10 Reasons Why Organic Matters
Every one of Hawaiian Ola’s products is certified organic. But what does that mean, and why does it matter? We’ve compiled 10 facts that illustrate the importance of organic foods and farming.
- Not just anything can be called organic. In the US, the word “organic” can only be used to label foods that are produced according to the USDA’s organic standards. Growers must apply to participate in this program and undergo regular inspections to ensure compliance.
- It’s better for you. Conventional (non-organic) foods are typically produced using a wide array of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. By eating organic foods, we reduce our bodies' exposure to these chemicals, many of which are harmful to humans.
- It’s better for the land. Organic farming practices are designed to protect topsoil, reduce erosion, keep waterways healthy, and much more. Whereas conventional farming perpetuates a cycle of depleting soil nutrients and in turn creating a dependence on chemicals, organic farming supports nature’s own cycles and processes.
- It’s better for workers. People who work to raise, harvest, and process produce are exposed daily and directly to any substances that are used in farming. Organic foods are are produced using only USDA approved non-synthetic sprays and supplements, which are safer for farmworkers and food handlers.
- Organic farming is a different approach. Whereas conventional farming often relies on heavy usage of chemicals in order to grow large quantities of a single crop, organic farming is a totally different way of growing. Organic farmers focus more on minimizing chemical usage, growing a diversity of crops in order to naturally replenish the soil, and finding alternative ways to control pests.
- Food manufacturers (like us!) have organic requirements too. For a company like Hawaiian Ola, which manufactures certified organic value-added products, the requirements go even further. We not only source ingredients that are certified organic, but we must also keep careful records of those purchases so we can provide a paper trail if so required. We also maintain a certified organic facility, which means regular inspections. And, we have to document our practices, protocols, and procedures to ensure we are maintaining the integrity of those carefully grown organic ingredients.
- It’s not about being more nutritious. While recent studies have shown that organic foods are not more nutritious than conventional ones, that’s missing the point. Organic foods are better for everyone, but more because of what they don’t contain (harmful chemicals) than what nutrients they do contain.
- Buying organic is voting with your dollar. Every time you purchase organic foods, you’re rewarding farmers who are operating responsibly. It helps keep organic farmland in operation, and sends a message to retailers about what’s important to you!
- Organic = Non GMO. By definition, organic foods are not allowed to be genetically modified, or contain genetically modified ingredients. So if GMOs are a concern to you, buying organic is a great way to avoid them.
- What’s next for organic? Farmers who want to do even more have started to embrace an approach called regenerative agriculture. This system aims not just to “do no harm” to the land, but also to make substantial improvements on it and even reverse climate change.
We hope this post helped you understand the importance of organic foods and products! If you’d like to learn more, be sure to sign up for our monthly email newsletter, where we share information on topics like this one.