organic food FAQ (frequently asked questions)
Last Updated on October 24, 2016
Organic products are grown in environmentally friendly ways. Toxic or persistent pesticides and other agricultural chemicals are prohibited. There is a focus on renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality.
Avoiding agricultural chemicals is one of the top reasons to eat organic food. In general, according to research by The Hartman Group, consumers who buy organic products cite health/nutrition, taste and food safety as the top motivators for their purchases. Environmental effects are also a strong reason to buy and eat organic products.
There is growing research that indicate greater amounts of certain nutrients in organic crops compared to conventional crops. If you’re concerned about pesticides, the application of potentially harmful, long-lasting pesticides and fertilizers are not allowed in organic agriculture. The EPA considers 60% of all herbicides, 90% of all fungicides, and 30% of all insecticides as potentially cancer-causing.
Organic farming, by definition, does not use environmentally harmful chemicals that may contaminate rain and groundwater. Organic farming also replenishes and maintains healthy, fertile topsoil with rich biological matter, which limits erosion and impact on waterways. Additionally, unique types of crops and livestock are more likely to be raised organically, which helps to keep the gene pool for food products diversified and thus help avoid extinction due to species-specific issues.
Unlike products that are labeled “organic,” products labeled “natural” require no certification. “Natural" is used in a variety of contexts and does not necessarily relate to health, growing methods, or animal welfare. We are committed to transparency when it comes to specific product traits so that you can know more about what’s in your food, so we encourage you to read the ingredients on the label if you have any questions about the contents of a particular product.
We think so, and many chefs and food lovers agree. Basically, well-balanced soils grow strong, healthy plants that taste great. In addition, research is indicating that increased levels of phytochemicals produced by organic plants to fight pests are also responsible for aromas and flavors.
Well, yes, many organic products do cost more. The good news is that the price of organic foods is increasingly competitive as supply continues to rise. The most available organic products may cost just a few cents more than their conventional counterparts. Prices for organic products reflect many of the same costs as non-organic items in terms of growing, harvesting, transportation and storage, but organic products must meet stricter regulations governing all of these steps. The process is often more labor-intensive and requires more detailed management. Organic farmers have the added cost of what it takes to get organic certification, and government programs do not subsidize organic farming to the extent they subsidize much conventional farming.
Yes, indeed. Organic standards prohibit GMOs. So, simply by choosing organic, you are also choosing non-GMO.