The Benefits of Sustainable Agriculture Systems
Healthy food is the outcome of farms that employ sustainable agriculture systems and processes in the growth, harvesting, and delivery of food from its source to the table
With the scarcity and high cost of farming land, there are very few large commercial farms in New Jersey. Many of the farms in New Jersey are small family owned or cooperative farms. And while more costly, they are able to effectively apply Sustainable Agriculture Systems and certified organic methods to food production.
With increased demand for healthy food and certified organic farms in New Jersey, many restaurants have taken to using fresh food from local organic farms.
Coupled with more consumers becoming educated to the the benefits and availability of healthy food, pick your own farms are also becoming increasingly popular with families who in addition to wanting fresh locally produced farm products, are enjoying a day out with the kids at a pick your own seasonal farm.
Our new generation of Americans are becoming more aware of the harmful chemical additives and environmental risks resulting from traditional or commercial methods of large factory farming and food production.
According to a CGS survey
, more than two-thirds of Americans consider sustainability when making a purchase and are willing to pay more for "sustainable" products.
The Dangers of Chemical Additives In Our Food Supply
A large quantity of the food we find at today's supermarkets are grown, processed and sold with harmful chemical food additives. These additives change the way food tastes, looks, and increases the food's shelf life.
In an effort to maximize profits, commercial farms use production and growth techniques on domestic animals that include the feeding of animals with low doses of antibiotics, resulting in a risk of producing antibiotic-resistant bacteria in humans.
The Environmental Threats From Large Factory Farms
Factory Farming Is Killing Our Planet!
Commercial produce farms using traditional non- sustainable agriculture systems resort to the use harmful pesticides and fertilizers ultimately seep into ground water, rivers, and streams that find their way into our drinking water.
Sustainable Food and Agriculture Systems
Sustainable agriculture systems are processes and techniques that are used to produce healthy and environmentally safe food.
As a minimum, these agriculture systems are used to ensure that:
- The fertility of the soil is continuously maintained and improved
- The quality of water is protected and enhanced
- The farm workers, and all other factors in food production chain are protected
- The discharge of waste and greenhouse gas emissions are treated to achieve minimal impact on the environment.
While there is no widely recognized body for certification of Sustainable Food and Agriculture systems, the other components, Organic and Bio Dynamic Food and Agriculture systems have certification standards.
Organic Food Certification
The certification of organic food requires farming processes that exclude the use of contamination by human or industrial waste, harmful pesticides, artificial fertilizers, ionizing radiation, and food additives. Livestock must be free of antibiotics and growth hormones.
Note: These suppliers (farms) have been verified either against the List of Certified USDA Organic operations or the list of NJDA-Certified Organic. Only certified operations may sell, label, or represent their product as organic unless exempt or excluded from certification.