Many people are interested in being a part of the organic farming industry, whether they want to be a supporter of it by choosing organic products, or by being a cultivator of organic products. With its strong demand and numerous benefits, it makes a lot of sense why many people like to support it.
However, with this many people in this industry and even more interested in it, it can be easy to get mixed up with some industry terms and facts. One common misconception is the idea that local farming and organic farming are one and the same. The reality is a little more nuanced than that. Learn more about the differences between the two here.
In a nutshell, organic methods of farming refer to cultivation without the use of chemicals for the different steps in farming. You can easily identify organic products by the USDA label that is displayed on their packaging.
Keep in mind that it is illegal to use the USDA organic label if your farm is not certified organic, so if you’re interested in being an organic farm, make sure that you comply with all of the needed requirements to obtain the USDA organic label. Organic methods of cultivation place an emphasis on natural methods of cultivation with minimal chemical intervention
Local farming is less standardized compared to organic. Basically, local farming simply refers to food that has been grown locally, but it is not required that these methods of cultivation be kept to a certain standard, so it is very possible for locally grown food to be grown with the use of chemicals and other methods commonly used in conventional farming.
What’s the difference?
So what exactly is the main difference between the two, and why is this a big deal? The reason why it is important to learn the distinction between organic farming and local farming is that some shops like to use the term local farming to trick people into thinking that they are buying the organic alternative.
Keep in mind that while organic and local go hand-in-hand, it is possible for local produce to not be organic. It helps to learn to read food labels when you are purchasing food, especially if it is for the purpose of improving your eating habits.
If you aren’t careful, you may end up consuming fruits and vegetables that are covered in chemicals or grown in conditions that result in produce that looks good, but is mostly water that adds weight and aesthetic to the crop.