In a nutshell, food labeled as "organic" is produced naturally without: chemicals, synthetic fertilizer or pesticides, and genetically modified organisms (GMOs). There are different standards and measures which allow food to get the organic stamp from the USDA. At One World Center, we are working hard to sustainably grow organic food in our garden farm.
One of the most important elements in growing food organically is the soil. We need to constantly nurture the soil and feed it to provide the best nutrient-rich home for our plants to grow in. As plants are growing, they absorb what is in the soil. Proper soil management will produce nutrition-dense food that can even taste better; human consumers and farm animals alike benefit from eating it.
We believe that there are two main reasons why you should go organic.
1. Bring Back Balance To The Natural World
In a way, growing organically is respectful to nature and the climate. We take care of what we put back into the earth and are rewarded with the best quality produce. It is about keeping the balance between what we take and what we give to the soil. You take care of it, it will take care of you. Most of the food in the stores today comes from big commercial farms. Unfortunately, the majority of these commercial farms depend on loads of synthetic pesticides, insecticides, herbicides and fertilizers. These chemicals are not good for our health and certainly not for nature. These chemicals are connected to the decrease of pollinators (i.e. bees, butterflies) and deplete the soil to end up lifeless. It is a vicious cycle. When farms face depleted soil, more and more chemicals are needed to continue growing the same amount of food.
2. You Are What You Eat
When we consume food produced with the loads of chemicals or that has been genetically modified, our bodies absorbs it. The same goes for animals raised on antibiotics and growth hormones. They will have absorbed these chemicals which stay in their by products (i.e. meat, milk, eggs) which then is absorbed into our bodies. Organic food from nutrient-rich soil, watered with water free of chemicals (i.e. chlorine), and treated with respect provides all of the nutrients we need to become strong and healthy. An added benefit is that organic food has a ton of flavor. Who doesn't want their food to taste good?
At One World Center, we grow all our vegetables organically because we can see how the plants thrive in good soil, how it attracts pollinators and provides fresh nutrition rich vegetables to the kitchen. By doing it ourselves, it is an inexpensive way to get good nutrition. With every growing season, we are experimenting on how to improve our gardening methods. For example, how do we beat unwanted bugs coming into the garden and eating our food first without using chemicals? In fact, we have been working hard on expansion plans to create an Edible Forest Garden using permaculture principles.