Many people choose organics because they want to avoid pesticides in their food, but there are a number of other benefits you may not have considered yet. Organic production is a management approach that promotes biodiversity and a high standard of animal care, avoids synthetic chemicals and is good for your health and the environment.

Assurance – As of June 2009, any food labeled organic has to be certified and meet strict standards. With organics you know what you are eating.

Healthier foods, healthier people – Growing organically relies on keeping the soil healthy and fertile. Such systems have the spin off benefit of more nutrients in your food. You also get to avoid pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, hormones and overuse of antibiotics. Fertile soil and vital systems create healthier plants and animals which creates a healthier you!

Environment – Pollutants that leach down to the water table and into our rivers can play havoc with our health, our environment and with wildlife. Organic production works hand in hand with the environment and protects the water and air.

Biodiversity – Organic systems help to enhance biodiversity from the ground up. A living system in the soil means more bacteria, fungi, and other soil organisms thrive. By not polluting the air and water, and by protecting trees, bush and wild spaces on organic farms, a greater diversity of plants and animals is sustained. Plus organic systems tend towards preserving native and endangered species.

Sustainability – Long term studies have shown that organic production can match that of conventional production on average. A United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) study has found that organic agriculture is the best way forward for feeding the world population! 3

And it tastes great! Fertile soils make for healthy plants which just taste good.

ORGANIC & OTHER FOOD DEFINITIONS

But what does organic really mean?

The term organic refers to a method of agricultural production that works with nature. Conventional farms use fertilizers made from oil or other chemicals. Organic farms fertilize their fields by tilling in lush,growing plants or by applying animal manure. Conventional farms deal with weeds, insect or fungal disease by spraying with chemical pesticides. Organic farms deal with weeds by timing planting operations to keep the crop ahead of and larger than the weeds. Organic farms keep weed populations low using cover crops and plow-downs. Any weeds that do remain provide biodiversity which reduces or prevents insect or fungal damage. Organics animals are kept healthy without the use of antibiotics or hormones by feeding high nutrient feeds and by giving them extra space, cleaner quarters, and access to sunlight. No synthetic fertilizers, synthetic pesticides or genetically modified organisms are permitted in organics. Organic farms must follow the Canadian Organic Regulation and must meet all requirements as set out in the Canadian Organic Standard.