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About Organic Foods

CHECK OUT:

mayo clinic logo
THE MAYO CLINIC has some good information about Organic Foods:
This is a good ARTICLE from their website.
help guide logo
HELPGUIDE.org offers some good information about Organic Foods:
HELPGUIDE.org
eat well guide logo
A great resource for finding out about Organic and Healthy Foods is the EAT • WELL • GUIDE
You can hunt and SEARCH for local organic and healthy sources in any area of the country, Check them out at:
EAT • WELL • GUIDE

About USDA Organics

The United States Department of Agriculture maintains a National Organic Program which regulates the standards for any farm, wild crop harvesting, or handling operation that wants to sell an agricultural product as organically produced and labeled as such.

USDA Organic Foods Seal

USDA
Organic Foods
Seal

U.S. producers turn to certified organic farming systems as a potential way to lower input costs and decrease reliance on nonrenewable resources. This helps to capture high-value markets and premium prices, thus boosting farm income. Organic farming systems rely on ecologically based practices including cultural and biological pest management, exclusion of all synthetic chemicals, antibiotics, and hormones in crop and livestock production.

What are
Organic Foods?

Organic foods are produced by incorprating methods of organic farming. This type of farming uses limited or no synthetic additives, such as, synthetic pesticides or chemical fertilizers (although some organic pesticides, such as Bt toxin or Neem oil compounds may be used). Organic foods are also not processed using irradiation techniques, industrial or chemical solvents, nor chemical food additives.

The organic farming movement arose in the 1940s as a response to the massive industrialization of agriculture begun after World War II. The term organic farming originated with and was coined by, English agriculturalist and author, Walter James (Lord Northbourne). Lord Northbourne applied the theories of Austrian philosopher, Rudolf Steiner, to his family's estate at Kent. He wrote, "The farm itself must have a biological completeness; it must be a living entity, it must be a unit which has within itself a balanced organic life."   Look to the Land: 1940 - Angelico Press / Sophia Perennis; Rev Special edition (2004).


Organic food production is a highly regulated industry. These regulations involve utilizing practices determined to follow the specific guidelines of the organic farming movement. The European Union, the United States, Canada, Japan and many other countries around the world require farmers ands producers of organic foods to obtain special certifications in order to lable or market food as "organic." In the context of this regulation, organic food must be produced in ways that comply with organic standards as set by each national government and/or international organizations.

The organic food industry is a considerably smaller production industry than the much larger, or mainstream, food production industry. This means that in many cases there is less product available to the general public that can be labled as "organic."

Higher prices asked for organic foods generally reflect the actual costs, but a smart consumer needs to be aware that many times some sellers raise their price above the actual costs due to acceptance by the public of the practice.


You can read more about organic foods, farming practices and soils at the
Soils Association website which has lots of useful information.
http://www.soilassociation.org/whatisorganic/organicfarming


CHECK THIS OUT:

Here's a fun video to check out with some information about organic food entitled: What Is Organic Food? from Epipheo Television on YouTube.

Click•touch to watch this VIDEO about Organic Foods!

It helps explain what organic food is and why it may not always be the healthiest food for you just because it’s labeled as organic. Just like other foods, processed organic foods can contain a lot of fat and sugar, so be careful to read labels!


WHY BE CONCERNED ABOUT FOOD?

—The following is a paraphase about some concerns for foods taken from an informative web article produced from The Mayo Clinic: Organic foods: Are they safer? More nutritious?

PESTICIDES

Most conventional farmers and food growers use various types of either chemical or natural pesticides to protect their crops from molds, insects and/or diseases. When farmers spray or apply pesticides, this process can leave residues of these various pesticides on the produce. Some vegetables and fruits have thin enough membrane skins that these pesticides may pass through into the interiors of the plants. Many people therefore buy organic food hoping to limit their exposure to these residues.

According to the USDA, organic produce carries significantly fewer pesticide residues than does conventional produce. Residues on most products—both organic and non-organic—are regulated and should not exceed government safety thresholds. However, the acceptable level of exposure to toxic pesticides thresholds are always in question.

FOOD ADDITIVES

Organic regulations ban or severely restrict the use of any type of food additives, processing aids (which are defined as substances used during processing, but are not added directly to foods) or fortifying agents commonly used in non-organic foods, including preservatives, artificial sweeteners, colorings and flavorings, and monosodium glutamate. Many people therefore buy organic food to limit their exposure to these substances.

ENVIRONMENT

Some people buy organic food for environmental reasons. Organic and biodynamic farming practices are designed to benefit the environment by reducing pollution, conserving water, and retaining soil quality. These people recognize that washing conventional produce sprayed with pesticides only passes the toxic chemicals down the drain and into our water sources (streams and rivers).


HERE'S A GALLERY OF SOME ORGANIC FOODS

(Mouse over the image to see it larger.)



To learn more about the USDA National Organic Program:

Visit www.ams.usda.gov/nop

or

Call the USDA National Organic Program at:

Telephone No. (202) 720-3252.

Write to them at:

  • USDA-AMS-TM-NOP
  • Room 4008 S. Bldg.
  • Ag Stop 0268
  • 1400 Independence, SW
  • Washington, DC 20250
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