What does the term ORGANIC mean to you? To me, it means a product that doesn't have pesticides, additional hormones or anything added to it. It means that I am getting a product that is as nature intended it, pure and free from man's manipulation.
What does "Organic" Mean?
Well, according to organic.org, basically, plants are grown without pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, genetically modified organisms, or ionizing radiation. Animals do not take growth hormones or antibiotics if they produce meat, eggs, and dairy products. However, organic is a little misleading.
The USDA National Organic Program (NOP) defines organic as follows:
"Organic food is produced by farmers who emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations. Organic meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products come from animals that are given no antibiotics or growth hormones. Organic food is produced without using most conventional pesticides; fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge; bioengineering; or ionizing radiation. Before a product can be labeled “organic,” a Government-approved certifier inspects the farm where the food is grown to make sure the farmer is following all the rules necessary to meet USDA organic standards. Companies that handle or process organic food before it gets to your local supermarket or restaurant must be certified, too." (organic.org)
According to the USDA, "USDA certified organic foods are grown and processed according to federal guidelines addressing, among many factors, soil quality, animal raising practices, pest and weed control, and use of additives. Organic producers rely on natural substances and physical, mechanical, or biologically based farming methods to the fullest extent possible." What happens when it isn't possible? Is it still considered organic?
For meat, it is required that animals be raised in living conditions like they normally would be in nature. They need to have the ability to graze in a pasture, receive organic feed and not receive antibiotics or hormones. (1)
Regulations prohibit processed foods with multiple ingredients from containing artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors and require all the ingredients are organic. (1)
"When packaged products indicate they are “made with organic [specific i