What does “organic” mean?

Crops must be:

  • Grown in safe soil
  • have no modifications
  • must remain separate from conventional products

Farmers are NOT  allowed to use:

  • synthetic pesticides
  • bioengineered genes (GMOs)
  • petroleum or sewage sludge-based fertilizers

Organic farming is better for the environment. Organic farming practices reduce pollution (air, water, soil), conserve water, reduce soil erosion, increase soil fertility, and use less energy.

Why buy organic?

Organic farming is better for the environment. Organic farming practices reduce pollution (air, water, soil), conserve water, reduce soil erosion, increase soil fertility, and use less energy.

Organic produce is grown with natural fertilizers and with natural weed & pest control.  Small local farmers often use organic methods but sometimes cannot afford to become certified organic. Visit a farmer’s market and talk with the farmers. Find out how they produce the fruits and vegetables they sell. You can even ask for a farm tour.

Organic food buying tips:  Buy in season! Fruits and vegetables are cheapest and freshest when they are in season.

Why buy local, organic produce?

More money goes directly to the farmer and  stays within the community to strengthen the local economy. It also requires less fuel and time to get to market resulting in fresher, tastier food for your table.

Fruits and vegetables where the organic label matters the most.

According to the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit organization that analyzes the results of government pesticide testing in the U.S., the following 12 fruits and vegetables, also known as the Dirty Dozen, have the highest pesticide levels on average. Because of their high pesticide levels when conventionally grown, it is best to buy these organic:

  1. Apples
  2. Strawberries
  3. Grapes
  4. Celery
  5. Peaches
  6. Spinach
  7. Sweet Bell Peppers
  8. Imported Nectarines
  9. Cucumbers
  10. Cherry Tomatoes
  11. Imported Snap Peas
  12. Potatoes

Non-organic fruits and vegetables with low pesticide levels .

These conventionally grown fruits and vegetables, also known as the Clean 15, were found to have the lowest levels of pesticides. Most of these have thicker skin or peel, which naturally protects them better from pests.

  1. Avocado
  2. Sweet Corn
  3. Pineapples
  4. Cabbage
  5. Sweet Peas (Frozen)
  6. Onions
  7. Asparagus
  8. Mangoes
  9. Papayas
  10. Kiwi
  11. Eggplant
  12. Grapefruit
  13. Cantaloupe
  14. Cauliflower
  15. Sweet Potatoes

Why buy organic meat and dairy?

  • Livestock are given all organic feed.
  • Clean housing and rotational grazing.
  • Livestock must have access to the outdoors.

What are the benefits of organic wine?

Organic grapes are not sprayed with chemicals and are produced by sustainable farming methods. In addition to producing a healthier wine, this also creates brighter flavors in the wine.

Does organic wine still contain sulfites?

Organic wines contain less sulfites then traditional wines. Sulfites are salts or sulfurous acids that occur naturally in most wines (it is very rare to find a wine that does not have any sulfites). Traditional wines contain added sulfites to help in their preservation, whereas organic winemakers do not add sulfites. The less sulfites a wine contains, the healthier it will be for your body.