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Why Organic?

Here are six great reasons to consider organic produce:

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  1. Nutrient density: Organic farmers nourish the soil that feeds our food. Research shows that organically-produced foods are higher in antioxidants and other nutrients than their conventional counterparts. 
  2. No persistent pesticides or synthetic fertilizers: Designed by intent to kill living organisms, persistent pesticides can be harmful to wildlife and human health, especially as they contaminate our food, air and water or accumulate in our cells. Synthetic fertilizers require large quantities of fossil fuels to produce, and contribute to soil degradation and ocean dead zones.
  3. No synthetic growth or breeding hormones: Avoiding synthetic hormones (which are frequently given to conventional dairy and meat animals to alter reproductive cycles and speed up growth) means less stress for animals, and reduced human exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals.
  4. No antibiotics: Overuse of antibiotics in farm animals leads to the development of dangerous antibiotic-resistant infections. Organic farmers instead rely on natural measures to promote and maintain animal health.
  5. No GMOs: Genetically engineered crops are a relatively recent technology with potentially devastating impacts on ecosystems and human and animal health. Organic regulations forbid the use of genetically engineered seeds or animals (including clones).
  6. Animal care: Organic philosophy means raising animals in harmony with nature. Quality animal care keeps animals healthy and productive, naturally. As we like to say, happy cows make the best milk!
 
History of Organic Farming

Organic farming is the form of agriculture that relies on techniques such as crop rotation, green manure, compost, and biological pest control, to maintain soil productivity and control pests on a farm. Organic farming excludes or strictly limits the use of synthetic fertilizers and synthetic pesticides, plant growth regulators, livestock antibiotics, food additives, and genetically modified organisms.

Organic agricultural methods are internationally regulated and legally enforced by many nations, based in large part on the standards set by the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), an international umbrella organization for organic organizations established in 1972. IFOAM defines the overarching goal of organic farming as follows:

"Organic agriculture is a production system that sustains the health of soils, ecosystems and people. It relies on ecological processes, biodiversity and cycles adapted to local conditions, rather than the use of inputs with adverse effects. Organic agriculture combines tradition, innovation and science to benefit the shared environment and promote fair relationships and a good quality of life for all involved.." —International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements

The organic movement began in the 1930s and 1940s as a reaction to agriculture's growing reliance on synthetic fertilizers. Artificial fertilizers had been created during the 18th century, initially with superphosphates and then ammonia derived fertilizers mass-produced using the Haber-Bosch process developed during World War I. These early fertilizers were cheap, powerful, and easy to transport in bulk. Similar advances occurred in chemical pesticides in the 1940s, leading to the decade being referred to as the 'pesticide era'.

As a percentage of total agricultural output, organic farming has remained tiny since its beginning. As environmental awareness and concern increased amongst the general population, the originally supply-driven movement became demand-driven and now globally more and more consumers can find organic farms closer to them.