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By | September 21st, 2023 | Organic News |

Pumpkin spice lattes aren’t the only thing to celebrate this month. September is also Organic Month! Behind every bite of delicious organic fall food you eat, there’s an organic farmer, pioneer, or brand to thank.

Organic for your health

For anyone new to organic, let’s review the definition.

The USDA Organic seal indicates that food has been grown in tandem with nature. Organic farmers must look out for the health of humans, animals, and the environment by avoiding the use of harmful substances like toxic persistent pesticides. Organic is the only label that guarantees you are avoiding the more than 700 toxic chemicals used in conventional food production.

Autumn is also the beginning of flu season and the time when our bodies are also susceptible to seasonal allergies. Staying healthy and boosting immunity is key, and one of the best ways to achieve this goal is to choose organic.

Research shows organic foods, body care products, and textiles are healthier than their conventional counterparts.

Highlights from the research:

Eating organic fruits and vegetables could increase your antioxidant intake by 20 to 40 percent.
Organic strawberries have more nutrients and antioxidants than their conventional counterparts.
Organic tomatoes are 50 percent higher in vitamin C than conventional tomatoes.

When you skip the chemicals and eat organic seasonal foods, you’re all but guaranteeing a healthy start to the fall season.

The beginning of autumn is the perfect time to think about extending the bountiful organic harvest into the colder season. Eating with the season and preserving the harvest is the most effective way to save money on organic food and stay healthy. We’ve uncovered 10 ways to eat organic food far into the winter, when organic produce is more expensive and not as readily available.

Fall harvest

Let’s dive into the wonderful world of harvesting.

Harvesting is like a celebration of nature’s bounty, and it’s such a joyful word. It derives from the Old English word “haerfest,” orautumn. It’s all about reaping the rewards of our hard work, gathering up the goodness that Mother Nature has been growing for us, and storing it for the season ahead.

This season is all about abundance and joy, a culmination of many months of dedication and nurturing. It’s a time to celebrate with traditions and festivals that express gratitude for the crops and food that grace our tables. Thanksgiving, for example, is one big thank-you to the harvest.

Now, let’s talk about the stars of the fall harvest show – fruits and veggies.

Fall is a season of plenty, and there’s a cornucopia of other delectable delights to enjoy, like pumpkins, corn, apples, zucchini, squash, beets, carrots, green beans, cabbage, kale, broccoli, celery, brussels sprouts, grapes, pears, and pomegranates. It’s like a treasure chest of flavors waiting to be discovered!

Fall foods for your health

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” is not just a well-known quote from Hippocrates. It’s also a guide for selecting organic fall produce. We recommend looking for foods rich in essential nutrients.

Use this list to shop for organic fall produce:

Vitamin A–rich fall foods include carrots, sweet potato, spinach, broccoli, and red bell peppers.
Vitamin C helps stimulate the formation of antibodies. Foods to look for in the fall that are high in vitamin C include citrus fruits, red bell pepper, broccoli, kale, and kiwi.
Vitamin E promotes the neutralization of free radicals by working as an antioxidant. Organic foods full of vitamin E include nuts, seeds, and avocado.
There are many zinc-dependent enzymes in our body, and deficiency has been linked with immune dysfunction. Zinc-rich foods include beans, seeds, nuts, meat, poultry, and seafood.
Vitamin D foods are important – studies find “vitamin D deficiency is a global problem, thought to be related to lack of sunlight exposure, and usually accompanied by reduced dietary intake.”
Specific amino acids found in protein are essential for T-cell function, which are cells that protect the body against pathogens. Meats, poultry, seafood, eggs, beans, nuts, and seeds all contain lots of protein. It’s important to choose certified organic meats, poultry, and vegan protein sources.

If you’re new to eating organic proteins and vitamin D–rich foods, options from our brand partners include organic dairy products from StonyfieldOrganic ValleyHorizon, and Alden’sand organic eggs from Egg InnovationsHandsome Brook Farms, and Pete & Gerry’sApplegate carries several organic meat options that readily available across the U.S., and Patagonia offers wild smoked salmon.

In addition to focusing on organic foods and drinks, you can also add organic supplements to your daily regimen for staying healthy. Increase your intake of herbs, adaptogens, antioxidants, and vitamins using our recommended organic supplements, from Megafoods and Garden of Eden.

Organic fall harvest is climate-friendly

When climate change and the climate crisis take center stage in our lives, we must recognize the pioneering efforts of organic farmers and ranchers who have long been at the forefront of sustainable agriculture. Well before these topics gained prominence in the media and during family meals, these dedicated individuals were diligently crafting and implementing rigorous production systems aimed at safeguarding the environment, animal welfare, and human health.

Indeed, the organic farming community has always been committed to a higher standard. Under the guidance of the Organic Foods Production Act, organic producers must not onlymaintain but actively enhance the natural resources in and around their farms. This includes developing plans to rejuvenate soil health while preserving water, wetlands, and wildlife habitats. The results of their unwavering dedication are nothing short of remarkable. They include:

1. Enhanced soil health – organic farming practices lead to the cultivation of healthier soils, boasting a remarkable 13percent higher total organic matter content. Moreover, these soils excel in capturing an impressive 44 percent more stable sequestered carbon. This is a triumph for agriculture and a vital contribution to lessen the effects of climate change.
2. Flourishing biodiversity – organic operations don’t justsustain ecosystems; they actively promote them. By embracing regenerative agriculture, organic farmers increase pollinator diversity by up to 50 percent, supporting critical elements of our food chain. They also boost overall biodiversity by a significant 30 percent, fostering a richer, more resilient environment.
3. Energy efficiency – in a world grappling with energy consumption and its environmental consequences, organic agriculture stands as a beacon of hope. It uses a staggering 61 percent less energy, compared to conventional production methods. This translates to a substantial reduction in the burning of fossil fuels, a pressing concern in our battle against climate change.
4. Resilience in drought – as we face the challenges of a changing climate, the ability to weather droughts is of paramount importance. Organic farming systems exhibit their mettle in times of water scarcity, delivering yields that can surpass conventional systems by up to 40 percent. This resilience is crucial for food security and showcases the effectiveness of sustainable agricultural practices.

While climate change and the climate crisis may have found their way into our daily discourse, organic farmers and ranchers have been quietly and diligently leading the charge towards a more sustainable, resilient, and environmentally responsible future. Their efforts not only safeguard our planet but also provide a blueprint for a healthier, more sustainable world that benefits us all.

To help you find organic produce, we recommend shopping directly from your local farmer by joining a community-supported agriculture organization, or CSA, or visiting a farmer’s market.

Choosing fresh organic produce is a matter of personal health as well as a conscientious choice for the planet and future generations. When we choose fresh organic produce, we nourish our bodies with wholesome, pesticide-free goodness andcontribute to a more sustainable and environmentally friendly food system that prioritizes health, sustainability, and the well-being of the planet.

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