Your choices make a difference! Iowa's 850+ certified organic farmers and processors know that local and organic always counts.
HERE ARE 5 REASONS WHY:*
1. Healthier for You and Your Family
Organic certification standards prohibit synthetic herbicides and pesticides, antibiotics, artificial hormones, and genetically modified organisms.
Minimizing your exposure to these toxins can reduce your risk of cancer and other health problems. Exposure to organophosphate pesticides in the womb has been correlated with lowered IQ scores in children and children fed organic diets have been shown to have fewer pesticides in their bodies.
In addition, organic foods have been shown to have higher levels of beneficial nutrients such as antioxidants and Omega-3 fatty acids. In fact, a 2014 analysis concluded that switching to organic fruits and vegetables could give the same benefits as adding one or two portions of the recommended "five a day," due to higher nutrient levels, as well as reducing exposure to harmful heavy metals and pesticides.
Studies have shown that organic poultry and livestock farms house remarkably less antibiotic-resistant bacteria than conventional farms. Therefore, choosing organic meat and eggs reduces your risk of contracting an antibiotic-resistant infection and also reduces the overall amount of antibiotic-resistant bacteria out there.
(What about all the fuss about "that Stanford study" that claimed no health benefits for organics? Here's a well-reasoned response from the folks at Organic Valley.)
2. Supports Your Community
On average, organic farms create 21% more jobs than conventional farms, helping to sustain viable communities. Supporting local organic farms keeps money in the local economy and preserves Iowa’s rural character. A recent study found that U.S. counties that have many certified organic farms and processors have impressive positive impacts on their local communities. Organic farms create jobs and economic growth, boost household incomes, and reduce poverty levels. Organic food and crop production — and the business activities accompanying organic agriculture — create real and long-lasting regional economic opportunities.
3. Better for the Land
Organic farmers protect soil, water, and air quality with practices like crop rotation, cover crops, and composting. By nourishing the soil, organic farmers sequester carbon, reduce harmful waste runoff, and help ensure that our farmland will continue to be fertile and productive into the future.
4. Tastes Great
Healthy plants and happy animals produce great-tasting food! Plus, local and organic food is raised in accordance with the seasons and using varieties chosen for flavor rather than shelf life - so it naturally tastes fresh, clean, and just like it should!
5. Grown with No GMOs
Buying certified organic is the best way to avoid exposure to genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Organic farmers do not use GMO seeds, plants, or animal feeds, and organic processed foods do not contain GMO ingredients.
Want to learn more?
This video made by NOFA-VT, is a great overview of why organic matters.
This webinar by University of Minnesota is a great overview of the research that shows that organic is healthier for you and the environment. (You can also view the PowerPoint slides as a PDF by clicking here.)
- Organic: It's Worth It offers shopping tips, recipes, and information for consumers interested in organic foods.
- Organic farming CAN feed the world. Average long-term yields for organic production methods are equal to conventional; in years of drought and stressful weather, organic out-performed conventional crops.
- Some produce carries higher levels of pesticide residue. Stretch your organic dollar by choosing strategically. This guide from the Environmental Working Group lists the "Dirty Dozen" and the "Clean Fifteen."
- Take your pesticide knowledge even further, including meat and dairy products, with the What's On My Food? website or app.
*Thanks to NOFA-VT for compiling this great overview of the value of local organic.