What does beyond Organic mean?

 Why ?
 3 "R"s
 Food Ed
  Do Organic products cost more than conventional?

Usually the answer is yes if you consider only the price on the package.

-Eating Organic foods improves health and will reduce health care costs over the long run (and you'll enjoy a better quality of life). Some experts estimate that 50% of our health care costs go to treating illness and disease caused by poor quality food and environmental toxins (including toxins from conventional agriculture)
-If more farming converted to Organic and subsequently we reduced our use of petroleum based fertilizers and pesticides we'd see petroleum prices drop. We would also see our environment improve and reduce associated costs.
-Organic farmers do not receive Federal Farm subsidies. Big Agribusiness reaps multi-billions of dollars in Federal Farm subsidies. There are many more examples like these.
-So, do Organic Products really cost more? We say "NO" in the long run.

Some people ask us "Why do your chicken and eggs cost more?"
Here are a few things we like to tell them about......

Organic Feeds – We only feed from high quality, locally and regionally produced Organic grains. This supports our region economically. Our feed costs up to 2˝ times the price of conventional feed. The benefits are huge however; NO pesticides and no GMO or GE products, both of which have been proven to pose significant dangers to animal and human health.

We “Pasture” our Poultry – Allowing our chickens to graze on living grasses adds many, many nutrients and trace minerals to their diet. This makes for healthy poultry which makes for healthy poultry products. It is important to realize that the “organic” label does not address the nutrition of the products, only how it was grown, processed, etc. It was found in a laboratory study of pastured eggs that pastured eggs had on average:
• nearly 3 times the Vitamin E of conventionally raised eggs,
• nearly 2 times the Vitamin A of conventionally raised eggs,
• nearly 8 times the Beta Carotene of conventionally raised eggs,
• 3 times the Omega 3 EFA’s of conventionally raised eggs,
• 1/3 less cholesterol than conventionally raised eggs,
• 1/3 less saturated fat than conventionally raised eggs.

Pasturing also allows our chickens much more exercise, which in turn substantially increases their feed intake. Pasturing is a much more labor intensive method which increases labor costs too. There is no question in our mind that the end result is a much better product and clearly worth it. It also has environmental benefits as the manure from the chickens replaces remotely produced synthetic or organic fertilizers for our pastures and crops.

We are Certified Organic – There is no substitute for knowing the farmer that produces your food. Unfortunately not everyone has the time or means to accomplish that. Organic Certification is an important means to assure buyers that the organic label means that that those products truly meet the organic standards. Certification, procedures, and the associated record keeping all have a cost impact on the end products.

Humane Standards – We raise our poultry humanely. We observe a collection of standards from several organizations and just use plain old common sense. Our birds get to stretch their wings and practice natural behaviors. They are not forced to breathe the fecal dust of mega-farms or be confined to the 67 square inches of space that the United Egg Producer’s Board says they “must” have. Our cull standards (removing and slaughtering less productive birds) are much more relaxed than most commercial producers. This lessens our productivity but we feel it is an important trade-off.

A recent brief survey of small pastured poultry producers from around the country showed that the average price of their eggs is about $4.69 / dozen. This includes some producers who even use conventional feeds. Given the lengths we go to and the wholesome quality of our products, we feel that our prices make our products a very good value to our customers and given the demand of our eggs, it’s clear that our customers feel the same way.

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