What is Organic Food?

Organic refers to the agricultural systems used to produce food and other products such as cotton. Organic production systems:

  • Replenish and maintain soil fertility;
  • Eliminate the use of toxic chemical pesticides and fertilizers; and
  • Build a biologically diverse agriculture.

Organic foods are minimally processed to maintain the integrity of the food without artificial ingredients, preservatives or irradiation.

Organic Food Tastes Great!

It's common sense… well-balanced soils grow strong healthy plants which taste better. Simply try an organic orange, carrot 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.

You get delicious, nutritious foods when you buy certified organic products… an everyday practice that's also good for Mother Earth.

Why be concerned about chemical pesticides and fertilizers?

  • Our children are at risk.
    According to the National Academy of Science study (Pesticides in the Diets of Infants and Children… June, 1992), the regulation and monitoring systems for pesticides are outdated and flawed.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 from dozens of common substances in our modern environment.

Pesticides in Children's Food, another 1993 report, stated that "the average child exceeds the EPA lifetime one-in-a-million risk standard (of cancer) by his or her first birthday…"

  • We are losing our soil.
    We're facing the worst topsoil erosion in history due to our current agricultural practices 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.
  • Our water quality is suffering.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found 98 different pesticides in the groundwater of 40 states and recognized agriculture as the largest non-point-source water polluter in the United States.

12 Reasons to Eat Local and Organic
From "Freshness" to "Passing on the Stewardship Ethic" take a look at these 12 reasons from the excellent website of the Ohio Ecological Food & Farm Association. "OEFFA was formed in 1979 and is a membership-based, grassroots organization, dedicated to promoting and supporting sustainable, ecological, and healthful food systems."

Maybe you'll find more reasons yourself!

What is Community Supported Agriculture and How Does It Work?

"CSA reflects an innovative and resourceful strategy to connect local farmers with local consumers; develop a regional food supply and strong local economy; maintain a sense of community; encourage land stewardship; and honor the knowledge and experience of growers and producers working with small to medium farms. CSA is a unique model of local agriculture whose roots reach back 30 years to Japan where a group of women concerned about the increase in food imports and the corresponding decrease in the farming population initiated a direct growing and purchasing relationship between their group and local farms."

For more information on community supported agriculture, see:
Sharing the Harvest: A Guide to Community Supported Agriculture
By Elizabeth Henderson with Robyn Van En http://www.gracelinks.org/