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When you see this symbol in Jimbo’s…Naturally! produce department, it means that the product was grown on a farm in San Diego County. Once harvested, the produce is usually delivered directly to the Jimbo’s stores, thereby maximizing freshness and quality, and minimizing the carbon footprint.
From the very first day we opened our doors for business, Jimbo’s…Naturally! has been committed to supporting organic growing practices. It’s a commitment that touches the very heart and soul of our business. And it’s a commitment to the best: the highest quality, freshest, healthiest food from farmers who work in concert with nature.
To me, organically grown means more than a label put on produce by third-party certifying agencies. While these agencies play an important role, my personal commitment to organically grown food and my longstanding relationships with local growers are what count. Call it the “Jimbo’s label.” That label means I believe in what I sell. I believe in selling food grown in ways that sustain the soil and support the natural environment. I believe in offering my customers food that is as healthy and wholesome as the food I feed my four children from our own organic garden at home.
I am fortunate to be in a field that is now “growing” so rapidly, as more people discover how good organically grown food tastes. However, my own roots go back a long ways, even to the days before certifying agencies existed. For nearly 30 years, I’ve been building and nurturing relations with organic growers, organic distributors and especially local organic farmers. Our produce managers know these local farms and are always welcome for visits. Because of these relationships, Jimbo’s…Naturally! gets first pick from their crops and often gets produce when other retailers may not. So you know you’re getting the freshest organically grown fruits and vegetables—from farmers whose integrity we know and value.
Our commitment to “organically grown” carries itself throughout my stores, extending to the deli and bakery, the bulk bins, the dairy section and more. In fact, we stock as many organically grown products as possible in every area of the store. Still, our pride and joy is our produce department. Jimbo’s…Naturally! carries the largest selection of organically grown produce that we’ve seen anywhere in the country! We do so at competitive prices.
It is also my personal commitment to constantly seek new sources of organically grown food for the store. I do this not only to provide healthy food to my customers and to support earth-sustaining farming practices, but for the well-being of farm workers; organically grown means no exposure to toxic chemicals.
Ultimately, I make this commitment for our children. They are our future. In a world increasingly endangered by pollutants, dangerous chemicals and pesticides, we have to be concerned about unsafe levels of exposure for our children. Though it is unfortunate that adults are put in potential risk, it is particularly distressing to see our children and our future placed in jeopardy. We at Jimbo’s…Naturally! are proud to contribute to the effort to make this world a better place for our children. We want you to join us!
So, when you pick up those apples, squashes, melons or greens, look for the “organically grown” label.
And don’t forget, there’s another label—the invisible “Jimbo’s…Naturally! label” that is my commitment to provide the freshest, highest quality organically grown food available.
…it used to be that all the food on our dinner tables was “organically grown.” Back then, tomatoes ripened on the vine—bright red and juicy—and tasted like tomatoes, not cardboard. Pest control consisted of armies of ladybugs or chickens pecking for snails. And fertilizer…well the cows took care of that.
Farmers didn’t depend on synthetic pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers, like so many do today. Those chemicals didn’t even exist. Neither did artificial chemical food additives. And the only thing irradiating crops back then was the sun.
The food at Jimbo’s…Naturally! takes us back to those times: pure, wholesome food, just like it used to be. Yet, today’s organically grown food is even more than that. It’s food grown with a modern awareness that supports organic farming as beneficial to us, our children and the environment.
Our philosophy is simple, but the issues surrounding organically grown food can seem confusing and complex. In this brochure, we’ll answer some of the most common questions about organically grown food.
What is organically grown food?
Put simply, it is food grown without the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides or herbicides and processed without such procedures as irradiation (exposes food to byproducts of the nuclear power to extend shelf life) and genetic engineering (a variety of methods used to genetically modify organisms or influence their growth and development by means that are not possible under natural conditions or processes). But that is just the beginning. Organic farming encompasses an entire philosophy that nurtures—rather than depletes—the soil in which crops grow. This philosophy takes into account natural rhythms and cycles. Organic farmers use nature’s own solutions to overcome problems. In doing so, they reduce chemical contamination of the environment and contribute to the health of the land now and for future generations.
How do organic growing practices differ from conventional methods?
Rather than administer chemical fertilizers, organic growers prefer to build and nourish the soil with procedures such as cover crops—temporary crops that impart valuable nutrients when plowed under. They sustain soil fertility through crop rotation and by adding natural nutrients such as bone meal, fish meal, seaweed or animal manure. They weed the old-fashioned way—by hand—rather than apply herbicides. And they let nature participate in pest control, releasing predator insects instead of instead of spraying with pesticides. As one organic grower puts it, “This country was built on the wealth of its soil. We are losing that, and we have to work with nature to get it back.”
What is the difference in taste and nutrition between organically grown produce and food that is grown conventionally?
Nutritional value depends on the specific mineral content of the soil in which the crop is grown. But we believe that organic growing practices—which concentrate on building healthy, fertile soil—almost always translate into a nutritionally superior product. The same goes for flavor. And because so much of Jimbo’s…Naturally! produce is locally grown, you also get the freshest products in the
“Instead of dominating nature, we have to acknowledge that nature is our source and best teacher.”
Does it really matter whether we feed our children fruits and vegetables that are organically grown?
We at Jimbo’s…Naturally! believe strongly that it does matter. Here’s why: Pound for pound, children eat more than adults. This is no news to parents. Unfortunately, if the food is not organically grown, the more kids eat the more pesticides they take in. This can multiply their health risks from toxic pesticide residues. Children also eat far more fruit, relative to their body weight, than do adults.
While fruit is invaluable in the diet, it is more likely than other foods to be contaminated with pesticide residues when not grown organically. Their immature physiologies also may make the young more susceptible than adults to the toxic effects of pesticides. Yet most government standards for acceptable pesticides residues in food are based on adult eating patterns. The exact magnitude of the health risk to children is open to debate but there is little question that children face a higher risk from pesticides than adults.
Eating food grown without these dangerous chemicals makes the whole question simpler. When you feed your children organically grown food, you know you are giving them the healthiest nature has to offer.
How can I be certain that something is truly organically grown?
The only way to be 100 percent certain is to grow it yourself. The rewards are great, as any home gardener knows. But if that’s not possible, the next best thing is to know your grocer. We at Jimbo’s…Naturally! want to be as certain as you do about our food, so we rely both on third-party certification and on knowing our own suppliers.
Certification by an independent third party is a voluntary lengthy and sometimes costly process in which members adhere to strict regulations governing the growing, producing and even packaging of organically grown foods. Inspectors visit each farm and processing facility, conducting interviews, evaluating soil samples and more. Members are subject to spot checks and must maintain an “audit trail” documenting how they meet standards. That certification is important to us. But the honesty and integrity that stands behind every Jimbo’s…Naturally! product are equally vital to ensuring that what you’re buying is truly organically grown.
During our decade and more in business, we’ve built up solid relationships with local organic growers. We talk to them. We visit their farms. We eat their food. All this means more reliable organically grown produce for you.
Does organically grown food cost more?
The answer may surprise you: not always. Generally, prices for organically grown produce are slightly higher than for conventionally grown produce. That reflects the more labor-intensive organic growing practices, such as weeding by hand rather spraying herbicides. Nevertheless, Jimbo’s…Naturally! prices often are competitive with—and sometimes lower than—the cost of conventionally grown produce. Moreover, prices for conventionally grown produce don’t take into consideration the toll that the industry’s growing practices take on the environment. When we pay higher prices for organically grown food, we contribute to a system of agriculture that sustains and nourishes the soil. We believe it’s worth every penny.
“In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations.”
-From the Great Law of the Iroquois Confederacy
In the Produce Aisles
We at Jimbo’s…Naturally! always strive to carry certified organically grown produce. From time to time, however, certain produce staples or other noteworthy items are not available organically grown. We label all our produce carefully, using the following definitions:
Grown without synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides, or herbicides. Jimbo’s…Naturally! includes in this category those items certified by a recognized, independent third party. At no time will we sell an item as organically grown, if we have any shred of doubt as to whether it is truly grown organically.
CONVENTIONAL PESTICIDE-FREE (OR UNSPRAYED)
May be grown with chemical fertilizers, but no pesticides are used beyond the bloom stage (hence, any fruit is unsprayed). Often, growers will provide lab test results verifying that no chemicals residues are present on the product. Jimbo’s…Naturally! also uses this label for some produce that growers claim is organically grown but which lacks certification.
Produce from a farm on its way to organic certification. When a farm converts from conventional growing practices to organic techniques, it must wait three years (depending on individual state laws) before becoming certified.
CONVENTIONAL (OR COMMERCIAL)
Grown with synthetic fertilizers, pesticides and fungicides to aid, protect and speed up the growth of crops. Other chemicals are used to reduce labor costs and spoilage.
For Additional Reading
From the Good Earth: A Celebration of Growing Food Around the World
By Michael Ableman
Organically Grown Food: A Consumer’s Guide
By Theodore Wood Carlat
Meeting the Expectations of the Land
By Jackson, Berry & Coleman, editors
Farming in Nature’s Image: An Ecological Approach to Agriculture
By Piper & Soule