Organic food and agriculture shows us that
toxic pesticides just aren't necessary to grow our food.

In fact, studies show that organically grown crops tend to produce equivalent yields - and even better during drought! Plus organic is generally shown to be healthier and more nutritious than mainstream food!

Organics were developed as a grassroots response to the development of toxic pesticides. The fact that there is now a worldwide legal definition - and consumer support - of organics is a grassroots success story. It's only possible because of the hard work and contributions of countless farmers, activists, educators, and consumers. How wonderful to have an option to toxic agriculture when we go to the supermarket!

Here's how you can find out more about organics.




DEFINITION: "So, what does organic mean exactly anyway?"

Information about U.S. national standards is on our Organic Standards Information Page.

For more information about state organic laws see:

CALIFORNIA: For information about the Califnornia Organic Program, go to <www.cdfa.ca.gov/is/fveqc/organic.htm>

WASHINGTON STATE: For information about their Organic Food Program, go to <http://agr.wa.gov/FoodAnimal/Organic/default.htm>

WHY CONSUMERS SUPPORT ORGANICS: "Why do consumers buy organic food, and how often?"

For answers to questions like these, see our Organics and consumers information page.

Read about how organic food has been shown in studies to be more nutritious! <www.deliciouslivingmag.com/magazine/index.cfm?fuseaction=article&articleid=289> and <www.deliciouslivingmag.com/magazine/index.cfm?fuseaction=article&articleid=576>

Another study shows that organic has comparable yields, and is better for the environment and for us! <www.deliciouslivingmag.com/magazine/index.cfm?fuseaction=article&articleid=175>

Also read about Nell Newman's passion for organics at <www.deliciouslivingmag.com/magazine/index.cfm?fuseaction=article&articleid=287> and her organic book at <www.deliciouslivingmag.com/magazine/index.cfm?fuseaction=article&articleid=443>. (She's Paul Newman's daughter and creator of Newman's Own Organics.)

PRODUCTS: "How do I find organic products and companies?"

One great source is The OTA Organic Pages online. Search a variety of categories for what you see - or just to explore.

COTTON: "Since cotton crops use some of the most toxic pesticides, and in large quantities, how can I buy and support organic cotton clothes, sheets, hygene products, and more?"

You can find great options at The OTA Organic Pages online.

RESTAURANTS: "How can I find an ecological restaurant?"

First start by clarifying your criteria. One of the strongest criteria is for a restaurant to be a certified organic restaurant, which generally means that all that they serve is organic. Be aware that very few in the U.S. have made this commitment and gone through this certification process.

Look deeper at any restaurant claims. Some restaurants make vague statements, saying they use organic "as much as possible" or "sure, we use lots of organic" but when pushed for specifics they often really just use token organics of certain items on certain dishes. Ditto for restaurants that are called "green" by themselves or websites. What do they mean exactly? Be cautious in accepting vague information.

The Green Restaurant Association at <www.dinegreen.com/restaurant_guide.asp> certifies green restaurants, and there are some criteria that are met, but there's a lot of flexibility and transition time for restaurants, so we suggest digging to find out what criteria each restaurant met, and compare that to the ones you care about. However, certification does show some commitment to being ecological. They currently list no restaurants for northern California.

RESTAURANTS: "How can our restaurant be more ecological? How can I connect with like-minded chefs?"

Look at the website of Chefs Collaborative <www.chefscollaborative.org>. You can also learn more about their organization in "Cooks with a Conscience" in Delicious Living! magazine.

You can also consider becoming certified by the Green Restaurant Association. See <www.dinegreen.com>

INTERNATIONAL ORGANICS: "What's going on internationally regarding organics?"

Exciting things! For information and inspiration, see the Organic Perspectives newsletter, created by the USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), at <www.fas.usda.gov/agx/organics/index.htm>

For information on international organic agriculture and more, see this page for the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) <www.ifoam.org>.

For more information about organics and other alternatives to toxics, see our Toxics and Alternatives Resources Page and our Recommended Books Page.
For information on Sonoma County and area toxics, organics, and environmental and political information and action, see our Sonoma County Resources Page.

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Page last updated 06/12/07
Links checked 6/11/07