It took 57 years and a dozen farm bills for organic to get a place in the nearly 1,000-page legislation that defines contemporary American agricultural policy.
Food systems contribute 19%– 29% of human-caused global greenhouse gas emissions, with agricultural production contributing around 90% of total food system emissions. Recent research has also shown that conventional farming systems degrade the carbon stores in our soils. Poor agricultural practices lead to a breakdown of soil organic carbon that then is released into the atmosphere as the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide.
Although restaurants in the United States offering organic food don’t need to be certified to do so, one fast casual restaurant has chosen that route to become the first USDA certified organic fast food restaurant chain in the nation—a fact it has trademarked.
The continued success of our organic sector demands that organic standards be robust, consistent and clear to stay meaningful and maintain the integrity of organic and the organic seal.
Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are stepping up to support the advancement of organic agriculture in the United States. These organic champions are publicly advocating for an equal playing field for organic farmers, more research devoted to organic-specific production challenges, and adequate funds for the National Organic Program to maintain the integrity of organic, prevent fraud and uphold organic’s strict standards.