Community Garden Market / 148 N. Washington St , Berkeley Springs, WV 25411 / 304.258.8300
1. Protect the Future of Our Children
The average child receives four times more exposure than an adult to at least eight widely used cancer-causing pesticides in food. The food choices you make now will impact your child's health in the future.
2. Prevent Soil Erosion
Soil is the foundation of the food chain in organic farming. But in conventional farming the soil is used more as a medium for holding plants in a vertical position so they can be chemically fertilized. As a result, American farms are suffering from the worst soil erosion in history.
3. Protect Water Ouality
Water makes up two-thirds of our body mass and covers three-fourths of the planet. Despite its importance, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates pesticides-some cancer causing-contaminate the groundwater in 38 states, polluting the primary source of drinking water for more than half the country's population.
4. Save Energy
Modern farming uses more petroleum than any other single industry, consuming 12%of the country's total energy supply. More energy is now used to produce synthetic fertilizers than to till, cultivate and harvest all the crops in the United States.
Organic farming is still mainly based on labor-intensive practices such as weeding by hand and using green manures and crop covers rather than synthetic fertilizers to build up soil. Organic produce also tends to travel fewer miles from field to table.
5. Keep Chemicals Off Your Plate
Many pesticides approved for use by the EPA were registered long before extensive research linking these chemicals to cancer and other diseases had been established. Now the EPA considers that 60 percent of all herbicides, 90 percent of all fungicides and 30 percent of all insecticides are carcinogenic.
6. Protect Farm Worker Health
A National Cancer Institute study found that farmers exposed to herbicides had a six times greater risk than non-farmers of contracting cancer. Field workers suffer the hightest rates of occupational illness .
Farm worker health also is a serious problem in developing nations, where pesticide use can be poorly regulated. An estimated 1 million people are poisoned annually by pesticides.
7. Help Small Farmers
Although more and more large-scale farms are making the conversion to organic practices, most organic farms are small independently owned and operated family farms of less than 100 acres.
It's estimated that the United States has lost more than 650,000 family farms in the past decade. And with the U.S. Department of Agriculture predicting that half of this country's farm production will come from 1 percent of farms by the year 2000, organic farming could be one of the few survival tactics left for family farms.
8. Support A True Economy
Although organic foods might seem more expensive than conventional foods, conventional food prices do not reflect hidden costs borne by taxpayers, including nearly $74 billion in federal subsidies in 1988.
9. Promote Biodiversity
Mono-cropping is the practice of planting large plots of land with the same crop year after year. While this approach tripled farm production between 1950 and 1970, the lack of natural diversity of plant life has left the soil lacking in natural minerals and nutrients.
Single crops are also much more susceptible to pests, making farmers more reliant on pesticides.
10. Taste Better Flavor
There's a good reason why many chefs use organic foods in their recipes-they taste better!