What does "organic" mean?
An organic product is simply put, grown in environmentally friendly ways. The use of toxic pesticides and many other toxic agricultural chemicals are prohibited. There is also a focus on renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality and nutrient density of the produce. The official label of “Certified Organic" in Australia represents products produced in compliance with the Australian Certified Organic (ACO) Standards. A thorough audit and examination process of the applicants, that takes up to 10 weeks to ensure compliance with their rigorous standards and requirements.
Why eat organic?
One of the best reasons to eat organic food is to avoid toxic chemicals used in conventional agriculture. According to research by The Hartman Group, consumers who buy organic products cite health/nutrition, taste and food safety as the top motivators for their purchases. There are also profound detrimental effects on the environment from conventional farming which is another strong reason the organic scene is growing in popularity.
What are the most important foods to buy organic?
It depends on what factor of organic benefits are most important to you and your family. A good entry point; especially for those on a tighter budget is to follow the Dirty Dozen & Clean Fifteen - a list of produce which have more and less exposure to chemicals respectively. But again it depends on your value set; if you value the environment as prominently as your health then is it worth a few extra dollars? Only you know what your values and budget restrictions are; in an ideal world nobody would have the option of conventional produce but we hope you make the best decision for yourself, your family and our planet.
Is organic food healthier?
There is growing research that indicates organic produce is more nutrient dense compared to conventional produce. As far as harmful chemicals go, they are not allowed in organic agriculture. The EPA considers 60% of all herbicides, 90% of all fungicides, and 30% of all insecticides as potentially cancer-causing.
How is organic better for the environment?
In conventional agriculture the toxic chemicals sprayed on the crops, contaminates the groundwater and surrounding waterways when it rains. Organic farming also replenishes and maintains healthy, fertile topsoil with rich biological matter, which limits erosion and impact on waterways as well as providing higher nutrient density in the crops. Additionally, unique types of crops and livestock are more likely to be raised organically, which helps to keep the gene pool for food products diversified and thus help avoid extinction due to species-specific issues.
What are the organic standards for meat, eggs and dairy?
Organic livestock standards prohibit the use of antibiotics and the use of synthetic growth hormones such as rBGH. Additionally, all animals must be raised in living conditions appropriate for their species. The animals are fed only organic feed, and the processing for all meat, eggs and dairy products must meet organic standards as well.
The certification process is a relatively long and expensive one; especially for farmers working on tight deadlines and budgets. Unlike products that are labeled “organic,” products labeled “natural” require no certification. We are committed to transparency; we want you to know more about what’s in your food, so we encourage you to be inquisitive and read the ingredients on the label. If you have any questions about the contents of a particular product, be sure to send us a message - we would love to help you better understand where your food has come from.
Do organic farmers ever use pesticides?
The primary strategy of organic farmers is prevention. It all starts with the soil; healthy soil holds healthy plants which are better able to resist plant diseases and insects - which are the two most predominant reasons chemicals are sprayed on crops. However growers will try various options such as insect predators, mating disruption, traps and barriers when pest populations get out of balance. If these fail, the certifier may apply botanical or other non-persistent organic pesticides (which are derived from plants and broken down quickly by oxygen and sunlight) to the crops under restricted conditions.
Do organic foods taste better?
Have you tried organic produce? If you have we are sure you’ll agree that it does, big time! Basically; well-balanced soils grows strong, healthy plants that taste great. In addition, research is indicating that increased levels of phytochemicals produced by organic plants to fight pests are also responsible for aromas and flavors - but don’t take our word for it, try it yourself!
Do organic foods generally cost more than conventional foods?
There is no denying the word “organic” has the reputation of being more expensive. The good news is from a price stand point - that this has been predominantly been a reflection of demand, and as the supply continues to rise the price of organic food will naturally become increasingly more competitive. While there may only be a few cents difference between the most available and popular organic products compared to their conventional counterparts; a majority of the reason organic crops carry a higher price tag is that the process in producing them is often more labor-intensive and requires a more detailed and strategic farming management system such as rotating crops. It also depends on what you value as a cost; while it is easy to look at the upfront financial dollars and cents paid; the nutrient density, prevention of exposure to harmful chemicals and turmoil at an environmental level are all costs that are harder to put a dollars and cents price on. We believe organic is an investment to the health of our body and the planet; while we can’t change the popularity (demand and therefore cheaper price) of conventional farming overnight, we can make our dollars count now so that one day the tides turn and encourage you to at least consider doing the same.
Is everything at Farm Folk organic?
No. While we are big believers in organic, we appreciate that there are a multitude of reasons why some farmers and suppliers haven’t got certification. We want to be renowned for our quality, a brand you can trust that has you, your family and our planets best interest at heart; so we developed a sourcing policy and quality standard to hold ourselves accountable to, organic or not. You won’t find any hydrogenated fats or artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners or preservatives in any of our food or beverages. While we will be supporting and encouraging more organic production every day; we also want to provide an opportunity to smaller scale local farmers and suppliers, to offer a wide array of choices in our stores - which we believe having our own independent quality standard and sourcing policy will hold us more accountable to a big part of our mission of providing the greater good to everyone involved.
Are organic products non-GMO?
You betcha - organic standards prohibit GMOs. By simply choosing organic, you are also choosing non-GMO.