Organic food has been getting all the marketing hype lately. But what about sustainably-produced food?
There’s an interesting article posted by the Agricultural Society, which was created to support the idea that we can live in a sustainable, truly organic, and environmentally-safe world where our living habits work in accordance with nature through the promotion of ecologically sound choices and actions.
The article lists the differences between sustainable and organic:
1. Organic farms must be certified annually by the USDA to carry the label. The sustainable principle is a philosophy and a way of life.
2. Organic farms often produce food in a sustainable manner. On the other side of the spectrum, standards for organic simply require that animals have “outdoor access”. This could be something as menial as through a window screen. And, it means the premises could have a dirt or cement area on which animals spend a majority of their time. So the difference is that sustainable farms provide the room animals need to carry on natural and healthy behaviors, whereas organic may or may not.
3. Organic farmers are prohibited from using antibiotics on animals, while sustainable farmers can choose to use them if their animals become ill, or not at all.
4. Hormone use in animals is prohibited in organic or sustainable-raised animals.
5. Organic farms may be small or corporate (and subsequently, could be operated much like a factory farm) while sustainable food is raised by small farmers. Farm size is also key: Organic farms can be small or large and sustainable farms are maintained on much smaller land plots.
6. Travel distance: Your food can travel any distance and still be labeled “organic.” Sustainable food never travels too far.