Friday, July 24, 2009

What Exactly is Organic?

A news snippet that I stumbled upon this morning:

"'What is the difference between '100 percent organic' and 'organic'?

Organic has a precise meaning under the USDA's organic program. Certified 100 Percent Organic means that all the ingredients in a product have been grown or raised according to the USDA's organic standards, which are the rules for producing foods labeled organic. Certified Organic requires that 95 to 99 percent of the ingredients follow the rules.

What, exactly, are those rules? Summarizing what's in hundreds of pages in the Federal Register:

Plants cannot be grown with synthetic pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, genetic modification, irradiation or sewage sludge.

Animals must be raised exclusively on organic feed, have access to the outdoors, and cannot be given antimicrobial drugs or hormones.

Producers are inspected to make sure these practices are being followed to the letter."
— Marion Nestle, San Francisco Chronicle

1 comment:

Michelle said...

And then you have the small farms and producers who use organic methods but are not certified. Confusing!