People are more concerned than ever about what they are eating, and in a world filled with crazy foods, the reasons to buy organic keep piling up! Choosing certified organic foods provides a tangible way for you to benefit the environment, local economies, and public health, both on and off the farm. Organic food supports you, your health, the health of your children, and the planet. Learn more about why buying organic is so important.
Studies show that organically grown food has higher amounts of Vitamin C, magnesium, phosphorous, and iron – all nutrients vital for healthy functioning of our bodies. Organic fruits and vegetables are high in nutrients and antioxidants, which provide energy and keep you looking young. Data shows that organic milk contains far more omega-3 fatty acids than conventional milk.
Certified organic agricultural operations (certified organic farmers) avoid the use of most synthetic pesticides found in conventional agriculture. Chemical pesticides and herbicides have been linked to birth defects, obesity, diabetes, ADHD, and other health problems. President Obama’s Cancer Panel reported in 2010 that pesticide exposure is linked to various forms of cancer. The panel strongly recommends that people reduce their exposure to carcinogens by removing toxins from our food, water, and air. Each time you choose organic, you are choosing to leave these chemicals off your plate.
Organic food is safe. Certified organic producers go to great lengths to ensure that their products are safe and risk-free. Get the facts on organic and food safety.
Remember: There are many farmers who advertise their farm and produce as “organic but not certified,” or “pesticide free.” There are no standards in place to validate these claims. Choosing certified organic foods guarantees that what you are eating has met all federal standards and a third-party inspector has visited the facility. Learn more about the steps to organic certification.
Organic meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products come from animals that have been given no antibiotics or growth hormones. Synthetic hormones have been linked to premature reproductive development in human females and health problems in livestock.
Organic producers do not use genetic engineering (GE) or genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Releasing GMOs into the environment without proper research has unknown consequences on human health, the environment, and biodiversity. Organic farmers must bear the financial and legal burden when their organic crops are contaminated due to drift from conventional fields producing GE crops. Read about CCOF’s work to prevent the spread of genetic engineering.
Not sure if it’s organic? Download our "Understanding Organic Labels" fact sheet for quick access to information on organic labeling.
Organic farmers face the same challenges as non-organic farmers: weeds, pests, diseases, drought, floods, and nutrient requirements. They have made the decision to grow food in a way that protects both people and the planet. Organic farmers are focused on preserving the soil for future generations by farming in a way that sustains nutrients and harbors beneficial organisms (like worms!). Organic farming neither causes nor leads to soil erosion, groundwater contamination, ocean dead zones, or loss of biodiversity.
Organic farmers are required to use Integrated Pest Management practices, protect wildlife, promote biodiversity, and work to improve and maintain native ecosystems. These efforts are documented in the farmer's Organic System Plan and evaluated by CCOF. Organic production is free of genetic engineering - increasing organic production will help mitigate the unwanted spread of GMO crops and contamination.
Organic agriculture limits the effects of climate change. Organic farmers are extremely dedicated to the excellent quality of their soil. Research from the Rodale Institute demonstrates that soil under organic production can remove about 7,000 pounds of carbon dioxide from the air each year through sequestration. Imagine the impact that more acres of organic production could have on the health of the planet if consumers demanded more organic foods!
Do you think organic is pricey? Organic farming and production practices are costlier and often more time consuming than conventional methods. Plus, government support for organic production is unequal to the support for conventional agriculture. The love and care that goes into growing organic fruits and vegetables is well worth the investment. In fact, many organic foods cost the same or even less than their conventional counterpart! Demanding more organic options and packing your shopping cart with certified organic foods means a lot; it helps grow the marketplace and change our food system.