Organic agriculture is an ecological production management system that promotes and enhances biodiversity, biological cycles and soil biological activity. It is based on minimal use of off-farm inputs and on management practices that restore, maintain and enhance ecological harmony.
For a grower or processor to become certified, they must adhere to strict uniform standards, which are verified by either a private or public certifying agency. These standards include:
- The land on which the organic food is grown must be free of prohibited substances for three years prior to certification.
- Farmers and processors must keep detailed records of their farming methods and the materials used in production.
- All of these methods and materials are inspected annually by a third party certifying agent.
- All farmers and handlers are required to maintain written plans detailing their organic management practices.
Protects Our Health
Organic food production limits the release of toxic chemicals into the environment and into our food supply. By eating organic foods you support a healthy lifestyle for yourself, your children, and for farm workers in the fields.
Supports the Environment
Organic agriculture positively effects the environment by creating a long term farming solution, which sustains our land and water resources, while supporting the balance of our natural ecosystems.
Protects Our Waters
Organic agriculture does not use chemicals that would pollute our ground water, a primary source of drinking water.
Creates a Diverse Ecosystem
Organic farming practices respect and support our environmental diversity by allowing a wide variety of plant species and wild animals to thrive in their natural habitats.
Organic Farms Build Soil
Organic agriculture builds topsoil on the fields and prevents it from eroding into our waterways.
Saves Our Energy Resources
Because organic framing does not rely on petroleum-based chemicals for crop production, it requires less non-renewable resources to operate. Instead, organic farmers rely on cover crops, plant rotation and natural insect control which does not involve the use of synthetic chemicals.
No Genetic Modification
Organic foods are never genetically modified or engineered, nor are they ever irradiated.
Organic Product Meets Stringent Standards
The Organic certification process ensures that crops have been grown and handled according to the strict standards put forth by the USDA National Organic Standards, assuring that no toxic chemicals have been used in the growing and handling process. http://www.ams.usda.gov/nosb