So, what does it mean to be organic?
Organic farmers build healthy, balanced ecosystems implementing Earth-friendly practices that protect the land and conserve natural resources. As Earthbound Farm states, “While scientific research suggests that organic produce may be more nutritious than conventional, we choose it because it helps us keep chemicals out of our bodies — and because we think it’s more delicious, too.” I couldn’t agree more with this statement. There are so many claims about organic being equal to conventional in terms of nutrition… but that is simply not the point. The point is that conventional foods are grown with herbicides and pesticides that are toxic chemicals which are harmful to our bodies. I, for one, know first hand how conventional food can damage our intestines and other organs such as our kidneys and liver. My family never, ever had any organic food when I was growing up. I never even knew what organic was. We ate conventional fruits, vegetables, meats, poultry, etc. and after 30 years of that… well, my body began to shut-down. Way, way down. So, for the past few years I’ve been eating organic, and for the past 8 months, I’ve been 100% organic. No if’s and’s or but’s about it. I’m an organic kinda gal.
Well, for starters Organic food is produced with:
- No synthetic pesticides, herbicides or fumigants
- No fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge
- No genetically modified organisms (GMOs)
- No irradiation
- No hormones, antibiotics, artificial ingredients or trans fats
This is the USDA Organic seal, which many of you may recognize from my Organic page. When you purchase a product that is USDA Organic you are also buying a Non-GMO (Non-Genetically Modified) product so it’s a win-win for you! Myra, the founder of Earthbound Farm told us, “Ultimately, we’re organic because it protects what’s important to us all: our health, our children and our Earth.” I found it so amazing and striking that this woman and her incredible company go out of their way to make sure we’re all safe. They’re not like any other produce brand I’ve ever met- they’re real and honest. They sincerely care about us, our food, our environment and our future. They’re not out to rob us of all our money so that people can complain about how expensive organic food is… I hear my clients and readers complain about the cost of organic food but I’d honestly rather pay more money on my food and be certain that it’s clean devoid of chemicals than to save money and put chemicals into my body – thereby making me even more sick.
Believe me, for the first six years I lived in Manhattan (not a cheap city) I skimped on expensive food and ate all conventional – because I didn’t even know what the benefits of organic were or why people would want to eat organic and why people spent so much money on organic… but now I get it.
I completely understand and it’s pretty amazing when you start to realize what organic food can do for us and for our future. I had no idea about the effects of chemicals and pesticides on our bodies until I got sick. And long after that my Western medicine doctors all told me that eating organic was crazy and they told me not to spend the money on eating organic. Just like I’ve learned to be my own doctor, I’ve also learned to be my own chef. It’s sad that we’ve come to the point in our lives where we really can’t trust our food or our doctors. I’ve spent almost ten years finding the best integrative M.D.’s in the country and now I’m working with them and trust them. I’ve also spent countless years understanding food and now I’m working with and eating real, wholesome, organic food each and every day.
One thing that really stuck with me from this trip is seeing the perfectly spotless production of Earthbound Farm products. Believe me, I am not a fan of factories and wearing hair nets but this was truly beyond anything I could ever imagine. Think of the cleanest room you’ve even been in… yep. That’s what their entire facility looks like. Crazy, right? Everyone and everything was flawless and spotless. I was so happy to see this because it makes me that much more confident about purchasing their products. Now I want to support them even more!
Modern organic farmers, like those at Earthbound Farm, are masters of ecology and soil science (we were able to meet many interesting scientists and view numerous experiments in green houses during this trip), using techniques that build healthy soil and incorporate environmentally friendly alternatives to conventional farming, which revolves around toxic synthetic chemicals. Organic methods of farming are more costly and labor-intensive in the short run, but it’s well worth the effort because organic farming avoids serious — and even more costly — long-term issues like groundwater pollution, soil erosion, loss of biodiversity and human health problems caused by exposure to chemical residues. Yet another reason that I choose Earthbound Farm products!
Over the course of my trip, I learned about the traceability of the products and how they can tell where every single package of salad came from.
Earthbound Farm knows where every leaf comes from in every salad they produce. Should they ever need to, they can instantly trace the farm and processing source of your greens just by looking at the code on each package as shown below. Pretty cool, isn’t it?
A This letter tells us which facility the salad was packed in.
B This number tells us the date the salad was packed.
C This letter tells us which shift packed the salad.
D This number tells us which line produced the salad.
E This number tells us exactly what time the salad was packed.
Before planting, Earthbound evaluates every field’s history to uncover anything that might need attention. All their seeds are tested for potentially harmful bacteria (pathogens), including E. coli O157:H7, enterohaemorrhagic E. coli and salmonella, as are irrigation water, soil amendments and composted materials. We were guided through their entire process from seed to packaged product: planting to harvest. It’s amazing how every step is so closely inspected and audited to ensure it meets their strict food safety standards. And that makes me a very, very happy camper!