Seeds. Sun. Soil. Water. Grow. Harvest. Eat. Enjoy. It sounds easy, right? Inspired Organics makes it easy for you. Our certified organic foods—from frozen fruits and vegetables to prepared dressings, cereals, grains, nuts, and more—let you know you can expect high quality, affordable, hand-selected food with every bite. But how are these foods grown?
Growing certified organic food means conforming to a specific set of guidelines set by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). There’s a lot of “Do not use” language in these guidelines; there are restrictions on pesticides, antibiotics, growth hormones (in meat poultry, eggs, and dairy products), bio-engineered genes (GMOs), petroleum-based fertilizers, and sewage/sludge-based fertilizers, which we don’t even want to contemplate.
Overall, organic operations must demonstrate that they are protecting natural resources, conserving biodiversity, and using only approved substances. Land must first be handled without prohibited substances for three years. These are all measurable standards to achieve. Then there’s certification. A USDA-accredited certifying agent must verify that requirements are being met. Third-party inspections are also part of the mix.
The USDA has a list of substances that identifies the man-made substances that can be used and the natural substances can’t be used in organic crop and livestock production. It also identifies a limited number of non-organic substances that can be used in or on processed organic products, which makes it even more confusing.
Why go to all this trouble? Organic foods often have more beneficial nutrients, such as antioxidants, than their conventionally-grown counterparts. People who are allergic to certain foods, chemicals, or preservatives sometimes find their symptoms decrease or disappear altogether when they eat only organic foods.
Because they don’t have preservatives, organic foods are usually fresher and produced closer to where you live. They contain fewer pesticides (yes, there are organic pesticides).
Organic farming reduces pollution and soil erosion, conserves water, increases soil fertility, and uses less energy, which means it’s more environmentally friendly.
Organically-raised animals aren’t fed animal byproducts, antibiotics, or growth hormones. They’re given more space to move around and usually spend more time outdoors, which helps keep them healthy.
Inspired Organics knows all this and brings our range of organic foods to your grocer. Now you know too.