Today has seriously been one of the coolest days, ever.
We went to three different farms (two organic, one non-organic) today as part of the Stonyfield Blogger Barnstorming Tour and I don’t think I’ve ever learned so much in my life!
It was so awesome to actually meet the farmers in person and really see where the heck my food is coming from, who is producing it, and how.
I feel like as a nation we have gotten so disconnected from the source of our food. It was really interesting and cool to see everything that actually goes into it, and that whether or not the farm is managed organically really does make a huge difference.
Some organic fun facts:
- There is a three year transition of land from non-organic to organic.
- Cows have to be fed and treated to meet organic standards for a full 12 months before their milk can be sold as organic.
- 95% of ingredients (excluding water and salt) have to be organic in order to label something “organic." (And the remaining 5% must be proven that you attempted to make it organic, but could not!)
- Only about 0.5% of all U.S. cropland and pasture were certified organic in 2005 — about 4 million acres.
- There’s a HUGE difference between “natural” and “organic” — in fact, “natural” on a label means absolutely nothing!
Being certified organic stands for three things:
- Utilization of natural means of pest control/prevention.
- Adhering to a certain standard of animal control, focusing on humane treatment.
- Maintaining low levels of environmental pollution.
- Not using any GMO’s (Genetically Modified Organisms)
Did you know that the average life expectancy for a conventionally raised cow is only 4 years, while for an organically raised cow it is 10 years? One of the farms we visited today even has a 15 year old cow!
Also, apparently male cattle are called bulls, and only female cattle are called cows!
I have so many details I want to share with all of you about each of the farms we visited today, but I won’t do it justice if I cram it all into one post.
I’ve decided to give each of the farms we visit its own post, which I’ll be sharing throughout the week. Stay tuned for awesome videos of the farmers, amazing photos, and what I learned about organic farming — including the answers to your questions! Plus — why I’m going to make a BIG effort to only buy organic food from here on out! Yep, I totally drank the organic kool-aid.
p.s. Be sure to follow me on Twitter if you aren’t already — I’m tweeting all weekend about our adventures!
p.p.s. Uma says “Holla!”