Our goal at Organic Voices, through the Only Organic campaign, is to help consumers understand what organic means. The campaign's mission is to highlight the benefits of organic food, products and practices, eliminate confusion, and help consumers understand that choosing organic can bring true peace of mind. The easiest way for consumers to get the peace of mind they are looking for when they buy products to give their families is to choose trusted brands. At Only Organic, we highlight our partner brands so consumers can learn more about each one and make it easy for them to know what to look for when they shop. Lifting these organic brands helps grow the industry, which in turn drives a more sustainable world through agriculture and manufacturing.
There are so many benefits to choosing organic, which we try to highlight at Only Organic year-round. But, during Earth Month we want to talk about the important role organic can play in helping to mitigate climate change. Only Organic is working with our partner brands to show consumers that by choosing organic, they are backing products that benefit the environment. All our supporting brands include certified organic products – this means that the farmers’ and manufacturers’ practices align with the practices of organic, which in turn help combat climate change. Organic agriculture is the most heavily regulated food system in the U.S. Only organic guarantees that no toxic persistent pesticides, synthetic fertilizers or GMOs are used in production, and that no antibiotics or growth hormones are given to livestock. Organic producers and processors are subject to rigorous announced – and unannounced – certification inspections by third-party inspectors to ensure they’re producing and processing organic products in the most sustainable way.
When we talk about climate change, the first thing that comes to mind is carbon. Most people know that carbon dioxide emissions contribute to warming the planet. Many companies and legislators have been looking for ways to slow carbon emissions through changes in policy, manufacturing processes and agriculture. But most people don’t know that organic agriculture sequesters more carbon than conventional agriculture. In fact, organic can help fight climate change through this process of carbon sequestration, according to a study by the University of Maryland in collaboration with the Organic Center. The results show that by using organic’s best management practices, such as soil amendments, conservation tillage and cover crops, organic growers can boost their soil organic carbon by up to 18% and increase microbial biomass carbon by an average of 30%. An essential way that organic helps to mitigate climate change is the fact that organic practices do not use any toxic persistent chemicals. One of the most overlooked causes of climate change is nitrogen pollution. Synthetic fertilizers, banned for use in organic, turn healthy benign nitrogen – needed to help plants and animals grow – into a reactive form of nitrogen. It has up to 300 times more warming potential than carbon dioxide, the gas most often talked about when it comes to climate change. Because of organic’s lack of use of synthetic fertilizers, organic soil management can reduce nitrogen dioxide emissions by over 40%. Click here to learn more about this report from the Organic Center
We also need to talk about soil biodiversity. Soil health is one of the most important aspects of organic agriculture, and “pesticides of all types that are currently registered for agricultural use were found to be harmful,” according to a study by Frontiers in Environmental Sciences that looked at more than 400 studies. As stated above, organic agriculture sequesters carbon at a higher rate than conventional agriculture. To sequester more carbon, the soil needs to be healthier. Organic offers healthier alternatives to toxic pesticides and therefore has healthier soil that sequesters more carbon and helps promote below-ground biodiversity. As the chatter around climate change grows, Only Organic is working with brands and other organizations to highlight the importance organic can play in helping fight climate change. During Earth Month we hope consumers start to understand the importance of their buying power in helping combat climate change. To learn more about Only Organic, visit our website at www.onlyorganic.org.