Friday, August 29, 2008

Day 130 of our Green Year: Finding The Organic Certification

Recently, Layla and I watched a report on the news that showed many of the items that call themselves 'organic', are not actually organic. In fact, the report said that nine out of ten carry ingredients that are far from organic.

Going organic is very important to Layla and I, and even though we see something that says 'organic' on it, that does not mean that we will simply take it for granted. We always check the ingredients to make sure that when it says organic, it means organic.

However, even with that, how can we be sure that the cranberry sauce we buy, which only has cranberries, water and an orange peel in it, is actually organic? Who says they didn't use pesticides on the cranberry crop? This is where the certification comes in.

Organic certifications are put on items in teh grocery store that meet a set of criteria that is investigated by a third party. These are items like:

  • Not using fertilizers, pesticides, antibiotics, food additives or GMOs on the food.
  • No chemicals used on farmland for at least three or more years.
  • The producer must provide a detailed production and sales record.
  • There must be a strict physical separation of organic products from non-certified products.
  • The producer must submit to several on-site inspections.
When they meet all the criteria, they get a badge on them that looks like what is seen above, in the United States and around the world. This is how you know what you are getting is organic. Of course the only way to know for sure is to grow and produce all your own food, because only you can know your food is organic.

It was time to take our recycling to the recycling depot. It took two car trips, and a full load each time, but it is great to know all those products will be used again, but in different forms.