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why choose organic
Organic food production sets the standard for environmental and personal health. Organic foods are produced without toxic and persistent chemicals commonly used in the production of conventional foods.

Basic Organic Farming

Organic farmers manage their crops using proactive practices to prevent problems, thereby eliminating the need for synthetic pesticides, fertilizers and other contaminants. Organic farmers:
  • Replenish and maintain soil fertility.
  • Do not use toxic and persistent chemical pesticides and fertilizers.
  • Restore, maintain, and enhance ecological harmony.
  • Build and support biologically diverse agriculture, by planting a diverse amount of seeds, and perpetuating heirloom and open-pollinated varieties.
  • Are certified as organic, all organic farmers must keep records verifying their practices and products used.
  • Are inspected by USDA accredited inspectors to verify compliance with organic standards.
Organic Farming Practices

Organic farmers use the most environmentally progressive solutions to manage pests and disease problems that can affect crops. These include:

Crop rotation: Alternating the crops grown in each field, rather than growing the same crop year after year (mono-cropping). Different plants contribute varying nutrients to the soil. By rotating crops, the soil is naturally replenished. This time-honored practice can eliminate the need for insecticides in many crops since the insect's life cycle and habitat are interrupted and destroyed.

Cover crops: Can protect the soil, add nutrients, prevent weed growth, aerate the soil with deep root systems, and fertilize the soil by building organic matter when plowed under. Cover crops also conserve soil moisture and feed the soil's microflora and fauna, such as earthworms. By encouraging the lifecycles of beneficial soil organisms, problematic bacteria, fungi, nematodes, diseases and insects are prevented from proliferating.

Nurture beneficial insects: Organic farms utilize natural predators to control pests that destroy their crops, which eliminates the need for chemical insecticides that remains in the soil for years and permeate into groundwater. Wetlands, forests, and prairies are preserved to provide habitat for the predators that serve as natural insecticides.

Add compost and plant wastes: Use of manure in organic production is highly regulated, unlike the animal manures and fertilizers used in conventional farming. The continuous cycling of naturally occurring materials helps the soil retain moisture and nutrients. Correctly made compost kills pathogens and weed seeds, producing a fertilizer that encourages soil life and healthy crops.

Organic Livestock Practices

A healthy environment for animals is foremost for organic livestock producers. Fresh air, clean water, out-door access, proper housing and 100% organic feed all help reduce stress and keep the animals healthy. This decreases the need for antibiotics, which are not allowed in animals raised for their organic meat. If an animal needs antibiotic treatment, then the animal can no longer be sold as "organic." Other livestock practices include:
  • No growth hormones or genetically engineered products.
  • No animal by-products in feed.
  • Cows and other ruminants must have access to pasture.
  • Slaughtering practices must be humane.
  • Manure must be managed to prevent contamination of crops, soil or water by plant nutrients, pathogenic organisms, heavy metals or residues of prohibited substances.
Basic Conventional Farming

Conventional farms use an assortment of synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, genetically engineered organisms and growth enhancers to stimulate soil and crops. The focus on these farms is on short-term yield increases rather than long term soil health.
  • When the soil lacks various nutrients, they are added through the use of synthetic fertilizers.
  • Crops may be grown from genetically engineered seeds.
  • Pesticides or fungicides may be used to control insects in crop storage and transportation.
  • Can use manure as fertilizer without restrictions.
  • Are not required to keep records of their production practices.

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