Why we're Organic - and why it mattersAugust 18 2021
“Organic” is a term you hear a lot these days. So much so, that it’s easy to get confused about what the term actually means when it comes to your food. You end up with questions like:
- Is organic food actually better for me?
- Is organic food better for the environment?
- Isn’t all fresh food technically organic?
The short answers are “Yes”, “Yes”, and “Well, technically, yes”, but we’ll cover the long answers to all these questions and a little more.
USDA Certified Organic vs. Organic
When it comes to food, there is capital “O” Organic and little “o” organic. The word organic’s definition is simply something that is made up of living matter. So, in a technical sense, all fresh food is “organic”.
Most of the time when people are talking about organic food, they are referring to USDA Certified Organic food, or capital “O” Organic. Sometimes it is also referred to as “certified organic” food. Certified organic food is grown or produced in a manner that adheres to a very strict set of standards set by the USDA. There are lots of different aspects to the rules for certified organic foods, but in general these foods cannot be grown with any pesticides, herbicides, or synthetic fertilizers. Certified organic farmers rely mainly on natural substances and physical and biological methods for controlling pests and weeds.
Is Certified Organic Food Better?
The short answer is an emphatic “Yes!” Certified organic food comes with numerous benefits to both you and the environment.
Certified organic food is produced without the use of pesticides, herbicides, or synthetic fertilizers. This keeps those toxins and synthetic chemicals out of our air and water, reducing pollution and the environmental impact on wildlife and native ecosystems. This also improves the health of the soil, allowing the complicated ecosystem of critters that live within it to flourish and continue to lock carbon away.
Certified organic food also tends to be fresher when it gets to you, since producers cannot add synthetic chemicals to “preserve freshness”. It is also more nutrient dense, grown from healthy, living soil rather than supplemented with chemical fertilizers.
Beyond Organic: Regenerative Farming
Certified organic is a great start, but there is even more that can be done for the environment when producing food. This is where regenerative agriculture steps in. At Alter Eco, we empower the farmers we source from to go beyond certified organic and implement regenerative agriculture practices that focus on leaving the environment where your food is grown better than before. Regenerative farming uses methods that actually increase the life and nutrient density of the soil and increase biodiversity in the surrounding environment. This goes beyond not harming the environment, but focuses on improving it over time.
We’re committed to making sure each ingredient in our products benefits every part of the system it touches. This includes our customers, our farmers, and the ecosystem the food was grown in. That, to us, is the truest sense of the word regenerative.