I am trying myself to get a better understanding of what ‘Organic’ really means and am slowly starting to shift to buying organic foods so I want to do a series about all of the things that I am learning! We’re going to start pretty basic today.
What does Organic mean, Exactly?
The USDA states that the goal of organic foods and organic farming is to “integrate cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity.”
Put simply, if you see the “USDA Organic” or “Certified Organic” seal on your food, the item must have ingredients listed and the contents should be 95% or more certified organic, meaning free of synthetic additives like pesticides, chemical fertilizers, and dyes, and must not be processed using industrial solvents, irradiation, or genetic engineering, according to the USDA. The remaining 5% may only be foods or processed with additives on an approved list.
I personally have always been a little skeptical of that USDA organic label but after taking a look at their website it appears that the process of getting this designation is pretty lengthy, and if violated can lead to some hefty fees for companies. Although at times the term “organic” may just seem like a marketing term with little meaning, I’d say that when you buy organic goods at most stores and from most known brands, you can be largely sure that it meets the guidelines listed above.
Next week we are going to explore the benefits of choosing organic foods. Stay tuned!