Myths and Truths
There has definitely been a hype throughout the years regarding organic consumption and with that grew the belief that organic is therefore good and better for our bodies.
Is food all that affects us? Have we considered for a moment the air pollution, the candles you burn at home, the incense you smell, what essential oils you buy, the smokers around us, the water contamination, the plastics in our foods ...
Organic matters but please be informed, do thorough research and shop smartly. Not everything you read out there has a fundamental base. I refer to researches and studies when I want to get my facts straight, not to articles on magazines that are wanting to promote a product. And why should you then trust my blog post? I will note all the referrals at the very end of my story for you to have a reference and starting point.
Where you live, matters
Depending on where you are living, the local organic produce will be of one quality or another with regulations depending on governing bodies and food manufacturer lobbies.
Organic Animal Farming and Organic Crop Growing have different rules and regulations depending on the country. European Regulation, USDA, Australian Regulations and so on.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Taken by quote from foodandwaterwatch.org USDA Organic means the following
Organic crops cannot be grown with synthetic fertilizers, synthetic pesticides or sewage sludge.
Organic crops cannot be genetically engineered or irradiated.
Animals must eat only organically grown feed (without animal byproducts) and can’t be treated with synthetic hormones or antibiotics.
Animals must have access to the outdoors, and ruminants (hoofed animals, including cows) must have access to pasture.
Animals cannot be cloned.
Taken by quote from the Swiss Confederations Page Organic Farming Soil must follow these rules in Switzerland.
the soil shall be cultivated in such a way that it maintains sustainable productivity due to its physical, chemical and biological properties;biological diversity shall be encouraged;crop rotation, crop shares, use of grazing land and soil cultivation shall be planned in such a way that crop rotation problems, soil erosion, runoff and leaching of nutrients and plant protection products are avoided;in land cultivation, soil cover shall be sufficient to ensure that soil erosion, and losses of nutrients and plant protection products are kept to the minimum;the intensity of the production of fodder crops shall be varied and adapted to the location.
EUROPE New regulations to come into place January 2022
Organic farming is a fast growing area in EU agriculture, which is a direct result of increased consumer interest in organic products. In response to the challenges posed by this rapid expansion, and in order to provide an effective legal framework for the industry, the EU has passed new legislation. Due to the complexity and importance of the secondary legislation under preparation, the Commission has proposed to postpone its entry into force by one year, from 1 January 2021 to 1 January 2022. The postponement was originally requested by EU countries, the European Parliament, non-EU countries, and other stakeholders.
Examples of the changes that will be made under the new organic legislation include:
a strengthening of the control system, helping to build further consumer confidence in the EU organics system;
new rules for producers which will make it easier for smaller farmers to convert to organic production;
new rules on imported organics to ensure that all organic products sold in the EU are of the same standard;
a greater range of products that can be marketed as organic.
There is no mandatory requirement for certification of organic product sold domestically in Australia. Many organic businesses however choose to be certified by an organic certification body to underpin truth in labelling requirements and promote consumer confidence.
Organic standards used in Australia are generally owned and managed by private organizations
The main takeaway is to do your homework and know your rights as a consumer together with the regulations behind what you are purchasing.
Organically grown chickens can either be having 6 hours of sunlight a day and then go back into cages and be fed corn OR be free range as in they can freely roam and feed from the soil thus also getting uninterrupted daylight.
Know your stuff!!
Import VS Local
With Organic comes another big question. Are you being environmentally friendly with what you are buying? Is the product that you consume weekly locally sourced or comes from elsewhere?
You might be purchasing organic produce however it has travelled hundreds of thousand of kilometres thus generating carbon emissions until reaching your grocery store of convenience.
Products like Avocados, Mangoes, Sweet Potatoes and other tropical fruits are not l0cal to European countries for example. Yet we can see them all year round in the supermarket and have now the organic option available.
You are wanting to treat your body well by choosing organic however are not treating the planet in the same way. Food for thought.
A lot of major organic food brands originated in the U.S. when it became popular and demand grew. All these products are now exported around the world generating under of thousand of carbon emissions into the atmosphere due to the transportation requirements.
Choose local whenever possible, support your farmers and small business owners. Each country has incredible organic products waiting to be discovered. It is sad that we live in a world where a local producer of honey for example might find it better to ship its product overseas than sell it locally due to low demand, high costs, taxations etc...
Labelling & Regulations
Organic labeling, together with the first point we mentioned regarding the regulatory bodies also differs greatly.
You must understand that for a product to be organic, depending on the country it comes from, not necessarily all ingredients within must be organic.
It sometimes requires a certain percentage of organic ingredients for said product to be certified organic.
Here we emphasize more on shelve products with longer life. It is important you read labels and familiarize yourself with things .
For example, organic palm oil production? I am sorry but there is no such thing for the planet as organic palm oil production, It has the certification however that doesn't main that a rainforest somewhere n the planet has been cut down in order to make space for this so called "organic palm oil plantation".
Products labeled as “100% organic” must contain only organically produced ingredients and processing aids, excluding water and salt. No other ingredients or additives are permitted.
Products labeled “organic” must contain at least 95% organically produced ingredients (excluding water and salt). Any remaining ingredients must consist of non-agricultural substances that appear on the NOP National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances.
Products Labeled as “Made with Organic _______”Processed products that contain at least 70% organic ingredients may state “made with organic (insert up to three ingredients, food groups, or combination of ingredient and food groups)” on the principal display panel.
Internationally, equivalency negotiations are underway, and some agreements are already in place, to harmonize certification between countries, facilitating international trade.
1. There are 35 non-synthetic, non-organic substances allowed as ingredients in or on processed products labeled as “organic.”
This includes carrageenan for example which is an emulsifier ingredient that makes products thicker or creamier. Found in many plant based milks and known to cause gut inflammation and exacerbate IBS symptoms.
2. Organic doesn't necessarily mean healthy or healthier
Many products still may contain high amounts of sugar, palm oil, high salts or even come from farms that may have cross contamination as the regulations of growing equal crops (one being organic and the other one not) have very grey line specifications to it.
3. Pesticides are allowed in organic production
It’s true that each one of the 40+ pesticides on the “approved” list are individually reviewed and approved for use, but they’re still pesticides. They’ve been designed to do the same thing as all the other pesticides out there and there’s no guarantee that they’re any safer.
A current list of allowed substances can be found HERE.
4. Over 45 non-organically produced ingredients are allowed as ingredients in or on processed products labeled “organic” when the ingredient is not commercially available in its organic form.
Basically, an organic processing facility simply has to say that the organic version of a certain ingredient isn’t available, and they’re allowed to use the conventional option instead.
Included in this list is soy lecithin , the leftover slimy waste from processing soybean oil.
The old saying ... what doesn't kill you makes you stronger
We shall move away from this slowly and aim to su