Big Business is Involvedin Organics Not only Small Growers• Kraft Foods owns Boca Foods• Kellogg owns Morningstar Farms• Coca Cola owns Honest Tea (Obama’s Organic Beverage of Choice) Washington Post 2009
The USDA Organic Label USDA Organic certification is primarily a MARKETING program to let consumers know that the food product has been -Grown or raised without chemical fertilizers, pest killers (pesticides), weed killers, or drugs
The USDA Organic Label- Free from irradiation and genetically modified organisms- Agricultural products grown on land that has been free of prohibited substances for a period of 3 years- Animals used for meat, eggs, milk or other animal products must be fed foods that are organically grown, may not be given antibiotics or hormones, and must have access to the outdoors
National Organic Program began in 2002• www.ams.usda.gov/NOP
USDA Labeling Tiers• 100% Organic• Organic• Made with Organic Ingredients
100% OrganicThis means the food has no syntheticingredients and can use the organic seal. Ingredients: 100% Certified Organic Dried Cherries
"Organic"This means the food has a minimum of 95%organic ingredients. It can also use the organicseal. Ingredients: Organic Soup Mix (Organic Great Northern Beans, Organic Dehydrated Carrots, Organic Thyme, Organic Rosemary, Turkish Bay Leaves
National Organic Standards Board• Approves the non-organic substances that can be used in USDA Organic products• Over 200 substances are on the list
“Made with organic ingredients"This means the food must contain atleast 70% organic ingredients. Thesefoods cannot use the seal.Ingredients: Tortilla Chips Made with Organic Corn(Certified Organic Corn, Safflower Oil, Lime, andSalt
Less than 70% organic ingredients• Product has less than 70% organic material and cannot use the seal, or state made with organic ingredients. Only list the items Ingredients: Tortilla Chips Made with Organic Corn (Certified Organic Corn, Safflower Oil, Lime, and Salt
USDA Organic Farmers and Ranchers• Use only natural pesticides• Use only natural fertilizers• Feed animals only organic food• Don’t give animals antibiotics or growth hormones• Don’t use irradiation of produce IN THE USA – Laws govern a farmer or ranchers ability to use the organic label.
Organic Costs More – Why?• Organic farms generally smaller than nonorganic farms• It takes more labor to grow plants and animals without the help of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and drugs
Organic Costs More – Why?• Organic food costs more to feed to animals• Few federal subsidies for organic farmers
Is Organic Safer?• Less pesticides? – Non-organic food items can have pesticide residues on them but studies have shown that are not at levels to cause harm – especially if you wash them!
Is Organic more Nutritious?• Not enough evidence to say that organic food is more nutritious than regular food
Does Organic taste better?• No evidence that organic food tastes better• However – organic is often grown LOCALLY and is FRESHER
Is Organic better for children?• Children more sensitive to pesticides because they are still growing – Products such as organic milk and organic baby food may be good choice for peace of mind
Which Organic Food?• Organic can cost 50%-100% more -- experts recommend spending most of your organic food dollars on produce and the foods you eat most often.
Government limits set levels ofpesticide use in growing andprocessing foods, and residueallowed on foods.
Locally grown foods are usuallyfresher -- and kinder to theenvironment -- than produce that’sbeen trucked across the country inenergy-consuming vehicles.
An Organic Product can be distinctlydifferent – peanut butter an example• The natural oils in organic peanut butter may separate and form a layer on top of the jar
Animals Products and Organic LabelingMeat, eggs, poultry, and dairy labeled"organic" must come from animals that,among other things, have never receivedantibiotics or growth hormones.Effective Feb 2010 livestock have to grazed onpasture for a minimum of 4 months a year toqualify for the organic meat or milk label, andmust get at least 30% of food fromgrazing.
Organic Milk• Cows raised on conventional farms are often given recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) to increase the amount of milk they produce.• Organic milk comes from cows that have not been given antibiotics or hormones.• Many conventional brands are rBGH-free but aren’t labeled as such. Look it up online or call the manufacturer.
QuizWhat is the best way to tell thedifference between organic andnon-organic products?a)Give them the squeeze test?b)Organic products cost morec)Look for the organic labeld)There is no difference?
What is the best way to tell the difference between organic and non-organic products?c)Look for the USDA organic label
What percentage of organic content lets firms label the product “made with organic ingredients”?a) 0 to 10%b) 10 to 25%c) 25 to 70%d) 70 to 95%
What percentage of organic content lets firms label the product “made with organic ingredients”?d) 70 to 95%Products like soup or snack foods>95% can be called organic on label<70% organic only on ingredient list
To carry the USDA Organic Label product cannot be subject to:a) Synthetic pesticidesb) Genetic Engineeringc) Irradiationd) All of the above
To carry the USDA Organic Label product cannot be subject to:d) All of the above In addition farmers can’t use sewer sludge for fertilizer
The Organic Label guarantees that foods are:c)Healthierd)Better tastinge)Both A or Bf)Neither A or B
The Organic Label guarantees that foods are:d)Neither A or B The USDA says the organic label doesn’t guarantee greater safety, health, quality or nutritional value. Label assures consumers that organic products are grown and processing using USDA standards
Why do organic foods often cost more than the non-organic products?c)Higher taxesd)Production costse)A vast left-wing conspiracyf)None of the above
Why do organic foods often cost more than the non-organic products?b)Production costs The limited supply of organic ingredients means that firms that have to buy them have to pay more because of smaller crop or long distance shipping
Non-organic products can lead to exposure to:a)Potentially harmful pesticide levelsb)Safe levels of pesticide residuec)The chilly refrigerated produce sectiond)No proven ill-effects on your health
Non-organic products can lead to exposure to:d)No proven ill effects on your health The EPA says most food contains pesticide residues at levels low enough to be considered safe.
Besides buying organic you can limit exposure to pesticides by:a) Washing all uncooked fruits and vegetablesb) Peeling and trimming fruits and vegetablesc) Eating a variety of foodsd) All of the above
Besides buying organic you canlimit exposure to pesticides by:d) All of the above -Scrub produce under running water -Peeling and trimming reduces nutrient value but for peace of mind -By eating a variety less potential exposure to a single pesticide
Eat Plenty of Fruits and Vegetables• The important thing is to eat plenty of produce.• The health benefits of such a diet outweigh potential risks from pesticide exposure.• Government guidelines recommend eating a variety of fruits and vegetables so you can take advantage of their diverse nutritional benefits.• Adults should aim for 4-5 cups of produce every day for their health-promoting, disease-preventing substances.
Review• Look for the USDA Organic Seal• Dont confuse "free-range," "hormone free," or "natural" with organic. Look for the organic seal. That means the food is grown, harvested, and processed according to USDA standards that include restrictions on amounts and residues of pesticides, hormones, and antibiotics. Natural pesticides are allowed. Organic foods cannot be treated with any sewage sludge, bioengineering, or ionizing radiation.
Organic Labeling on Non-food Items• A complaint has been filed with the Federal Trade Commission calls for companies that label products “organic” to follow the same strict USDA standards set for food products. This means soaps, cosmetics and other items with organic claims must be made of natural, plant-based ingredients grown without the use of chemicals or preservatives.
Resources Used• http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/03/13/buying-organic- how-to-tell-your-store-is-not-cheating-you.aspx• http://www.webmd.com/health-ehome-9/slideshow-organic-foods• Purity of Federal “Organic” label is questioned at www.washingtonpost.com/wp- dyn/content/article/2009/07/02