Why Choose Organic Food Products?
Here is the USDA National Organic Program (NOP). So the organic food products are produced by farmers who emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations. Organic meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products come from animals that are given no antibiotics or growth hormones.
Organic food is produced without using most conventional pesticides; fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge; bioengineering; or ionizing radiation. Before a product can be labeled “organic,” a Government-approved certifier inspects the farm where the food is grown to make sure the farmer is following all the rules necessary to meet USDA organic standards. Companies that handle or process organic food products before it gets to your local supermarket or restaurant must be certified, too.
That is the official word on the subject, and it’s a pretty good one. But what happens in practice? There are various, nefarious things that big agribusiness will do and have already done to sneak conventional produce under the organic label. Taking just one into consideration, look at the three ways a product can be labeled:
- 100% Organic – means it must contain only organically produced ingredients.
- Certified Organic – must contain at least 95 percent organic ingredients.
- Made with Organic Ingredients – can contain anywhere between 70 to 95 percent organic ingredients.
(Note: If a product has any other label, trusting it is up to you. There are some imported products that don’t have any organic labeling that is 100% organic because of the laws of the country they are being exported from. There are others, of course, that are outright scams.)
As you can see, the latter two labels are a bit deceiving. If you really are trying to eat only organic, which is what we recommend, only the first label will guarantee you’re not getting duped. This is largely only possible if you buy whole foods. Buying any processed food is likely to fall under categories 2 and 3.
Here at Landmark Natural Foods & Café, we make it our goal to get number 1, even in processed foods. This is difficult, especially under a system that is largely built to benefit the most conventional methods. So, we will, unfortunately, carry foods that fall under these categories, but we’re constantly searching for better alternatives. If you find any processed foods that look better than the ones we carry, bring it to our attention and you can bet your (expletive deleted) we will take what you say seriously. We are a family dedicating our lives to this.
So, why eat it? Well, the short and simple of it is this. We’ve been eating this way for many, many, many thousands of years, except in the relatively recent past with the introduction of genetically modified food, pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, antibiotics, growth hormones, etc… Throughout human evolution, we have eaten directly from the environment. Even when mankind initially started domesticating plants and animals about 12,000 years ago, they were still in conditions similar to how they evolved. It was when the production of food essentially entered a factory setting that things started going downhill.
Eating organic food products is not a fad. It’s the way we’re supposed to be eating. This does not mean that we’ll be eating like cavemen, far from it. They only really knew about fire and diddly about sanitation, refrigeration, insect predation, crop rotation, cover cropping, etc… We have come a long way since then, so please don’t confuse organic with cavemen.
For people who are less inclined to follow this train of evolutionary thinking, and require hard, scientific fact, there have been rather contradictory results on that front, especially when you look at who the research was done by, which screams conflict of interest. The only part which we believe has been proven, hands down is that GMOs are bad, which we have designated an entire section to here.
We can only do our best, and if it’s any consolation to those more scientifically inclined, there are some things that can be said in that regard. Take a moment and consider what happens to the soil on conventional farms. They tend to be over filled and plants are replanted so much that nutrient content is siphoned to the point where the land becomes infertile and unable to sustain crops. Because of the general homogeneity of the soil at these locations, pesticides and synthetic fertilizers leak right through, into the ground and waterways, virtually assuring unchecked pollution.
Organic farming, on the other hand, promotes biodiversity (big and small) and uses more natural methods to protect crops and fertilize the soil in order to minimize pollution and encourage soil sustainability. By helping the environment, you are indirectly helping yourself, your family, friends, and community; especially if you buy locally.