How to tell if food is organic or not

How to tell if food is organic or not

With the safety of food in the grocery store in question because of the prevalence of genetically modified foods and questionable pesticides, more and more people are turning to organic foods. Eating organic food is the only way to know, for sure, that what they are eating does not contain genetically modified organisms or GMOs. Well, how do you know for sure what you are eating is actually organic? Most of the food on the market today that is labeled organic is.

That is because of standards that have been set by various organizations. There are, however, still a percentage of foods labeled organic that are not. If you are paying the extra money for organic food, you want to make sure that is what you are getting is actually organic. This provides you with a little information that will help you determine just that.

There are two organic food acts under which foods can currently be certified as organic, the California Organic Foods Act of 1990 and the Oregon Tilth Standards. The best thing you can do as a consumer is to make sure that the foods you are buying are certified organic by a third party under one of these two acts.

There are many organizations that certify food as organic. In order to certify foods as organic under these acts, the certifying agents must be approved. You know, therefore, that the foods have met the high standards set by these acts. Any food that has been certified under these acts will have one, or both, of the following statements somewhere on the label:

“This product is Certified Organically grown and processed in accordance of the California Organic Foods Act of 1990” or “This product is Certified Organically grown and processed in accordance with the Oregon Tilth Standards”. These labels tell you that the food is grown on an organic farm and processed in a plant that follows the rules of these acts.

The federal government is currently working on a federal organic food label. The initial proposal did not contain standards that were nearly as high as the before mentioned acts. After much complaint from the organic community, the Food and Drug Administration has released a new set of suggested rules for organic certification.

Most of the demands of the organic community were met under these new guidelines. The most important improvement is the fact that under the second set of proposed rules, organizations can have higher standards than the federal government and still be called organic.

Under the original proposal, foods would not have been allowed to be certified under the California Foods Act of 1990 because their rules are more strict than the FDA’s. This change is wonderful news for the consumers because you can still look for the original two certifications which will guarantee you the highest quality organic foods.

Although the FDA proposed standards will eliminate those foods that claim to be organic with no certification, to insure the safest food consumers will still have to look for the California Organic Act or Oregon Tilth Standards label.


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