"Organic" means that food is grown and processed without using synthetic fertilizers or pesticides. It is a system of production that sustains the health of soils, ecosystems and people. It relies on ecological processes, biodiversity and cycles adapted to local conditions, rather than industrial methods.
Organic ingredients are important to us for a number of reasons.
For the environment, there are many benefits:
- Healthier soil. A nine-year study by USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) showed that one teaspoon of soil treated with chemicals carried 100 helpful bacteria, compared to 600 million to 1 billion helpful bacteria from 15,000 species for one teaspoon of compost-rich organic soil.
- Combats soil erosion. A major study that compared organic and chemically treated wheat fields found 8 more inches of topsoil in the organic field, and one third of the erosion loss.
- Reduces pollution of waterways. Toxic runoff from farms due to chemical fertilizer and harmful pesticides is a major cause of river pollution and algae blooms, and threatens the ecosystems that depend on them. Organic farming helps to prevent toxic runoff.
- Organic farmers use less water.
- Reduced carbon footprint. Rodale Institute Farming Systems Trial is a side-by-side comparison of conventional and organic agriculture, and has been running since 1981. The trial has shown that a healthy organic agriculture system can reduce carbon dioxide. The Rodale research shows that: "If only 10,000 medium sized farms in the U.S. converted to organic production, they would store so much carbon in the soil that it would be equivalent to taking 1,174,400 cars off the road.
- Worker health. Harsh herbicides and pesticides are not used, which means the farmers and pickers who bring you those foods are not exposed to their effects.
For athletes, it’s a cleaner fuel:
- Less toxins: Eating organic lowers the intake of pesticide residue and toxins related to synthetic fertilizers that are found in conventionally grown ingredients.
- No GMOs: Organic regulations forbid Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).