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What is Organic?

Updated: Feb 28, 2023

Do you wonder what does organic mean?

Are organic products really organic?

Organic and conventional farming both involve pesticide use but there are differences.

In this article we will discuss the following:

  • What does organic mean?

  • What makes something organic?

  • What is conventional farming?

What is Organic?

Organic is defined as involving the use of food produced with the use of feed or fertilizer of plant or animal sources without the addition of chemically formulated fertilizers, growth stimulants, antibiotics, or pesticides. According to the USDA, certified organic foods are grown and processed by the following:

  • soil quality

  • animal raising practices

  • pest and weed control

  • the use of additives

What Makes Something Organic?

Produce is recognized as certified organic if the soil has had no prohibited substances at least three years before harvest. Prohibited substances consist of most synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. Organic produce is grown with fertilizer and pesticides but with non-synthetic substances.

Meat products are recognized as certified organic if their living conditions reflect their natural habitat and behaviors. These reflections are as followed:

  • produced without genetic engineering

  • ability to graze on pasture

  • fed organic feed and forage

Organic Processed Foods

Organic processed foods are prohibited from containing artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors. Their ingredients must be organic but there are exceptions. Organic processed foods can contain approved non-agricultural ingredients such as:

  • enzymes in yogurt

  • pectin in fruit jam

  • baking soda in baked goods

Made with organic (specific ingredient or food group)products contain at least 70% organic ingredients. The remaining non-organic ingredients are produced without prohibited substances.

Do you have to eat "organic" to be considered healthy? (answer at end of article)

  • True

  • False

What is Conventional Farming?

Conventional grown products differ from organic. Conventional farming is the use of seeds that have been genetically altered using a variety of traditional breeding methods, excluding biotechnology, and are not certified as organic. Conventional farming is used to grow crops faster, get a desired taste, higher yields, pest and disease resistance.

Did you enjoy this article? If so, like and leave us a comment and share with someone!

Poll Answer: False

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