According to the Organic Farming Research Foundation, organic farming is agriculture that makes healthy food, soil, plants, and environments a priority. Organic Farmer's do not use genetically modified organisms (GMOs), synthetic pesticides, or fertilizers. Instead, they practice organic methods such as using biological fertilizers and crop rotation to improve soil quality and grow healthy crops.
ORGANIC FARMING RESEARCH FOUNDATION
The Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) has been a leading champion of organic farmers and ranchers since 1990. They foster the improvement and widespread adoption of organic farming systems by cultivating research, education, and federal policies that bring more farmers and acreage into regenerative organic farming systems, particularly those that preserve and promote soil health. As a farmer-focused organization, their vision is to create a more resilient and just agricultural system that values healthy environments, people, and economies and help curb climate change and be more adaptive to future changes.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture offers an organic certification to farms that follow their strict organic standards for the growing, processing, and handling of their products. These methods integrate cultural, biological and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance and conserve biodiversity. For example, farmers are required to manage crop nutrients and soil fertility through crop rotations, use organically grown seeds, and compost materials to fertilize their soil. Products like Farmer’s Organic Gin with a USDA organic seal have 95 percent or more organic content.
Organic systems build organic soil matter, creating soil health. The most practical and cost-effective way to remove excess carbon from the atmosphere is through living plants and soils. Organic farming enhances carbon sequestration, the process of capturing and storing carbon dioxide, within the soil.
Organic practices such as crop rotations and mulching increase soil's capacity to absorb and store moisture. Soil unable to to so is often swept away during rainstorms leading to more sediment in drinking water. Organic farming has been found as an effective way to reduce this watershed and increase clean water.
Organic systems create diversified and non-toxic agricultural landscapes. Indeed, natural fertility and ecological pest management eliminates the need for harmful chemicals. This supports pollinator health and abundance (bees, bats, butterflies, etc.). Animals raised in organic systems live healthier, longer lives.
GMOs are prohibited in organic products during all steps of the growing process. There are also no harmful chemicals such as fertilizers or bug repellents used, which may have contaminate food. Several studies in organic foods also clearly show higher concentrations of essential nutrients.