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What will you choose?

Conventional farms apply chemical fertilizers such as nitrogen to promote plant growth, where as organic/sustainable local farms apply natural fertilizers (manure and/or compost).

Conventional farms spray insecticides to deter pests and disease where as organic/sustainable local farms use insects and birds or traps to help prevent disease and reduce the amount of pests.

Conventional farms use chemical herbicides to manage their weeds, where as organic/sustainable local farms rotate their crops, till, hand weed or mulch.

Conventional farms give animals antibiotics, growth hormones and medication to prevent disease and stimulate growth, where as organic/sustainable local farms provide organic feeds and allow the animals access to the out doors. They use rotational grazing, a balanced diet to minimize disease. ie. Organic beef does not mean grass-fed beef.
When it comes to buying organic, I personally opt for local farm fresh foods first. They may not be certified organic, but usually practice sustainable farming methods. Here are  some of the questions I typically ask the farmers.

Were your crops sprayed with any type of pesticides, herbicides or insecticides? What type of fertilizer do you use? Are your cows grass-fed? Are your chickens free range? Were antibiotics or growth hormones injected? (I do not eat any animal products, but my husband does, so we always buy local-grass-fed-free range antibiotic free animals.)

When it comes to buying products in the grocery store, I always look for the USDA symbol. Just remember because it has “organic” written somewhere on the product doesn’t mean it is 100% organic.

  1. “100% organic” means just that, 100% organic.
  2. “Organic” means 95% or more of the ingredients are organic.
  3. “Made with organic ingredients” means 70% or more of the ingredients are in fact organic and they may list up to 3 ingredients in the packaging description.
  4. Products with less than 70% organic ingredients are not allowed to use the word organic on their products except in the ingredient list.

Both 100% organic and organic may display the USDA organic symbol on their products.

You see consuming organic foods allows us to keep pesticides, herbicides or insecticides out of our bodies. To me, that is a good enough reason to eat organic. I would much rather buy corn from my local farmer that may have an inch worm crawling  in it than bitting into corn that was sprayed with toxic chemicals.

Every time you purchase a product labelled organic, or buy from the local famers market you are voting for that product. The more we buy organic and local, the more companies and grocery stores will be forced to provide us with these foods. I for one, am always voting with my wallet and I choose organic and sustainable farming. What do you choose?

Sources: USDA/FDA Organic and Pick Your own

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Almost all of our produce is oragnic, a good amount of our grains are organic, all of our eggs are organic, and some of our meat is too. But, it’s good to know exactly what the numbers are on organic labels. I also use the Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 when the organic version is simply too pricey (plus, often the reason it’s that pricey is because it’s shipped from way out of the way, so while it might be organic, it’s not necessarily green, right?! :>).

    Happy Friday, hope it leads into a wonderful weekend! :>

  2. Aloha from Hawaii!!! Dropping in via the blog hop…. Seeing recyclables in garbage cans breaks my heart, too….. Thank goodness for curb-side pick-ups! One of the many reasons I love Hawaii…. Hope you have an amazing weekend!!! 🙂 – http://www.OliviaBlueMusic.com/

  3. Hi Stephanie, I actually heard a “scientist” on the CBC today trying to make a case for being “anti-organic” and pro GMOs etc. It made me wonder what giant food corporation she was getting funding from? It makes me mad when people say that organic food doesn’t have any more nutrition than non-organic food. That isn’t even the point, it’s that we don’t want pesticides in our bodies or in our land. I try to buy organic as much as possible. The more we buy organic products, the more we help support the organic farmers and help them compete with the big guys!

    • You’re right Janice – I hear cases against organic all the time, especially since I live in California’s Central Valley (We’re known for what we grow). It makes me angry and all the more eager to teach others the many benefits of eating and living organically and sustainably. 😉

  4. We do the same – local first, then USDA certified organic, then we go by EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides and avoid everything on the toxic 12 list. It isn’t easy to eat 100% organic 100% of the time, but every little bit helps in reducing our exposure to toxins. And if you can grow your own food that’s even better – you control what goes into its cultivation. 😉

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