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Let’s talk Organic food!

According to the USDA, Organic food is the integration of “ cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity. ”  So, what does that mean?  Well, it means that organic food is grown, raised, or produced in as natural a manner as possible.  In order for something to be considered “Organic” there are a number of steps that must be taken and regulations that must be followed to ensure a reputable and safe product.

Let’s take a look at an organic apple.  In order for this apple to be considered “organic” it would have been planned well before any harvest.  Organic produce is not an overnight product.  Farmers cannot simply decide not to put pesticides on a crop and label it organic.  There is a process to this whole organic thing.  In order for said apple to be organic it would have to have grown on an organic apple tree.  In order for the apple tree to be organic, it would have had to come from an organic apple seed.  In order for that organic apple seed to grow into an organic apple tree, it needed to be planted in organic soil.  In order for the soil to be considered organic, it would have had to lay fallow (unused) and untreated for usually 3+  years.  Once the organic soil and the organic apple seed grew a tree, the soil and the tree could not be treated or nourished with any pesticides, herbicides, chemicals, etc.  So, that little organic apple was planned long before it ever grew into its crisp, tart deliciousness.

So, what is organic food? It is food that has been treated or rather untreated as nature intended.  Next time you or your kids bite into an organic apple, that is what they are getting, an apple.  It’s a beautiful thing.  Everything you want and need; nothing you don’t.

Visit www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/nop for more information on organic regulations from the USDA.

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