Organic production is designed to be eco friendly and environmentally sustainable. The use of any artificial insecticide, herbicide, fertilizer or other compounds is prohibited.

Organic – Over Hyped Rhetoric Or A Valid Way Of Life?

In many ways you could be forgiven for thinking this whole thing around organic products is over hyped rhetoric put out there by doomsayers who believe the world is about to end! However, there are very sound environmental principles behind organic farming and processing. For one thing, every product that carries an official Organic label is guaranteed by law to meet certain production and processing standards.

Organic production is very heavily regulated. Any facility, from farm to factory, which wants to be involved with organic production must undergo rigorous testing procedures first to ensure they meet the required standards before they’ll be granted certification. Spot inspections of these facilities are constant and on going. Any found to be contravening organic regulations risk a fine and potential loss of their organic certification.

To obtain organic labelling, primary foods like fresh fruit and vegetables, meat, dairy and eggs must not contain any artificial chemicals, hormones, antibiotics, preservatives or similar. Manufactured products carrying an official organic label, including skin care products, must be made from organically grown ingredients. Just how much of them is organic can be determined by the type of organic labelling they carry.

USDA Organic Labeling

  • 100% organic – the product can only have organic ingredients. The product will carry an official USDA Organic Product label. Must display a list of ingredients.
  • 95 – 99% organic – can only have a maximum of 5% of its ingredients sourced from non-organic sources but these ingredients are still strictly policed and must be on a list of allowable items. The product will carry an official USDA Organic Product label and must also display a list of ingredients.
  • 70 – 95% organic – permitted to carry labelling that says they are ‘made with organic ingredients’ but can’t carry an official USDA Organic Product label. At least 3 of the organic ingredients must appear on the ingredient list. The non-organic ingredients must not be on the USDA’s exclusion list.
  • 70% or less organic – can only mention ‘organic’ in the ingredient list. Can’t carry an official USDA Organic Product label.

Organic production is designed to be eco friendly and environmentally sustainable. The use of any artificial insecticide, herbicide, fertilizer or other compounds is prohibited. Growth hormones and genetic modifications are not permitted. The soil must be certified free of potentially toxic substances and must be enriched with animal and poultry manures and similar natural organic fertilizers. Animal and poultry products must come from animals and poultry that were raised in a natural free-range environment and were fed organically produced feeds and forages.

Likewise, the processing of organic products can’t involve the use of artificial flavors, colours or preservatives. Industrial solvents and irradiation are also out. For this reason, genuinely organic products have usually been produced close to the point of sale because they’re not allowed to contain preservatives that would prolong their shelf life.

Organic – Better For You?

Whilst organic products are often more expensive than their ‘natural’ or commercially produced counterparts, the trade off is the guarantee of a chemical, hormone, antibiotic, preservative etc free product. Organic foods also taste better. However, when it comes to nutritional value research has yet to prove that organically produced foods are any more nutritious than ‘natural’ or commercially farmed produce.

If you’d like some tips about looking for organic skin care products or even handy hints for making your own organic household products, like organic moth and fly repellents for example, check the organics section of Planet Supplement’s Health and Fitness blog.

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