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Organic Food Standards

Updated on January 7, 2015

Organic Food Information

As a consumer, there is organic food information that you need to be eating healthy foods. What makes the organic food diet different from conventional food? How do you know how much organic ingredients are used in a product?

Organic food is produced according to organic food standards. A significant part of those standards is the care of the environment. No harsh chemical pesticides or fertilizers are used. Instead, tried and tested traditional methods are employed.

The organic farmer uses composting and crop rotation to enhance his yield. This is the more traditional method of farming.

To get the most food value from the food you eat, switch to buying organic food whenever you can. It's the natural choice, as you will soon see.

What Your Organic Food Retailer May Not Know?

Buying organic food? 8 surprising facts that your organic food retailer may not know. Find out how to get the most bang for your organic food grocery budget. But first, the organic food facts...

1. Natural source vitamins and minerals are not required to be used in organic foods. The facts about organic food include that synthetic nutrient minerals and vitamins may be used to enrich or fortify foods.

2. Inert gases may be used in packaging; like in sealed coffee for instance.

3. Non-organic seeds may be used to grow organic crops if enough organic seeds aren't available-must be petitioned.

4. A farm operation selling $5,000 or less of organic food is exempt from certification. However, their products may not be used as organic ingredients in processed ingredients of other organically labeled products.

5. Livestock products are not required to be born or hatched on an organic management farm. An example: Poultry can arrive on the organic farm on their 2nd day of life.

6. Producers can petition and obtain exemptions to allow the use of prohibited substances when other means of pest control haven't worked or are unavailable.

7. The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) has a committee to review permitted and not allowed substances. They also recommend clarification of definitions and requirements.

8. Organic food labels come in tiers. Even so, no organic food is required to be 100% organic to obtain an organic label.

The USDA logo can be displayed with 95% organic ingredients. Consider for a moment, what 5% could include. Alright, now let's compare that to all natural food. To be called "all natural," the food must contain 100% natural ingredients-all of the ingredients. If it isn't 100% natural, then it isn't all natural. Pretty straight forward.

This distinction is important. You see, 100% natural is required to be called all natural. This then, is a higher standard than is required to be labeled organic.

There is no standard of regulations or committee governing the use of the term "all natural." The only requirement is that it must be truthful. Straight forward: it either is or it isn't all natural.

What does this mean for you when buying organic food?

1. You must be able to understand the organic food labeling. If you don't, you may be deceived.

2. Buying organic food locally usually means that the producer feeds his/her family the same foods he is selling you. Meaning that they are more likely to stick to the spirit of the legislation and less likely to look for loopholes.

3. Favor the independent processed organic producer over the huge corporate conglomerate when buying organic food. Again, you more likely would be dealing with someone passionate about what they do.

4. 100% all natural is better than a product containing 70% organic ingredients and so is a viable alternative.

Thank Goodness For The Organic Food Standards

Are organic food standards necessary? Whatever a human can dream up to do to our food supply, it seems someone would do it.

Would you ever have imagined that human waste or sewage sludge would be fertilizers?

The logic behind this thinking eludes me. Now, of course, you wouldn't know this had been spread on the soil where your supper was grown.

The organic standards is probably the best assurance you'll ever get of the methods used to produce your food.

There is an Act for Canada and the U.S. Imagine a farm where:

  • only specified fertilizers where permitted
  • no growth hormones were used
  • no genetic modification was accepted
  • no sewage sludge entered in
  • no synthetic chemical pesticides were allowed - care of the land was incorporated into the farming operation.

Sounds a lot like Grandma's farm. Here we truly are taking a step back to go forward.

You get this quality and protection from the Production Act.

You choose certified food for what you get. Now you also know to choose it for what you don't get. A mother's choice made sensibly with facts known.

Stop Food Cravings

We've all wanted to stop food cravings at one time or another. But where do they come from? And should you be giving in to them?

These cravings can naturally come from the body's effort to obtain nutrients we are deficient in.

The unprocessed foods you eat have each more than one nutrient. It is this combination that is most effective.

For example to utilize B, we need calcium and C. You can create a deficiency in one nutrient by over taking another.

This is because they do not act alone. So if you take in high amounts of B without C, you could get sore teeth. A sign of C deficiency.

The mineral content of the soil the food is grown in has a lot to do with the end nutrient value of the food.

Food grown in deficient soil is lower in its own nutrients.
Organic farmers must work in harmony with the environment. This requirement also provides you with valuable nutrients from food grown in nutrient rich soil.
The other cause of intense food "must have it now" feelings comes from food additives. Aspartame causes you to long for foods with this ingredient. It also makes you fat.

Foods containing hydrogenated oils is another source of intense desires. These industrial manufactured oils lack the essential fatty acids you need in your diet. They also block the absorption of nutrients. A double assault.

The result is that you will eat until the required fatty acids are obtained. But, hydrogenated oil foods don't have them, so you have a continuing longing.

The handling for this dilemma is a variety of healthy unprocessed foods. No single food has all you need.

Natural source supplements can benefit your body in its recovery from long term deficiencies. Supplements should never replace a healthy diet, but should only contribute to it.

Organics plays a role in healthy eating by providing the nutrients your body needs and wants. Replace processed foods and you will decrease your food cravings.

Environmentally Friendly Food Exploring The Options

Environmentally friendly food is a title many corporations wish to align themselves with. How is it that organically produced food is good for the environment or eco-friendly?

Well, organic standards are set in law. A farm to be classed as organic must first be pesticide free for three years. Time used to minimize the dangers of pesticides.

Then they can apply.

The land must have a buffer zone to protect from contamination from nearby lands not using organic production practices.

The animals may not be given non-medicinal medication and/or growth hormones. For instance, antibiotics can cause an antibiotic allergy as the medicine gets transferred to the animals tissues and milk. Growth hormones given animals also remain in the tissues resulting in early puberty. The animals must be fed organically grown feed or graze on organic pastures. To limit any risk of mad cow disease, no animal by-product feed may be used.

The farmers must also have a plan in place to deal with waste. They must work with nature to keep soil fertility high. Crops are rotated.

So, yes an organic farm is friendly to the environment. It is a sustainable method of farming that should be encouraged and helped.

But is organic food the only environmentally friendly food option?

With the high demand for healthy and sustainable eating choices, there are two other options.

First is all natural food. For a food to be called all natural food it must be minimally processed. Therefore, you would not see all natural breads. But natural beef is becoming increasingly popular. Small producers are only too happy to fill the need with the same beef they feed their families.

The second option is certified naturally grown. This organization arose out of the high costs associated with the small producers obtaining organic certification. It is run by farmers. What I really like about this group is that they use the organic standards as the starting point for their requirements. They maintain the spirit of the legislation and aren't open to it's alteration for monetary rewards.

Environmentally friendly food uses sustainable agricultural methods. Which means we are not destroying the lands that we rely on to feed us. Organic food and certified naturally grown food provide you with the high nutrient content from food grown in nutrient rich soil. Further, you are encouraging an eco-friendly way of life. A win-win situation.

Is Organic Food Better for Your Health?

Do you eat Organic food atleast twice a week?

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Organic Museum in Korea

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