Gingerhill Farm embraces organic practices for the sake of healing our bodies, collaborating with nature, and protecting the planet. We employ sustainable agricultural methods to reduce inputs, prevent the need for chemical interventions, and promote soil health and biodiversity. Using organic, sustainable methods, we are able to provide the finest farm to table Hawaii meals. But what does it mean to really be organic? What are the benefits? And, finally, how does working on an organic farm impact our thinking and our lifestyle?

We believe that organic is not just a descriptor or a practice, but also a way of life. In order to provide the freshest, healthiest farm to table Hawaii meals, we must live organically, both in our agricultural endeavors and in our social and spiritual practices. We attempt to parallel the healthy, natural flourishing of our organic gardens in our own lives, living a life unadulterated and free of toxic relationships, communication, and material belongings. Read on to learn more about what it means to be organic at Gingerhill

What is “Certified” Organic?

What does it mean if a product is certified organic? In order for a farm to qualify as certified organic, it must undergo inspection to ensure that it meets the USDA’s stipulations for organic farms. The USDA requires that organic farms use renewable resources and prioritize the conservation of water and soil. A USDA inspector confirms that produce is grown without the use of pesticides, herbicides, synthetic fertilizers, antibiotics, growth hormones, or ionizing radiation–substances that would compromise the nutritional integrity of our farm to table Hawaii meals.

Most inorganic, conventionally raised meats are fed genetically modified hormones that are designed to rapidly increase the size of the animal, thus yielding more meat. When you consume inorganic meats, these hormones are transferred to your body and can wreak havoc on your hormonal, adrenal, and digestive health. The USDA stipulates that organic meats must be raised without the use of these harmful hormones. Additionally, organic farms take steps to prevent animal disease instead of treating livestock with antibiotics. These animals are not only more healthy and happy than their conventionally raised counterparts; they are also free of the substances that lead to antibiotic resistance in humans.

Organic farmers employ crop rotation techniques and utilize natural compounds to enhance soil fertility, ward off weeds and pests, and promote plant growth. Organic farms attempt to reduce inputs by using organic materials, like compost and manure, in place of chemicals. They also conduct strategic interventions, such as pruning and companion plantings, allowing food to flourish with very little maintenance. Such methods of farming are capable of improving soil biodiversity by 30%.

Why Eat Organic

There are a number of compelling reasons to forego processed, conventionally produced foods for wholesome, organic produce, like that we serve in our farm to table Hawaii meals. For one, organic food is never genetically modified, preventing the genetic penetration and DNA alterations responsible for a vast array of diseases. Organic produce contains far less antibiotic-resistant bacteria and lower levels of cadmium, a known carcinogen that is highly toxic to the kidneys and found in inorganic foods. Finally, organic produce is much lower in toxic heavy metals and chemicals. In fact, in just two weeks of eating organic, you can drastically reduce bodily concentrations of organophosphorus pesticides. You will also avoid other negative repercussions of pesticide build up, such as allergic reactions, food intolerances, impaired childhood cognitive development, and much, much more.

Superior Nutritional Density

Furthermore, organic produce is nutritionally superior to its inorganic counterparts. The European Parliamentary Research Service found that organic food is more nutritionally dense that inorganic food. It contains up to 60% more antioxidants, which fight free radical damage and inflammation, thereby preventing disease. Specifically, organic produce contains up to 50% more polyphenols, plant-based antioxidants capable of reducing cardiovascular disease, aging, cancer, and neurodegeneration. The higher nutrient density of organic produce is likely attributable to the superior health of organic soil. Because organic soil is so incredibly nutrient dense, it grows produce that is richer in cancer-fighting flavonoids and other beneficial microbes and compounds. Thus, our organic, farm to table Hawaii produce makes for some of the most nutritionally dense meals on the planet.

Demand for organic produce has skyrocketed in the past 20 years. However, organic farming methods require more labor and attention, resulting in higher market prices in spite of rising demand. If you are looking to buy organic produce, it is thus essential to prioritize your purchases. Some produce, like pineapple, is okay to eat if it isn’t organic. There are certain items, though, that you should always buy organic, including grapes, celery, strawberries, apples, peaches, peppers, spinach, cucumbers, tomatoes, potatoes, and kale.

Organic as a Lifestyle

Now you know what it means to grow organic and why you should eat organic, farm to table Hawaii meals. But what does it mean to live organically? At Gingerhill, our concept of organic extends beyond the realm of the physical, permeating our philosophies of self-conduct and earthly connection.

Minimizing Consumption

Farming organically requires the reduction of inputs. Living organically necessitates the same. An organic lifestyle eschews mindless, hedonistic consumption for its toxic effects on space and self. As a society, we are constantly grasping blindly, white-knuckled, for any semblance of security. We often find this security in our material belongings. They lend us a sense of self; they distract us, protecting our minds from the singeing rawness of reality; and they give us something to feign sentimental attachment to when it is lacking in our human relationships. Living organically means to live unhindered by unnecessary material belongings. When you sever yourself from the meaning and the value you attach to your belongings, you begin to rediscover that meaning and value in yourself. You rekindle attachments to human beings; you rejoice in human conversation; and you encounter reality with thirst instead of fear.

Organic Relationships With Others and the Self

Much as we don’t change the nature of our plants through genetic modification, we do not filter our thoughts and feelings to fulfill selfish ulterior motives. Living organically requires an intimacy with yourself, an honest understanding of your own thoughts, aspirations, and vulnerabilities that is, admittedly, incredibly difficult to foster. An inorganic life is one lived in service of the ego. You convince yourself and others that you are how you want to be. You protect yourself from any challenge to that constructed sense of self. The focus is outward, is on how you impress yourself upon the world, instead of inward. An organic life is one lived in service of honesty and acceptance. You can look inside yourself with honest eyes and embrace your greatest features and ugly flaws. You express yourself earnestly, without pursuing self-interest, and let the universe give what it will in return.

Organic Living and Sustainable Attitudes

Finally, an organic life is one that connects you not just to yourself, but also to the planet. Often, this has less to do with action than with understanding. Someone who does not live or think organically gardens with the intent of manipulating the planet for his or her own selfish purposes. In other words, they can only understand the planet insofar as they understand and exploit its utility. Someone who lives organically understands his or her gardening as a service to and a cooperative project with the planet. Even if these two individuals are employing the very same practices, the disparities in their conceptions of nature draw the line between organic and inorganic lifestyles.

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