Veganic agricultural practices encompass all of the principles of organic certification but goes well beyond the USDA organic requirements. These include, but are not limited to, using no animal byproducts (manure, blood meal, bone meal, feather meal, fish emulsion, etc.), banning all broad spectrum pesticides that are known to harm beneficial insects and pollinators, and an annual plan to decrease off farm sources of fertility from one year to the next.
So why grow veganically?
In a recent report by scientists found that nearly 51% of annual manmade greenhouse emissions came from commercial livestock (source: World Watch, November/December 2009). It is predicted that by 2050 agriculture will expand by 80%, meaning the impact of foods with large carbon footprints will grow proportionally (source: Nature International Weekly Journal of Science, 2014). According to the Environmental Working Group one pound of beef produced results in 13 lb of CO2 introduced into the environment, whereas the highest listed vegetable on the list, the potato, creates 1.3 lb of CO2 (source: EWG.org, 2011). So eating one pound of potatoes is the equivalent of driving your car three miles, versus driving your car 28 miles when eating one pound of beef.
At Lazy Millennial Farms we believe it is our responsibility to not only minimize our environmental impact, but we want to help both the local and global ecosystem. By opting out and refusing to support commercial livestock, we believe we are making a major impact on our own environmental impact, as well as leading the charge into what we see as the future of American agriculture. Two farms are currently listened in the Veganic Agriculture Network’s veganic farm list, however, neither of these farms are certified veganic. Lazy Millennial Farms is certified by the major veganic certifying body: the Stockfree Organic certification.
Lazy Millennial Farm is an organic farm, currently being certified by the California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF). USDA Organic Certification is a federally regulated framework governing all inputs and practices regarding organic produce. There are 80 USDA Accredited Certifying Agents who audit all farms and facilities who want the seal (CCOF being one of these agents). The USDA Organic seal means, among many other things, no synthetic chemical inputs (chemical fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, etc.), no GMO crops, and an inclusion of a crop rotation plan. Organic farms are audited at least once a year to remain certified.
At Lazy Millennial Farms we believe that organic agriculture is the future of food production and we are honored to be part of a growing social movement away from conventional, chemical-based agriculture. We believe organic methods produce more nutrient-dense foods that are safer to consume than conventionally grown produce.
Health benefits of eating organic
In 2014 eighteen researchers from Europe and the United States reviewed 343 studies comparing antioxidant levels in organic versus conventional produce. They concluded organic produce contains higher levels of antioxidants, while conventional crops contain greater concentrations of the toxic metal cadmium.
(Source: British Journal of Nutrition, June 2014).
A 2003 study done by the University of Washington showed children consuming primarily organic products would reduce their exposure to pesticides. Concentrations of dimethyl metabolites, a pesticide metabolite, were found six times higher for children eating conventional diets. An earlier 2001 study also found that children who ate exclusively organic products had no measurable pesticide metabolites in their system (Original study: Environmental Health Perspectives, March 2001).
(Source: Environmental Health Perspectives, March 2003).
A 2002 Truman State University study found that organically grown oranges delivered 30% more vitamin C than conventionally grown ones.
(Source: Science Daily Magazine, June 2002).
Sustainability in organics
The Rodale Institute has performed the longest running, side-by-side comparison of organic and conventional agriculture called their Farm Systems Trial. Since 1981, the institute has concluded, among other things, organic yields match conventional, organic outperforms conventional farms during droughts, and organic farming uses 45% less energy than conventional. (Source: RodaleInstitute.org, 2011).
A 2006 report from the University of Michigan concluded that organic agriculture could provide much of the world’s current and future food needs. They also concluding that organic practices could produce two to three times the yield as chemically-based methods. (Source: Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems, June 2006).
Organic corn, soybean and tomato production was found to be comparable in yields in conventional agricultural systems in a three year study by the Iowa State University. It was also concluded that the economic returns on organic corn were significantly higher than the conventional counterpart. (Source: American Journal of Alternative Agriculture, December 2003). Organic farms can feed the world!