What does ORGANIC mean?

27 Mar

The ‘Canada Organic ’ label — is your assurance that the product bearing it has met the Canadian government’s regulatory requirements for organic products.

Organic production prohibits the use of:
  • chemical pesticides,
  • antibiotics,
  • synthetic hormones,
  • genetic engineering and other excluded practices,
  • sewage sludge,
  • cloning animals or using their products,
  • excess processing of foods, artificial ingredients, preservatives, or irradiation.

However, what is more important is what organic agriculture does do for the health of the soil, the environment and everyone in it. Organic farmers cultivate their soil’s fertility and produce healthy food by:

  • rotating their cropsto balance nutrients in the soil, as well as discourage pests
  • composting and using “green” manures to add nitrogen and organic matter to the soil, keep weeds down and prevent drought and soil erosion.
  • using beneficial insects or mechanical and manual methods to control pests and weeds

These methods help to promote essential soil micro-biology, wildlife diversity, prevent pest outbreaks, protect soil from erosion, prevent contamination of water, and use far less energy than conventional farming methods.

Organic certification is a rigorous process that requires producers to adhere to a strict set of standards that go above and beyond all the applicable food safety laws. These include:

  • use of land that has been free of chemicals for at least 3 years,
  • detailed record keeping and regular audits, which means…
  • full food traceability — everything that goes into an organic product has to be documented and traceable
  • routine on-site inspections
Are all of my organic products tested for chemicals? 
No, probably not. This is because “organic” is not only about the final product but about how it was grown and made. Sadly, much of our water, air and soil are already contaminated by chemical residues — organic agriculture is a response to this but it doesn’t mean organic products will always be 100% residue “free”, since nothing can be (at least not until more farmers go organic!). Organic is about more than simply not using chemicals: it’s about rotating crops and building soil life for the future, it’s about treating animals well and many other things you can’t “test” for (which is why we have organic inspectors).
Kerrie
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