Organically Grown NOT Certified Organic

Updated: Jul 23

Alright, so you’ve landed here either because you were intrigued by our home page announcement, got sucked in by some probably not so good social media post – we know we are kinda terrible at it; no need to gussy it up – or because you’ve found some of our other rants to be interesting. Either way, buckle up; this one is going to be as to the point as possible and is probably not quite what you will expect.

We get the question: “Is your food Organic?” Surprisingly, or not, the answer is more complicated than it should be. In our (not so) modest opinion. Why? Because less than ethical food companies like to get “creative” with marketing. Have you ever seen this one? “Beyond Organic…” Yes, there is a company that tries to create association to organic. So, because of that, as people started wanted more naturally grown stuff, the government had to step in and ensure a standard was created. Then, as with any standard, certification comes, and where there’s smoke, there’s fire; meaning then comes the means to make money off of the desire for less junk in our food.

So, to break through the confusion, let’s start with what is Certified Organic.

Certified Organic

Hopefully, by now, most of you reading this will have grown accustomed to our candor with less pretense by now and will acknowledge our definition is paraphrased, our own words, and likely a bit glib and cheeky. Certified Organic is when you spend lots o’ green – pun intended – to get a USDA approved certification company to have you fill out paperwork, have inspectors come pull back the curtains and see how and what is being done for your farm. Overall, they want to be sure you aren’t using unapproved fertilizers, treatments, seeds, and what not. They require you to do this annually; now you get a sense of why there are huge price discrepancies between non-organically certified stuff and the certified stuff.

Guess what though, it doesn’t necessarily mean the food is any better quality. That’s because they can still pick stuff early and use a natural chemical to ripen stuff. Check out ethylene ripening and its allowance on certified organic food.

So, that covers the basics. Let’s talk about organic without the certified in front of it.

Organically Grown

There is some variance in what many farmers will tell you is organically grown to them, which is where the certified stuff has some value, but it generally revolves around the same theme: “shunning synthetic/persistent chemicals for pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, etc.” If you want more of a breakdown of the details so you can go into the weeds, check out more here.

Organic or Not, Here We Come

See what we did there? If you started singing or humming the song in your head; you’re our kind of people. Sorry, not sorry :D Okay, so back to that is our produce organic question.

Our produce is organically grown NOT certified organic.

So, we do not use synthetic/persistent chemicals for fertilization, pesticides, or herbicides. Nothing is petroleum based – yes, there are petroleum-based fertilizers. Also, all of our seeds and plant starts are sourced as certified organic. Our fertilizer is all fish-based, even. So, no worries about junk, contaminants, or GMOs – since there is likely going to be some people that get riled up about the GMO statement, we’ll address that in a different rant, but suffice it to say our response is probably not what you think it is. So, you just get clean, fresh, high-quality produce with higher nutrient densities and none of that other stuff.

I imagine some of you are wondering why. Sure, we could go certified organic and charge a lot more for the produce, but simply put, that doesn’t really help make good food more accessible and that is what we are about here. So, we are foregoing the ability to charge more in favor of making quality food affordable and accessible.

Bottom line: We are growing organically, but not seeking organic certification. You will not see us make any claims of organic certification, nor will we be using fancy marketing gimmicks to try and trick you into thinking we are. If we decide to start shifting to certified organic as we grow, it will be done because we can find a way to do it that doesn’t change our value proposition, and you’ll be the first to know.

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