This page may in some future, be under construction.
It hasn't been updated substantially in ages, but we'll do just that - if time ever permits.
Organic is the only sustainable agriculture.
When it comes to sprouts, organic is even a bigger deal. Sprouts have been blamed for several food-borne illness "outbreaks" (see our food safety page) over the past decade, and it has been true in EVERY case, that the seed used was NOT organic. When you eat a sprout you are eating the seed. It is for that reason that sprouts that do not use organic seed can not be certified organic. Beware the sprout grower/seller who claims that they are organic because they don't use fertilizer or pesticide. There are way too many sprout growers who label their product "organically grown" even though they have absolutely no connection to organics - except that they wish to derive extra profits by associating themselves. They care for money - not for the Earth or your health. We have been responsible for co-ops dropping such products - or at least altering the labeling to omit this lie.
By nature sprouts are grown with water only, there are some additives in commercial sprout growing - usually bleach and gasses - but no one uses fertilizers and pesticides (at least I don't think so, though I guess I wouldn't be surprised - people are usually more concerned with selling than quality) on sprouts. If you care about organic food you should either know the grower enough to know that they are indeed organic or you should only deal with certified organic growers/products.
The federal (USDA) standards that finally came into being in 2002 (after many years of work and perhaps too much compromise) are not, in our opinion enough to judge by. In 2003 for example, there was a "coup" that resulted in hugely corrupt use of the word "organic". It was reversed thanks to many letters and a huge public outcry, but the fact that we have to be so vigilant is an indication of how precarious federal standards are. Over the next decade-plus it has taken a cadre of watchdog organizations to keep the USDA and the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) true to the original rules as they relate to organic standards. In 2017 The Cornucopia Institute was forced to sue the USDA regarding argribusiness executives being appointed to seats on NOSB that Congress had reserved for farmers. In another case in the Spring of 2017, Cornucopia Institute and 14 other stakeholders presented final arguments to a judge concerning arbitrary and unilateral changes made by the USDA to the use of synthetic fertilizerts in organics. Cornucopia Institute has also filed 10 Freedom of Information Act lawsuits spurred by gross, systematic withholding of public documents. Our corporate-owned governemnt has been fighting organic standards every step of the way and we expect this to continue far into the future. So support your favorite watchdog group, and make sure they are an authentic organization and not some tarted-up corporate front group! As far as we're concerned we think it is still necessary to use our hearts as well as our heads when we shop. We buy from farmers (at farmers markets) we trust, stores we trust, and companies we trust.
We feel strongly about organic agriculture and so all of our seed comes from certified organic sources. We handle all our seed in compliance with USDA organic standards even though we no longer certify our packing facility (due to time and expense). Because our facility is no longer certified, once we break into a bag of certified organic seed and rebag it into small quantities, technically we can no longer claim it is "organic". We respect the rights of consumers and the organic labeling standards and that is why our labels do not say "Certified Organic" even though ALL of our seed comes from farmers and seed sellers who are USDA certified organic.