Understanding what organic really means will help you better chose the safest and healthiest food for your pet. So let’s break it down…..
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:
⦁ 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.
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.
Is Organic more nutritious than conventional food?
Currently, there is quite a bit of scientific debate surrounding this question. A few studies have suggested organic foods could possibly be higher in nutrients than traditional counterparts. However, there are no studies that fully support that theory. Typically conventional produce contains higher levels of toxic chemicals, or heavy metals. So buying organic then becomes an issue 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. The price of conventional food does not reflect the cost of polluted run off from herbicides and pesticides that we pay for through our tax dollars needed.
A few other facts to consider:
⦁ Organic farmers have higher input costs, like organic feed, compost or animal manure versus cheap synthetics.
⦁ Organic famers have Increased labor and management costs. There is 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.
As the demand for organics continues to grow, the cost will come down.
It is also noteworthy that the other words such as natural, local, sustainable, free from, Pesticide Free, Residue Free, or non-GMO do not have any bearing on what is organic.