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What Does Organic Really Mean?

The word 'Organic' is pretty popular. But are you sure you know exactly what it means? Let's figure out what supermarkets and farmers want to sell us.

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Organic Products

The National Organic Program run by the Department of Agriculture is

the US federal regulatory framework governing organic food. They

define products as organic based on ingredients and offer different

degrees of certified organic that manufacturers can advertise.

Products labeled as organic or 100% organic must be more than 95%

natural with the remaining 5% of ingredients being products that are

not sold commercially in an organically produced from and have been

inspected by an expert to ensure all FDA requirements are being meet.

Products labeled as made with organic ingredients must use 70% or

more of organically produced materials. Companies are allowed to list

three ingredients as organic on the main side of the label. Manufacturers

of these products cannot use the USDA seal on these products.

Organic Produce

Organic produce is also monitored and regulated by the National

Organic Program. Fruits and Vegetables bearing the USDA Organic label

are produced by farmer's that avoid the use of pesticides and chemicals

during the growing process. Crops must be produced without

conventional pesticides (including herbicides), synthetic fertilizers,

sewage sludge, bioengineering, or ionizing radiation.

Organic Meat

Organically raised animals are feed with organic feed and kept free of

antibiotics and growth hormones. The animals must also have access to

outdoor pastureland for grazing.

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