Farm Share Weekly News (Week 1): Why Organic? April 14, 2015 21:58
There are many marketing terms used when it comes to food, and it becomes difficult to keep up with what they all actually mean. We, at RI Organic Farm Market, believe as consumers we deserve to know exactly what we are consuming. We support farmers and we feel GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) are, at best, questionable, at worse a health risk we aren’t willing to take. We are not talking selective breeding here, which has been done since the dawn of agriculture, we are talking about genetically altering the DNA of a plant in a lab to get unnatural results (such as apples that don’t yellow, or plants that are “RoundUp Ready”). We also believe industrial pesticides are not something we want to feed our children, or yours. We believe in bringing you and your family the most healthful choices available. We know local farms are awesome and we will support them in every way we can. As the season gets warmer here in Rhode Island, you will see a much larger proportion of locally produced fruits and vegetables in your Farm Share Basket. We promise to always communicate as clearly as we can to let you know exactly what you are getting. Our priority is (in order): non-GMO, Industrial Pesticide Free, Chemical Free, Organically Grown, Locally Grown, USDA Certified Organic. Some of our local items might be grown organically, but do not hold USDA Certified Organic paperwork. And that is ok with us, as long as they are following the same guidelines to produce chemical free, non-GMO fruits and vegetables. Some local farms just can’t commit to the paperwork the USDA requires to maintain certification. When we deliver to you, we will communicate clearly how it was grown, if it is not USDA Certified Organic. This is only an exception we make for local farms. Any produce brought in from farms outside the RI area will be USDA Certified Organic. We believe this is the best way to assure the products are GMO-free and chemical free when we can’t talk to the farmer and see the product growing ourselves.
USDA Certified Organic means the government has set strict guidelines for farmers to follow, to make sure that the foods labeled Certified Organic meet requirements for no Genetic Modification or Engineering, no chemical fertilizers, no chemical pesticides, and it is grown using untainted land. Organically grown food is grown instead with a focus on compost-rich soil, sun and natural pest management techniques (such as introducing Lady Bugs to control Aphids). There is additional loss with organic crops, a farmer knows that some plants will be lost to pests and that is the way of farming, without industrial chemicals to solve all problems. It also means the harvest may not be as large because there haven’t been chemicals used to maximize every plant. We believe this is the right thing to do, for our health, for the health of our children and the health of our environment. Thank you for supporting this initiative to bring your family the best (not the biggest or most durable) produce available.