Start researching organics, and you’ll see a slew of debates regarding everything from their nutritional content to their ability to feed the world. If you’re new to the organic marketplace, you’re to be excused if you feel as if it’s all a bit too much.
Learning the facts about organics (as opposed to the common myths) can help you be a more informed shopper. Here’s a rundown of the top eight organic myths, plus the facts on each.
Too often people focus on the idea that organic food is not substantially more nutritious than conventional food. It’s true that some studies have shown organic food is not more nutritious than conventional food, but other research says the opposite.
However, nutritional content (while obviously important for good health) really isn’t the most important point when it comes to the ongoing organic vs. conventional debate. The most important point is pesticide content.
Here’s a quick fact: Pesticides are poisons designed to kill things. There are pesticides designed to kill bugs, larger animals, weeds, and more, but they’re all made to kill. Ask yourself: Is it healthier to eat poison, or to not eat poison? Nutrients aside, why eat a substance specifically designed to kill life when other poison-free options are available?
What is Organic?
The term organic is currently used to describe various sustainable agricultural and food items, textiles, toys, and furniture, mattresses, cosmetics, beverages, and bath and body products and there are many others to list. The term organic is also used as an action. For example, people try to say they are living an organic life or a whole and natural life based on what they see on labels. Many don’t have a clue they are using products approved by the FDA that are more harmful than the ones that don’t carry organic labels.
In many cases, the term organic is used inappropriately, Organic Body care products are a perfect example of when the term organic is used incorrectly; for example, calling a shampoo “organic” that contains harmful chemicals not normally allowed in organic agricultural products.
An organic product in the United States always is considered truly organic when the following conditions are met:
-The product bears the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s official
-USDA Organic Seal
-The product has been certified organic
-The product contains 95% or more organic ingredients
The official term for organics that meet Us Organic is certified. Organic, also sometimes called “USDA certified organic.” Something that’s simply labeled “organic” doesn’t necessarily meet the USDA organic standards, which have been in place since 2002.
However, there are still some exceptions to consider when dealing with organic products, since some products can be “truly organic” but not qualify for that USDA Organic Seal.
To make the issue of real organics even trickier, some accredited agents along with the USDA, have come under fire for certifying products as organic when really the product doesn’t always follow USDA standard for organic or organic certification. For example, a 2010 USDA Inspector General report found that the enforcement of the federal laws governing organics is a total miss and borderline nonexistent.
Poor certification standards seriously confuse the organic issue, because if organic consumers and the organic industry can not trust the USDA then the seal or certifying agents have no integrity to their consumers when buying products. This is why organic integrity among organic growers and producers is so important.