IN INNOVATIVE
Organic farmers have led the way, largely at
their expense, with innovative on-farm research aimed at reducing pesticides and
minimizing agriculture's impact on the environment. Organic agriculture's best known
production techniques include:
Cover cropping (green manure)
Use of beneficial insects
Crop rotation and diversification
Botanical and biological pest control
Close observation of natural soil, plant and wildlife systems
Cultural and mechanical weed control
Organic farming is not taught in standard
textbooks. Farmers trying to shy away from the 42 billion pounds of petrochemicals applied
each year on food and fiber crops could find it difficult. Fortunately, a network of
thoughtful farmers share on-farm research through journals, conferences, electronic mail
and, in some states, through the Land Grant colleges.
7. ORGANIC FARMING HELPS KEEP RURAL
Rural communities across the nation have watched
employment shrink, family farms nearly disappear and a sense of future for the young move
towards the cities. Many organic producers are independently owned and operated family
farms- a nearly extinct breed in this country. In the last decade the U.S. has lost more
than 650,000 family farms- 175 farms per day. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
predicts that by the year 2000, half the US farm production will come from 1% farms.
Organic farming, often done on smaller acreage
farmed more intensively, is one of the few survival tactics left for the family farm and
the rural community.
8. ORGANIC PRODUCERS STRIVE TO PRESERVE
President Clinton has placed the loss of
biodiversity (the existence of a large variety of species) at the very top of his
environmental concerns. Just a few years ago, the biodiversity was not a common topic. The
good news is that many organic farmers and gardeners have been aware of the problems for
decades, collecting and preserving seeds, and growing unusual varieties. "This living
treasures of seeds", says Kenny Ausubel in Seeds of Change, "comprises billions
of years of evolution and at least twelve thousand years of human selection for
9. ORGANIC FARMERS WORK IN HARMONY WITH
We are just beginning to understand the impact
of chemical-intensive agricultural practices on the environment. Organic agriculture
represents the balance demanded of a healthy ecosystem: birds and beneficial insects
control pests; wild life is an essential part of a total farm and encouraged by including
forage crops in rotation and by retaining fence rows, wetlands and other natural areas.
When you buy organic produce, you're helping
farmers build a healthy environment for wildlife.
10. ORGANIC ABUNDANCE - FOODS AND NON FOODS
In the past decade, we've seen exciting
developments in organic production of many food items, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds,
and grains to name a few.
The most visible non-food item is cotton. the
one crop most experts said could not be grown organically. Cotton is sprayed with more
toxic pesticides, in greater amounts, than any other crop in the nation. In California's
San Joaquin Valley alone, 100,000 acres are sprayed annually. Yet, once again, organic
farmers are showing that it can be done, and done profitably.
Purchasing organic today ensures more
organic choices tomorrow.