The Real Dirt on Organic Farming


The secret to organic food really isn’t a mystery. In fact, it’s right beneath our feet.

It’s the dirt. Or, as organic farmers call it: Soil.

Much of conventional agriculture today focuses on the concept of maximum yield. The idea is to generate the most bushels of corn…or wheat…or soybeans…or whatever during the annual growing season. In the years since the end of World War II, the art of growing more has focused on delivering the maximum amount of nutrients directly to the roots of the growing plants so that those plants will in turn deliver maximum yields.

But these chemical fertilizers, along with synthetic pesticides injected into the ground, killed much of the living matter in the soil. Earthworms, microbes and other living matter weren’t considered important as long as the chemical fertilizer fed the plants.

And soil erosion, along with chemical runoff, have become ever-increasing problems.

Organic farmers look at the world—and at dirt—a little differently. The focus in organic agriculture is to build the soil. Removing the synthetic fertilizers and bringing back compost, and soil building plants like alfalfa help restore life to the soil. Earthworms turn the decaying organic matter into nutrients that feed the roots of the plants, while their burrowing action helps create passageways for those roots to spread. The tiny microbes also provide the plants with important nutrients.

Healthy soil is the cornerstone of growing healthy food in organic farming. And, healthy soil resists wind erosion, and stores moisture that plants need when droughts occur. That’s the real dirt on organic farming.

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2 Responses to The Real Dirt on Organic Farming

  1. Dina says:

    Organic farming is such a good thing! Since many of your items are available at Wal Mart, I’m wondering where you are sourcing all of your produce and ingredients for your canned goods.

    If it’s being organically farmed where pesticides are not used, but the food will be loaded with lead, I’m not sure that is truly a benefit.

    Kudos to Wild Oats for landing a huge distributor like Wal Mart, and I hope it doesn’t degrade the quality consumers expect from the Organic certification.

    • Aisleagh Jackson says:

      Thank you, Dina! We agree that organic farming is a good thing, and are proud to support it. Our cans do not contain any lead, nor should they- lead-soldering has been effectively banned since 1996. For more on that, check out: Our cans are also made without BPA, so you can rest easy on that front.

      All of our organic products are USDA certified, ensuring they meet the same high standard of Organic that you expect. We are fortunate enough to have Dave Carter, former Chair of the USDA National Organic Standards Board, on our team, and he has a number of great articles on the subject. You might enjoy for more on the subject.

      Thank you again for your support and well wishes!

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