As confirmed by our Organic Choices survey earlier this year, people choose organic food for many reasons, but avoiding chemicals and protecting the planet are important motivations. Since today, April 22 is Earth Day, we’re focusing on how organic helps protect the planet.
For many of us, it seems like Earth Day has always been around, but it’s been just under 50 years. The first Earth Day in 1970 brought together a spectrum of groups working to protect the environment in the US. On April 22 that year, according to the Earth Day website: 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies…Many consider it the birth of the modern environmental movement.
Flash forward to 1984 when Drew & Myra Goodman began farming on 2½ acres in Carmel Valley, California. They wanted to preserve the vitality and natural diversity of their land, so they chose to farm it organically.
Avoiding the use of prohibited materials is an important component of organic farming. But at the very core of the USDA’s organic regulations, the definition of organic specifies that organic farming practices must be ecologically beneficial:
Organic means food or other agricultural products that have been produced using cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that support the cycling of on-farm resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity in accordance with the USDA organic regulations. This means that organic operations must maintain or enhance soil and water quality, while also conserving wetlands, woodlands, and wildlife.
The CCOF Foundation’s recently released Roadmap to an Organic California: Benefits Report, integrates results from more than 300 peer-reviewed scientific studies to paint a picture of the many benefits of organic agriculture as an effective way to address a number of important issues:
“Balanced farm ecosystems are at the heart of organic agriculture. By using practices that build soil health and increase biodiversity, organic producers cultivate resilient crops and livestock. Organic farming practices mitigate climate change, conserve water, and protect natural resources from pesticide drift and runoff. Organic farms are also healthy habitats for insects and animals that control pests and pollinate the fruits, vegetables, and nuts consumed by humans at almost every meal.”
When you choose food or other agricultural products that were produced organically, you are supporting the daily work that goes into creating these positive outcomes. As our co-founder Myra Goodman said in her recent essay, “I choose organic for the future because organic is the simplest and most enjoyable way I know to protect the people and planet I love.”
Thank you for choosing organic.
In celebration of Earth Month, we are asking, “How green is your shopping trip?” From now till April 30, take our quiz to see how your shopping choices stack up. Bonus? You’ll be entered to win one of 12,000 snazzy reusable totes to take your sustainable shopping game to the next level.