Definition of Organic Product
Organic word is derived from Latin organics, from Greek organikos. Meaning “free from pesticides and fertilizers” first attested in 1942. Organic chemistry is attested from 1831.
An organic product is made from materials produced by organic agriculture. There are different types of such products. However, the organic products are more known for food items like organic grocery, organic vegetables, organically certified food etc. Most appropriately they can be explained as any product that is made or cultivated organically should be treated as organic produce. Environmentally it means growing food or other products without using artificial chemicals.
Different countries have different standards to define products as organic. USA uses USDA certification – NOP (national organic program) and Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) determines which input products are allowed for use in organic production and processing. OMRI Listed products are allowed for use in certified organic operations under the USDA National Organic Program to define a cultivated product as organic, whereas India uses INDIAN ORGANIC- NPOP (National Program for Organic Production). These standards include how organic products are grown, handled and processed. Certain organic chemicals approved for organic farming by NPOP organic certifying agent.
So what really makes a product organic?
Products which are grown without the help of chemical fertilizers, growth hormones, pesticides, sewage sludge and petrochemicals or meat which is harvested from animals who are not given any growth boosters, hormones and antibiotics are the products which can be stated as organic. Organic produce is grown using natural fertilizers (manure, compost). Weeds are controlled naturally by crop rotation, hand weeding, mulching and tilling). Pests are controlled using natural methods (birds and insects traps) and naturally-derived chemicals.
On the other hand, grew produce is the total opposite of organically grown produce. Conventional methods include synthetic and chemical fertilizers, weeds are controlled by chemical herbicides and pests are killed with poisonous pesticides which leave its residues on the produce as well.
Same is the difference between organic meat and conventionally raised meat, dairy and eggs. Livestock is given all organic hormone and GMO-free feed. Diseases are curbed by natural methods of clean housing, rotational grazing, and a healthy diet.
Therefore, studies have shown:-
- Small to moderate increases in some nutrients, for example, a significant increase in certain types of flavonoids which have antioxidant properties.
- Organic livestock farming- the primary use of grass and alfalfa for cattle feed have resulted in higher levels of Omega-3 fatty acids, a kind of fat that is more heart-healthy than other fats. The high percentage of omega-3 fatty acids are found in organic meat and eggs.
- Cadmium is a toxic carcinogen naturally found in soils and absorbed by the plants. Studies have shown distinctly lower cadmium levels in organic grains when compared with conventionally grown crops. Lower cadmium levels in organic grain were related to the ban on synthetic fertilizers in organic farming.
- People allergic to some foods, chemicals, or preservatives often find their symptoms lessen or go away when they eat only organic foods.
So now the real question arises how to distinguish between the organic and a conventionally raised product?
The U.S Department of Agriculture has established an organic certification program that requires all organic food to meet strict government standards.
- 100 per cent organic
This description is used on certified organic fruits, vegetables, meat, eggs or other single-ingredient foods. It may also be used on multi-ingredient foods, if all the ingredients are certified organic, excluding salt and water. These may have a USDA seal or India organic seal.
If a multi-ingredient food is labelled organic then at least 95%of the ingredients are certified organic, excluding salt and water. The non-organic items must be from a USDA list of approved additional ingredients. These also may have a USDA seal or India organic seal.
- Made with organic
If a multi-ingredient product has at least 70% certified organic ingredients, it may have a “made with organic” ingredients label. For example, a breakfast cereal might be labelled “made with organic oats.” The ingredients list must identify what ingredients are organic. These products may not carry a seal.
- Organic ingredients
If less than 70% of a multi-ingredient product is certified organic, it may not be labelled as organic or carry a USDA seal. The ingredients list can indicate which ingredients are organic.
The USDA states that the goal of organic foods and organic farming is to “integrate cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity.”
So, be the change before it’s too late. If you are a commercial grower or home gardener, you can ask us to provide you with more information on our advance organic products that are 100% certified.