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Click here to see our outreach materials – with recipes, tips for eating organic on a budget, and more!
Find Maine Organic Food

Why Buy MOFGA Certified Organic?

It's Maine AND Organic!

MOFGA-certified organic is the best of both worlds. These products are Maine-raised and/or produced AND certified organic. Local AND organic! Local tells you where your food is produced, and organic tells you HOW it is produced. Why should you buy local AND organic?

MOFGA-certified organic producers support Maine's local economies and rural communities. Recent research by the Organic Trade Association, in partnership with Penn State, revealed that "organic hotspots" – counties with high levels of organic agricultural activity that have neighboring counties with high levels of organic agricultural activity – boost household incomes and reduce poverty levels at rates greater than general agricultural activity and than major anti-poverty programs. The map below shows the number of organic hotspots in Maine – a hotspot for hotspots! Plus, on average organic farms create 21% more jobs than conventional farms.

A map produced by the Organic Trade Association, in partnership with Penn State, showing "organic hotspots" – counties with high levels of organic agricultural activity OTA Penn State map of organic hotspots in Maine
Map of Maine's certified organic producers in 2016
 


Organic agriculture reduces the amount of toxic chemicals in our environment and in our bodies. More than 600 active chemicals are registered for agricultural use in the United States, which equates to billions of pounds used annually and approximately 16 pounds used per person each year. According to Cornell entomologist David Pimentel,
"It is estimated that only 0.1 percent of applied pesticides reach the target pests." The bulk (99%) of applied pesticides and herbicides can pollute our waterways and farmland, reduce biodiversity and result in pests developing resistance to the applied chemical. Organic agriculture does not permit the use of synthetic chemical pesticides or herbicides. Most of the pesticides that are allowed in organic are derived from natural products, are low in toxicity and break down rapidly.

Research suggests organic products are also healthier for people! In 2014 an international team of researchers suggested that switching to organic fruit and vegetables could offer the same benefits as adding one or two portions of the recommended "five a day." They found "statistically significant, meaningful" differences, with a range of antioxidants being "substantially higher" – between 19% and 69% – in organic food. Additionally, children fed diets of primarily organic food demonstrated a large or complete reduction in pesticides found in their urine.

Certified organic farmers preserve pollinator habitat, promote biodiversity and build healthy soil. Organic farmers use specific practices, such as cover cropping, crop rotation, composting and, often, diverse crop mixes (not monocultures), that protect soil and water quality while enhancing biodiversity. These practices support soil health, preventing erosion and runoff, and often sequester carbon and nutrients in the soil.

Organic food cannot be produced with genetically modified organisms (often called GMOs). Organic farmers do not use GMO seeds, plants, or animal feeds, and organic processed foods are not made with GMO ingredients. Many GMO crops are engineered to survive glyphosate spraying. Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Roundup and some other herbicides. In 2015, glyphosate was classified as a "probable carcinogen to humans," by cancer experts at the World Health Organization. The best way to avoid GMOs and glyphosate residues in the United States is to buy organic.

Certified organic livestock are produced humanely, without synthetic antibiotics or added growth hormones. Organic meat and dairy cannot be raised with synthetic antibiotics or added growth hormones, such as recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH, also called rBST). Additionally, organic livestock farmers ensure that their animals have access to the outdoors and room enough to move, graze and develop in a manner that supports their natural behavior. Organic certification also means that these farmers cannot feed their animals GMO grains. To ensure your animal protein comes from animals that were happy and healthy, buy organic!

Organic certification assures integrity and transparency through rigorous third-party inspections. Most certified organic farmers and producers follow organic practices because they are passionate about them and because these practices align with their values and philosophy. Did you also know that the word "organic" is federally regulated? Before a producer can start selling foods labeled as organic, a third-party inspector must visit the business and ensure that organic practices are being followed. The federal government must accredit the certifier, such as MOFGA Certification Services LLC in Maine. Certified organic producers must keep careful records of their practices and are inspected annually to ensure compliance with federal organic standards. Today’s marketplace features an abundance of labels, such as "all natural" and "naturally grown." Certified organic is one of the few that involves an independent, third-party verified process.

Other sources:

http://naturallysavvy.com/live/top-10-reasons-to-eat-organic
http://nofavt.org/find-organic-local-food/why-choose-certified-organic-locally-grown

 


View or download our Buy Organic publications

Our Buy Organic outreach publications are colorful, informative – and free!

You may download them for printing, or you may publish them on your website, newsletters or social media.

Order copies on the MOFGA Country Store!
Order printed copies of our publications
here.
Order copies of the
Seasonal Food Guides here.
A minimal shipping charge will be added.
Our Why Buy Certified Organic poster is available in two sizes: letter size (8.5 wide x 11 inches tall) and large (15.5 inches wide x 22.5 inches tall).

Letter size JPEG
Letter size PDF
Large PDF
Why Buy MOFGA Certified Organic poster

My Maine Organic Plate – our Local AND Organic version of the USDA's "My Plate" – is available as a letter size poster and a 4- x 6-inch postcard.

Letter size poster JPEG
Letter size poster PDF
Postcard size JPEG
Postcard size PDF

MOFGA My Maine Organic Plate Our popular Seasonal Food Guides now emphasize Local AND Organic! Brochures are 3.5 inches wide x 4.25 inches tall and are packed with information on both sides.
Click on the images to view or download PDF files of individual brochures.
MOFGA January-April Maine Seasonal Food Guide
Our Maine Organic 20 roster of Local AND Organic foods produced in Maine is available as a 4- x 6-inch postcard.

Postcard size JPEG
Postcard size PDF
MOFGA Maine Organic 20 MOFGA May-June Maine Seasonal Food Guide MOFGA July-August Maine Seasonal Food Guide
Our Local + Organic Better Together! is available as a large poster, a letter size poster, and a postcard.
Large PDF
Letter size JPEG
Letter size PDF
Postcard size JPEG
Postcard size PDF
MOFGA Local + Organic Better Together MOFGA September-October Maine Seasonal Food Guide MOFGA November-December Maine Seasonal Food Guide
Our Tips for Eating Organic on a Budget is available as a letter size poster and a postcard.

Letter size JPEG
Letter size PDF
Postcard size JPEG
Postcard size PDF
   

We would love your feedback regarding these publications: Please contact Heather Omand at homand@mofga.org with questions and comments, or submit your comments online using our Feedback Form.

 
Local + Organic Better Together and Tips for Eating Organic on a Budget were adapted by MOFGA from concepts originated by Atlantic Canadian Organic Regional Network (ACORN). Learn more about ACORN at acornorganic.org.  

 


Trends in Organic Production

Marketing Tookits

MOFGA has assembled the following Marketing Toolkits for using in outreach to businesses that could source more local AND organic products. It includes FAQ's about organic agriculture, trends in the organic market, accessible infographics, and information about the services MOFGA can provide. Please feel free to utilize this information in any way that may be helpful to you. These toolkits were made available at the 2016 Maine Grocer and Food Producers Summit and will also be mailed directly to 250+ Maine businesses. It is our intention to also produce a version specifically oriented to certified farmers by the end of 2016.

Marketing Toolkit Introductory Letter
Frequently Asked Questions

M2B Services

Trends in Organic Agriculture

Trends in Organic Production

Wholesale Farmer Profiles

Why Consumers Choose Organic

 
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