FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Where to Buy

Check out our product finder to locate where Earthbound Farm products are sold near you. If you don’t see your Earthbound favorites where you like to shop, ask the produce manager if he/she would order them for you.

We sell to retail stores, so Earthbound Farm products can be found in supermarkets across the country. Use our product finder to find stores that carry Earthbound Farm products near you.

About Organic

All of Earthbound Farm products are certified organic, which means they are grown with cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that promote ecological balance, conserve biodiversity and avoid the use of toxic and persistent chemicals and synthetic fertilizers, GMOs and irradiation.

Foods labeled as certified organic are grown and processed according to federal guidelines addressing, among many factors, soil quality, animal raising practices, pest and weed control, and use of additives. Organic producers rely on allowed natural substances (as well as a limited number of carefully evaluated synthetics from the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances, permitted for specific purposes after other methods have failed); and physically-, mechanically-, or biologically-based farming methods to the fullest extent possible.

At Earthbound Farm, we’re proud to be pioneers in the organic produce category, which is often where people first start buying organic. It means every choice we make, from how we grow our crops to what we put in our finished products, is carefully considered and consistent with National Organic Program (NOP) guidelines. Learn more about organic food production.

Products labeled as “organic” and “made with organic” are regulated by the National Organic Program (NOP) and certified by an independent third-party USDA-accredited certifier. All Earthbound Farm products carry the USDA Organic Seal, which guarantees that they are certified organic by an independent agency — in our case, California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF), accredited by the USDA’s National Organic Program.

No. The use of genetic engineering, or genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is prohibited by the National Organic Program in certified organic products.

This means at Earthbound Farm, we can’t plant GMO seeds, nor can we use any GMO ingredients in producing any of our final, packaged products. To meet the USDA organic regulations, we must show we aren’t using GMOs and that we are protecting our products from contact with prohibited substances from farm to table. Learn more here.

All food that bears the USDA organic seal has been grown and produced in accordance with the USDA’s organic standards (or equivalent*) and certified by an accredited certifying agency, regardless of where in the world it was grown. Earthbound Farm’s certifying agency is California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF), accredited by the USDA’s National Organic Program. Anything sold under the Earthbound Farm name must be certified organic by CCOF and is always labeled with country of origin.

*The United States has negotiated equivalecy agreements with several nations, including Canada, the European Union, Japan, Korea, and Switzerland. The equivalency negotiation is a rigorous process, which includes standards assessments, program reviews, and technical discussions. Under these agreements, certified organic product from the US may be marketed as organic in these foreign markets. Likewise certified organic product from these nations may be sold in the United States.

To learn more about our international trade partners:
https://www.ams.usda.gov/services/organic-certification/international-trade

Prices for many organic produce items are coming very close to their non-organic counterparts. But even as organic farming scales up, it will always be a bit more labor intensive than conventional farming and that accounts for a big part of the cost differential. While modern and technically-savvy organic farmers rely on people-powered cultural and mechanical practices to build healthy-ecosystems as well as to manage diseases and pests — much more so than conventional farmers do. In the rare times when our proactive measures fail, organic farms may be more vulnerable to crops losses caused by infestation or disease.

Regardless of growing practices, it’s always a good idea to wash all fruits and vegetables that are not marked ‘pre-washed’ before eating them. Our pre-washed salad greens are ready-to-eat and do not need to be washed prior to use.

About Our Products

For your convenience, our fresh salad greens are pre-washed in our state-of-the-art facility, and we take every step possible to ensure cleanliness and food safety

Keep Earthbound Farm salads refrigerated in their original packaging.

As long as they’ve been handled correctly and kept cold throughout the distribution process, Earthbound Farm greens should last until the “Best by” date on the package. Never use packaged greens after that date has passed. And no matter what the label date is, don’t eat any produce if it looks or smells bad. When in doubt, throw it out or into your compost bin!

If you are nearing your use-by date but don’t have enough greens left for a salad, find creative ways to reduce waste and use up your greens on our recipe page.

No. Our products are certified organic, and the USDA’s National Organic Program specifically prohibits the use of irradiation in organic food. All food that bears the USDA organic seal has been grown and produced in accordance with the USDA organic standards and certified by an accredited certifying agency, regardless of where it was grown.

Our citrus carries a post-harvest wax that’s approved by the USDA Organic Program, but we don’t use wax on any other Earthbound Farm organic produce. Some of our apples may have the appearance of being waxed, but this is a natural coating produced by the apple itself to retain moisture.

Our dressings are custom-made exclusively for Earthbound Farm and are available only in our salad kits.

Earthbound Farm believes everybody deserves safe, delicious and high quality food—it is what sustains and nourishes us, and what we eat can have a profound impact on our well-being, good or bad. That’s why at Earthbound Farm, the responsibility we have to provide you with safe, high quality organic food is one we do not take lightly. Beyond the principles of growing organically, every day we are committed to producing food that is welcome at your table.

About Our Packaging

Our plastic boxes are critical to bringing you the freshest product possible. When you harvest a highly perishable and delicate leafy green and have very little time to get it on store shelves, you have to carefully protect it as it moves from the field to its final destination from all the elements along the way. This includes protecting the leaves from damage, such as bruising; or exposure to extreme moisture, temperatures, debris or other contaminants. In other words, plastic containers are critical to getting you the fresh, delicious, safe and quality food you’ve come to expect from us and helps minimize food waste, which is a serious problem in our country.

We’ve always been on the forefront of packaging innovation in the salad category. Not only did we help popularize the clamshell packaging back in 2004, but we’ve also worked steadfastly ever since then to reduce its environmental footprint and make it as ecologically-minded as possible, while maintaining its functionality. Earthbound Farm remains an industry leader today—nearly all of our clamshell packaging is made from post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic bottles, a practice we pioneered within the category in 2009. In essence, our clamshells are not adding to the Earth’s plastic burden, but are re-using plastic that’s already here.

We think that post-consumer recycled materials are the most ecological packaging choice. The recycled materials use significantly less energy and water to produce than virgin plastic and generate far fewer GHG emissions. And because our clamshells are made from PET — the most widely recycled plastic — they can be recycled again at facilities that are able to accept thermoformed PET. What’s more, an entire clamshell package is made with just a small handful of recycled (or PCR) plastic pellets and use far less plastic than you think!

All of Earthbound Farm’s packaging is BPA-free.

#7 plastic is not an inherently dangerous or unrecyclable category: the reality is that it is a “catch-all” category of recyclable material for those ‘other’ plastics that do not fit into categories 1-6.

All of our packaging is FDA-approved for food use and is BPA-free.

Our frozen and salad bags are classified as #7 because they are laminated. This is needed to prevent oxidation of products, inhibit light penetration, and keep out other liquids or pathogens.

As far as recyclability, the reality is that recycling programs for this category vary greatly by location. While an increasing number of recycling programs are accepting more types of containers that live in this category, double-checking what’s accepted in your local recycling program is a must-do for plastic #7.

Where We Grow

To maintain a year-round supply, during the winter months approximately 95 percent of the lettuce sold in the United States is grown in southeastern California, southern Arizona and northern Mexico. With regards to our frozen line, nearly 40 percent of our raw ingredients are sourced from North America, while the rest is sourced from a variety of international locations to provide the greatest variety and quality of produce. Earthbound Farm products are also always labeled with country of origin.

It’s important to keep in mind that all food that bears the USDA organic seal has been grown and produced in accordance with the USDA organic standards (or equivalent*) and certified by an independent certifying agency, regardless of where in the world it was grown. That means our organic acreage outside of the U.S. must be monitored and certified by an accredited certifying agent. We also follow the same Good Agricultural Practices on our farms outside the U.S. that we do on our farms in the US.

*The United States has negotiated equivalency agreements with several nations, including Canada, the European Union, Japan, Korea, and Switzerland. The equivalency negotiation is a rigorous process, which includes standards assessments, program reviews, and technical discussions. Under these agreements, certified organic product from the US may be marketed as organic in these foreign markets. Likewise certified organic product from these nations may be sold in the United States.

About Organic Farming

National Organic Program standards mandate three years to transition ground from conventional to organic. So whatever is grown on that ground during that time, though farmed organically, must be sold as conventional.

One of the great things about organic farming is that the soil gets more productive with each year it’s farmed organically. The idea that yields on organic farms are so much lower really came out of comparing yields on farms that were recently converted to organic practices. Even though that’s a three- year process, it really takes about seven years before you have truly healthy, productive organic soil. So yes, during the initial years, yields are lower. However, what we see in our crops that are grown on land that has been farmed organically for many years is that our yields are comparable and in some cases even greater than conventional.

One of the most expensive parts of organic farming is weed control, which is done exclusive by tractor early in the growing cycle and then by hand later. When we transition a new field to organic, we have to work really hard for years to get the weed seed population down with diligent manual weed control and then it gets easier after a few years.

We are sometimes adjacent to conventional farms. Part of the organic certification inspection is the scientific establishment of an appropriate buffer between an organic farm and any nearby risk. We have to take into account topography, weather, prevailing winds, activities, and all other risks, then propose a buffer of sufficient size to mitigate the risks. This is why the size of buffers is not established in the organic standards – each buffer is established based on local specifics.

We’re definitely not monocropping. Crop rotation is an essential component of our farming. We typically rotate spinach and lettuces with brassicas like broccoli and cauliflower. Not only do brassicas pull different things from the soil, but as members of the mustard family they act as a sort of natural fumigant – bugs don’t like how they smell. Well, neither do most of us if they’re left out in a warm room for too long.

No. Biosolids are expressly prohibited from use in organic by the USDA Organic standards.

Learn More About Us

Earthbound Farm is a part of Taylor Farms, a family-owned third-generation fresh produce company based in Salinas, California – the Salad Bowl of the World.

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