People usually buy organic because they want to avoid pesticides and other nasty chemicals in their foods, but there’s another important reason for buying pesticide-free produce: Soil life.
While organic farming side-steps pesticides, it welcomes crop rotation and cover crops, which keep the soil healthy, increase beneficial soil microbes, and even reduces the tendency for crop disease. Unlike traditional farming practices, organic farming is aimed at the long term health of the environment, keeping the soil vibrant for years and even decades.
Uncle Matt’s, a family-owned, 100 percent organic company that produces GMO- and pesticide-free juices and fruit, take their environmentally healthy farming practices seriously. We sat down with the CEO, Matt, and asked him about his personal views on both healthful living and healthful farming.
Why Did You Decide To Get Into The Juice Business?
I’m part of a fourth generation Florida citrus family. The three generations before me were mostly growers that sold only fresh citrus fruit. When I graduated from college in 1993, I started my own import-export company and began shipping citrus juice to bottlers in Europe. Eventually, they inquired about organic juice, and it led me to starting Uncle Matts because there was no organic OJ available in the US supermarkets.
My family also believed in organic farming and the long term benefits to the soil and tree health. Uncle Matt’s Organic was started in June 1999.
Why Are You So Passionate About Organic Produce?
We only farm organic because we believe it’s a better way to farm. Organic is an earth friendly, sustainable farming method that reduces the use of toxic pesticides. It’s an easy choice for us.
What Steps Do You Take to Make Sure Your Produce is GMO-Free And Organic?
We are USDA certified organic, which means we have to keep detailed records and face annual audits and onsite inspections. Organic production does not allow the use of GMOs.
What Makes Uncle Matt’s OJ Different From Typical Grocery Store OJ?
Number one we are certified organic, so we take extra care in the growing of our citrus. Building a healthy soil yields healthy fruit. We are also free of any flavor packets, GMOs, preservatives, or artificial sweeteners. We only give you what Mother Nature gives us, naturally sweet, organic and nutrient dense OJ.
How Do You Personally Incorporate Healthy Eating Into Your Life?
Our family including myself, my wife and two kids live an organic lifestyle. We have a backyard organic vegetable garden, honeybees, and even pastured chickens. We like to see how much food we can provide from our own hands, since we know how it was grown. Plus I’m blessed with a wife who is a fantastic cook and kids that love to help out.