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Organic 101 – The Facts About Organic Food Ingredients

Organic 101 – The Facts About Organic Food Ingredients

The Facts About Organic Food Ingredients


Understanding the definition of Organic will help you better chose the safest and healthiest food for your pet. So, let’s break it down…..

Keep in mind pet foods and pet treats must comply with the USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP) regulations (7 CFR 205). These regulations include all USDA organic standards, including prohibited practices, requirements and the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances.

What does “Organic” mean?

In simple terms, organic food must be produced without any harmful substances:


  • no sewage sludge,
  • no fertilizers that are synthetic,
  • no GMOs (genetically modified organisms)


Also, the process of growing the organic food cannot include:


  • bioengineering
  • ionized radiation


Organic meat, eggs, and other animal products are from animals that:


  • have not been cloned
  • have not been given antibiotics
  • have not been given growth hormones


The USDA National Organic Program (NOP), the federal regulatory governing agency for organic food defines “Organic” as:

Organic food is produced by farmers who emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations. Organic meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products come from animals that are given no antibiotics or growth hormones. Organic food is produced without using most conventional pesticides; fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge; bioengineering; or ionizing radiation. Before a product can be labeled “organic,” a Government-approved certifier inspects the farm where the food is grown to make sure the farmer is following all the rules necessary to meet USDA organic standards. Companies that handle or process organic food before it gets to your local supermarket or restaurant must be certified, too.

In addition, there are 4 levels of Organic certification to watch out for; 100% Organic, Organic, Made with Organic Ingredients and Other


100% Organic


100% of organic ingredients

must be certified either by the CCOF (California Certified Organic Farmers) or the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture)




95 to 100 % organic ingredients

the other 5% is highly regulated and includes such items as vitamins, baking soda, citric acid

must be certified either by the CCOF (California Certified Organic Farmers) or the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture)


Made with Organic Ingredients


at least 70% organic ingredients

the other 30% is highly regulated and includes such items as vitamins, baking soda, citric acid

must be certified either by the CCOF (California Certified Organic Farmers) or the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture)




The only regulation is that the word organic can only be in the ingredients list such as organic

It is unclear what percentage of the food is organic.

No certification.


Just Marketing Terms


There are many terms used in marketing that have no accreditation. Noteworthy words such as natural, local, sustainable, free from, Pesticide Free, Residue Free, or non-GMO do not have any bearing on what is organic. Similarly, they do not carry any certification.


Is Organic more nutritious than conventional food?

Currently, there is a significant amount of scientific debate surrounding this question. Recent studies support the idea that organic foods contain more nutrients than traditional counterparts. Typically, though, conventional produce contains higher levels of toxic chemicals, or heavy metals. So, buying organic then becomes an issue of reducing exposure to harmful chemicals.


Why does Organic cost more?

The truth is Organic does not always cost more. Often, we just don’t see it reflected in the price you pay at the grocery store. Conventional grown food includes the cost of increased cancer and disease, as well as environmental pollution due to herbicides, pesticides and other potentially harmful chemicals.

A few facts to consider that will help you understand the cost of organics at the store

  • Organic farmers have higher input costs, like organic feed, compost or animal manure versus cheap synthetics.
  • Organic farmers have Increased labor and management costs. There are more hands- on care required for organic livestock and crops.
  • Organic farmers don’t receive federal subsidies like conventional farmers do.
  • Organic certification – Farm facilities and production methods must be compliant with certain standards, which may require expensive modifications to their facilities. Organic farms are also required to pay yearly inspection fees.

The Organic Farming Research Foundation said this: “The organic price tag more closely reflects the true cost of growing the food: substituting labor and intensive management for chemicals, the health and environmental costs of which are borne by society.”






This Post Has 2 Comments

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