What Does "Organic" Mean?
You see the word "organic" thrown around a lot these days. Everywhere you look, foods are being touted as being organic, which usually equates to a significant increase in the price of the food. While most people know the term "organic" refers to fruits and vegetables that were grown and brought to market without use of harmful chemicals like herbicides and pesticides, they know little else about organic foods.
The simple definition of organic food is that it's food produced naturally, without use of the following items:
- Synthetic chemicals.
- Synthetic fertilizers.
- Growth hormones.
- Sewage sludge.
- Genetically modified ingredients.
- Ionizing radiation.
Organic farms have to be inspected and certified by a government agent before they're allowed to label their foods as organic. Companies that process organic foods also have to be certified in order to ensure the food is being handled and/or processed in a manner that qualifies as organic.
Labeling of Organic Foods
There's something you need to know about foods that are labeled as being organic. The word "organic" being on the box of a food item doesn't always equate to the food being completely organic. The USDA allows for three different methods of labeling organic foods, all of which may lead consumers to believe they're buying fully-organic foods when they're actually only getting some organic ingredients.