Earthbound Farm has been organic from the start! When our founders Drew and Myra Goodman began farming on a 2½ acre farm back in 1984, they made the inspiring decision to farm organically and grow food in ways that protect the health of people and the planet. This started a movement to make a difference in our world, our lives, and our community, creating big change.
We’re inspired by that commitment by our founders, and hope you are too! We can all follow their lead by making small changes in our everyday lives and help reach our goal of cultivating a healthier world through organic food and farming.
34 years after the Goodmans made their original commitment to organic, we wanted to add a little clarity around what organic is, and more importantly, why we do it! Ready to squash some of the myths we’ve heard over the years? We’re eager to!
Myth 1: Organic is a sneaky ploy to get more money from shoppers
Organic is not a marketing ploy. It has tangible benefits that we can all feel good about! USDA Organic is the most highly regulated food production system in the country, backed by more than 550 pages of standards, enforced by the USDA and 50 certification agencies. According to the USDA, Organic is a labeling term for 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.
What does this mean? In practice, organic means:
- NO toxic synthetic pesticides
- NO GMOs
- NO synthetic fertilizers
- NO irradiation
- NO sewage sludge (human waste)
- MUST protect and preserve health of the soil and environment with long-term soil management plans
- MUST be certified by one of 50 USDA-accredited certification agencies
Get started helping both yourself and the earth with this Apple, Bacon and Arugula Sandwich for dinner tonight!
Myth 2: Every product with an organic label is basically the same thing
Not all organic labeling is equal! Once certified by the USDA, there are multiple categories of labeling:
- 100% Organic: Products with this label are produced and processed using only organic methods and organic ingredients. These can have the official USDA Organic Seal on their packaging.
- Organic: These products were made using only organic methods and contain a minimum of 95% organic ingredients. These can have the official USDA Organic Seal on their packaging.
- Made with organic ingredients: Products are made with 70%-95% organic ingredients. These are not allowed to use the USDA seal.
- Products made with less than 70% organic ingredients can use the word organic in the ingredient list, but cannot make a claim about being certified organic. These are not allowed to use the USDA seal.
Myth 3: Buying natural or local is the just as good as buying organic
While you’re on the right track, organic tops the list. What’s the difference between “natural,” “local,” and “organic?” Let’s take a look:
Buying local can be a wonderful way to support your local economy and find heirloom varieties. But just what’s local? There’s no standard or regulated definition of “local.” And local does not mean organic. If organic matters to you, ask your local farmer if they’re following organic practices.
There is no standard or regulated definition for “natural” other than for meat, where it means that the product is made with minimal additives and little processing. It does NOT mean that it is organic.
Of the three, organic is the only term that is federally regulated and enforced, with an extensive set of publicly available standards.
Want to learn more about organic farming? Join our Earth Month pledge and take our quiz to find out more! After you take the pledge, we’ll enter you into our giveaway! One grand prize winner will receive a $500 gift card to their favorite grocery store, and 50 additional winners will receive a package of great Earthbound Farm goodies! We’re partnering with the Organic Farming Research Foundation, asking our community to make one small change to help the environment. For every pledge taken, Earthbound Farm will donate $1 to the OFRF. Join the movement now!
Open to legal residents of the 50 U.S. states & D.C., 18+. Promotion ends at 11:59 PT on April 30, 2018. Official rules available here. No purchase necessary to enter or win. Void where prohibited.