What is Organic Food and Why Should I Care?

What is organic food? Why should I care? If you’ve ever asked yourself these questions, here are the answers.

Unlike marketing claims such as “natural,” “sustainable,” “green,” or “local,” the word “organic” is defined in Federal law and regulated through an extensive certification process, from field to fork.

“Organic production” is defined by the USDA National Organic Program regulation as “a production system that is managed … to respond to site-specific conditions by integrating cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity.”

Written by Jim Riddle and Bud Markhart, of the University of Minnesota’s Organic Ecology Program, “What is Organic Food and Why Should I Care?” explains in simplified terms the USDA National Organic Program requirements and presents footnoted summaries of scientific studies about organic food and farming.

Simple and straightforward, this 8-page booklet clarifies the most common questions consumers, retailers, and food service professionals may have about organic food production.

Download a copy here.

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