The reason we celebrate organic harvest month all year extends beyond flavor — because it’s what’s best for our customers, our farmers, our employees and our planet. It’s a tall order, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. Today, organic farming is one of the fastest growing sectors in U.S. agriculture, and it isn’t for the weak. To be labeled “organic,” farms must undergo federal guidelines set by the United States Department of Agriculture, as opposed to the word “natural,” a term that is not federally regulated and requires no standards or rulemaking to appear on your food labels.
Which begs the question: Why does organic matter and why are people filling their grocery carts with organic food?
Organic food tastes better, naturally
It’s true, flavor has been our number-one priority since day one, but organic farming actually gave us the ability to do something better: make food that makes you feel as good as it tastes! Organic fruits and vegetables are up to 60% higher in several key antioxidants than conventionally grown fruits and vegetables.1 Since we don't use chemicals to expedite the growing process, our crops have more time to develop richer color and flavor.
Organic food has fewer pesticides
Every day, our organic farmers work to meet a strict set of standards, and their operations are federally inspected at least once a year to ensure compliance across every growing process. This includes ensuring that 700+ harmful pesticides are not introduced into the food they grow.2 When you see the organic label, you can trust the food you’re buying has been made without pesticides, which have been linked to poor reproductive health, some cancers, neurodegenerative disorders and learning disabilities in children.3,4 The way we choose to grow our food encourages fairness and a high quality of life for everyone involved, from our farmers to the ecosystem in our soil.
Thriving Soil Creates Thriving Ecosystems
Healthy soil means more earthworms, microorganisms and less soil compaction so our friendly helpers can live and thrive in a diverse habitat. Organic farming allows us to provide abundant food sources for pollinators and is the reason why our farms have 30% more species and up to 50% more pollinators, mostly bees, than conventional farms.5 It’s a win-win! And when it comes to livestock, U.S. organic farmers are required to raise animals without the use of antibiotics or synthetic growth hormones by law. In addition, organic farmers must provide their animals with year-round access to the great outdoors for grazing.
Less greenhouse gases
The biggest contributor to climate change is human-caused emissions, you read correctly: human-caused. Also known as the Greenhouse Effect, this process causes the atmosphere to retain heat around our planet, which contributes to global warming. 6 Agricultural soils contribute three greenhouse gases: carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and methane. Thankfully, organic farming allows us to store 26% more carbon dioxide and methane in the earth’s soil, thus reducing the amount of GHG that is trapped in our atmosphere. 7 To make this happen, organic farms take a more diversified approach to crop management, like combining crops and animals, growing cover crops to enhance soil quality and, of course, using absolutely no chemical fertilizers.