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My Organic Moment: Ross Harding

This article is a part of “My Organic Moment,” a series that details the moment in which folks found the Good Food Movement. From health to taste, people connect with Good Food for a variety of reasons. Feel free to share your organic moment by emailing james@georgiaorganics.org.

Ross Harding of Verdant Kitchen holds Flavor of Georgia award.jpg.824x0_q85

Ross Harding poses with his 2015 Flavor of Georgia award.

Ross Harding is the founder of Verdant Kitchen in Savannah, Georgia. Harding has one of the few certified organic ginger and turmeric operations in the country, and creates a product so tasty it caught Oprah’s attention during the 2015 winter holiday season.

The key to Harding’s success? Organic ingredients.

“I lived [in Belgium] for four years and only ate from farmers markets,” said Harding. “But I still remember the first tomato I got from a market. I took it home, ate it and thought, ‘What the hell is this? What could possibly taste this good? This has nothing to do with any tomato I’ve ever eaten.’ Maybe it was my Julia Childs moment, but I realized that products grown the right way are intensely flavorful.”

From there, Harding was hooked on organic food for the flavor alone. As he told Georgia Organics, “You can’t improve upon the ingredients.”

Harding understands the challenges involved in producing organic food. It isn’t the easiest option, nor is it the most cost effective option. But building a gourmet wellness business requires the most premium ingredients.

Additionally, Harding says, the concept that organic foods are expensive is backwards.

“Organic food is not that expensive,” said Harding. “It’s that the rest of the food is so cheap.”

Harding isn’t planning to march on Washington and demand an end to federal corn and oil subsidies. Instead, he is keeping his eyes on their ultimate goal: Creating delicious, healthy food.

“We try to take the spice and turn it in to a product that is delicious, simple and, where possible, healthy,” said Harding.

So far, so good.

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