Many of us know the term organic by what it is not. We’ve heard many of the “no” words: No pesticides. No chemicals. No toxins. No plant or animal poisons. No hormones. No antibiotics.
While those reasons are all pretty significant motivators to purchase organic goods, sometimes it can be helpful to be reminded of what organic actually is.
So, what is organic?
| Organic is Earth-Friendly |
And at this time, we feel it’s pretty important to give our Mother Earth some much-needed love.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Organic Agriculture Overview sums it up quite nicely: “Organic production is not simply the avoidance of conventional chemical inputs, nor is it the substitution of natural inputs for synthetic ones. Organic farmers apply techniques first used thousands of years ago, such as crop rotations and the use of composted animal manures and green manure crops, in ways that are economically sustainable in today’s world. In organic production, overall system health is emphasized, and the interaction of management practices is the primary concern. Organic producers implement a wide range of strategies to develop and maintain biological diversity and replenish soil fertility.” Organic Agriculture Overview, USDA, Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES), 2007. (Organic Production/Organic Food: Information Access Tools)
| Organic is Better For The Health of People, Plants and Animals |
Seems pretty intuitive to us that no pesticides, chemicals or toxins sprayed into the atmosphere is just healthier for everyone.
| Organic is Sustainable |
That’s right, folks – organic considers the impact of farming practices on the future. According to the USDA: “Organic producers rely on natural substances and physical, mechanical, or biologically based farming methods to the fullest extent possible. Organic produce must be grown on soil that had no prohibited substances (most synthetic fertilizers and pesticides) applied for three years prior to harvest.” (For additional info, check out: Understanding USDA Organic Label).
| Organic is Natural |
Organic focuses on planning for the future, by using practices that will enhance the soil and environment, rather than deplete limited resources. “Organic agriculture is an ecological production management system that promotes and enhances biodiversity, biological cycles and soil biological activity. It is based on minimal use of off-farm inputs and on management practices that restore, maintain and enhance ecological harmony.” (Organic Production/Organic Food: Information Access Tools)
|Organic is Growth |
Not only is organic healthier for the soil, the environment and planet, but organic continues to be an increasing market. USDA recently shared that the organic industry “continues to grow domestically and globally, with 24,650 certified organic operations in the United States, and 37,032 around the world.” (Keep reading: 2016 Count of Certified Organic Operations Shows Continued Growth in US Market)
USDA accredits and supervises approximately 80 organizations and State governments that are able to certify farms and businesses. Just Coffee Cooperative partners with the Midwest Organic Services Association (MOSA) – the second-largest organic certifier in the US – located just a few hours away from us in Viroqua, WI.
As if the above reasons aren’t enough for you to snag a bag of our organic coffee, you can also read here for additional deets on why we’re committed to only purchasing coffees that are certified or in transition to organic.
** Fun fact for all of you Wisconsinites out there: “Vernon County, of which Viroqua is the county seat (and where MOSA is located), is home to the highest concentration of organic farms in the United States” (Learn more: About MOSA).