1. Organic products meet stringent standards.
Organic certification is the public’s assurance that products have been grown and handled according to strict procedures without persistent toxic chemical inputs. When you see that a product has been Certified Organic by QAI (Quality Assurance International), you can rest assured that the product, its ingredients and the manufacturer have gone through a thorough investigation.
2. Organic food tastes great!
It’s common sense — well balanced soils grow strong healthy plants that taste great. Try an organic orange or vine-ripened tomato for a sweet and juicy flavor treat.
In a study done by Washington State University in Pullman, published in the April 19, 2001 issue of the journal of Nature, researchers measured the effects of an organic, a conventional and an integrated apple production system on the sustainability indicators of horticultural performance, soil quality, orchard profitability, environmental quality and energy efficiency. Taste was measured three ways. Mechanical analysis on fruit firmness at harvest and after six months storage was higher for organic than its two competitors. The ratio of sugar content to acidity, an indication of sweetness, was higher among organic apples as well. These results were then confirmed by consumer taste tests. To find out more you can go to http://www.nature.com, the title of the article is called The Sustainability of Three Apple Production Systems. (Natural Foods Merchandiser, June 2001)
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 EPA considers 60% of all herbicides (weed killers), 90% of all fungicides (mold killers), and 30% of all insecticides (insect killers) as potentially cancer causing. Organic farming keeps harmful chemicals and pesticides out of the food we eat and beverages we drink. It also prohibits the use of antibiotics in animal feed, which are routinely used in conventional farming and is known to create dangerous antibiotic-resistant pathogens. Organic farms also benefit the farm workers who have high exposure to chemicals and synthetic pesticides.
4. Organic farms respect our water sources.
The elimination of polluting chemicals and nitrogen leaching, done in combination with soil building, protects and conserves water resources. Organic farming reduces toxic farming runoff and pollutants that contaminate our water, soil and air.
5. Organic farmers build soil.
Soil is the foundation of the food chain and the primary focus of organic farming. We’re facing the worst topsoil erosion in history due to our current agricultural practice of chemical intensive, mono-crop farming.
6. Organic farmers work in harmony with nature.
Organic agriculture respects the balance demanded of a healthy ecosystem: wildlife is an essential part of a total farm and is encouraged by including forage crops in rotation and by retaining fence rows, wetlands, and other natural areas.
7. Organic producers are leaders in innovative research.
Organic farmers have led the way, largely at their own expense, with innovative on-farm research aimed at reducing pesticide use and minimizing agriculture’s impact on the environment.
Organic farming is better for the environment, better for business, more energy efficient and makes better tasting fruit than conventional methods and most integrated production systems, according to the research conducted at Washington State University. (Natural Foods Merchandiser, June 2001)
8. Organic producers strive to preserve diversity.
The loss of a large variety of species (biodiversity) is one of our most pressing environmental concerns. The good news is that many organic farmers and gardeners have been collecting and preserving seeds, and growing unusual varieties for decades.
9. Organic farming helps keep rural communities healthy.
The USDA predicts that by the year 2000, half of U.S. farm production will come from 1% of farms. Organic farming may be one of the few survival tactics left for the family farm and the rural community.
10. Organic abundance – Foods and non-foods alike!
Now every food category has an organic alternative. And non-food agricultural products are being grown organically – even cotton, which most experts felt could not be grown organically.
Help support the farmers
who are pioneering the organic revolution.
© Organic Trade Association 1996
PO Box 1078
Greenfield, MA 01302
Contact the OTA for more information on organic products or to join the Organic Trade Association.