Certified Naturally Grown (CNG) website
Certified Naturally Grown (CNG) is considered 'the grassroots alternative to certified organic'. It is a US based farm assurance program certifying produce, livestock and apiaries for organic producers who sell locally and directly to their customers. CNG was founded in 2002 by organic farmers Kate and Ron Khosla, as a simpler to administer and less expensive alternative to the USDA's National Organic Program (NOP) certification. CNG uses a standards based on the national organic program.
Certified Naturally Grown farmers are required to submit to an annual inspection and pay a small annual fee. In contrast with the national organic program, where inspections are conducted by a USDA-accredited certifying agency and third-party inspectors, CNG farms are peer reviewed and may be inspected by other CNG farmers, non-CNG farmers, extension agents, master gardeners and customers. All CNG farms are subject to random pesticide residue testing.
Certified Organic USDA website
Organic certification is a certification process for producers of organic food and other organic agricultural products. In general, any business directly involved in food production can be certified, including seed suppliers, farmers, food processors, retailers and restaurants. Requirements vary from country to country, and generally involve a set of production standards for growing, storage, processing, packaging and shipping that include:
- avoidance of synthetic chemical inputs (e.g. fertilizer, pesticides, antibiotics, food additives), genetically modified organisms, irradiation, and the use of sewage sludge
- use of farmland that has been free from prohibited chemical inputs for a number of years (often, three or more)
- for livestock, adhering to specific requirements for feed, housing, and breeding
- keeping detailed written production and sales records (audit trail)
- maintaining strict physical separation of organic products from non-certified products
- undergoing periodic on-site inspections.
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)
Community-supported agriculture (CSA; sometimes known as community-shared agriculture) is an alternative, locally-based economic model of agriculture and food distribution. A CSA also refers to a particular network or association of individuals who have pledged to support one or more local farms, with growers and consumers sharing the risks and benefits of food production. CSA members or subscribers pay at the onset of the growing season for a share of the anticipated harvest; once harvesting begins, they receive weekly shares of vegetables and fruit, in a vegetable box scheme.
Farm to Table
Farm-to-table (or farm-to-fork) refers to the stages of the production of food: harvesting, storage, processing, packaging, sales, and consumption. Farm-to-table also refers to a movement concerned with producing food locally and delivering that food to local consumers. Linked to the local food movement, the movement is promoted by some in the agriculture, food service, and restaurant communities. It may also be associated with organic farming initiatives, sustainable agriculture, and community-supported agriculture.
Genetically Modified Organism (GMO)
GMOs are plants or animals that have undergone a process wherein scientists alter their genes with DNA from different species of living organisms, bacteria, or viruses to get desired traits such as resistance to disease or tolerance of pesticides. Commercial sale of genetically modified crops began in 1994, when Calgene first marketed its Flavr Savr delayed ripening tomato.
To date, most genetic modification of foods have primarily focused on cash crops in high demand by farmers such as soybean, corn, canola, and cotton seed oil. These have been engineered for resistance to pathogens and herbicides and better nutrient profiles. GM livestock have also been experimentally developed, although as of November 2013 none are on the market.
Heirloom seeds are open-pollinated, meaning they rely on natural pollination from insects or the wind. Generally, heirloom plants are grown on a small scale using traditional techniques, and are raised from seeds that are at least 50 years old.
In agriculture and gardening, hybrid seed is seed produced by cross-pollinated plants. Hybrid seed production is predominant in agriculture and home gardening. It is one of the main contributors to the dramatic rise in agricultural output during the last half of the 20th century.
Locally Grown, Regionally Grown
Local food or the local food movement is a "collaborative effort to build more locally based, self-reliant food economies - one in which sustainable food production, processing, distribution, and consumption is integrated to enhance the economic, environmental and social health of a particular place."
Open Pollinated Seeds
The seeds of open-pollinated plants will produce new generations of those plants; however, because breeding is uncontrolled and the pollen (male parent) source is unknown, open pollination may result in plants that vary widely in genetic traits. Open pollination may increase biodiversity.
Organic, Organically Grown
The term “organic” refers to the way agricultural products are grown and processed. Specific requirements must be met and maintained in order for products to be labeled as "organic." Organic crops must be grown in safe soil, have no modifications, and must remain separate from conventional products. Farmers are not allowed to use synthetic pesticides, bioengineered genes (GMOs), petroleum-based fertilizers, and sewage sludge-based fertilizers. Organic livestock must have access to the outdoors and be given organic feed. They may not be given antibiotics, growth hormones, or any animal-by-products.