Archive for March 28, 2013
The definition of organic food in America can be nebulous at times. Generally, organic food definitions mean that the food was made without using any synthetic materials. The fertilizer, pesticides, preservatives, sweeteners, and other ingredients must all be natural in this organic foods definition. Some people think that the definition is too restricting, others think it is not restricting enough. Many people think that buying an organic tomato is silly, because there is no such thing as an inorganic tomato, they are all made of carbon after all. This misunderstanding of the organic food definition has led to a small consumer backlash against organic food and its producers. For a long time, supermarket shoppers saw the tagline “All Natural” being bandied about by advertising agencies. A lot of people thought this was silly as well, but what natural meant in this instance was that the food was made without using synthetic preservatives or coloring agents. No more Red Dye 5, instead labels would say something like “Prunes, for coloring”. I’m not sure which is better. The organic food definition according to the FDA goes much deeper than the ingredients. Their organic food definition includes the growing, manufacturing, and handling processes that the food undergoes on its way to the supermarket. This organic food definition is secured by the Organic food Protection Act. According to some scientists, this organic food definition might be a little too cloudy. Most organic corn grown in the United States actually contains about 2 percent genetically modified corn. This corn is fed to organically raised cattle, who are still considered organic, even though they could not be considered maybe half a percent GMO. Farmers who raise organic cattle want to keep the trust of the public, but want to still be defined as organic under this organic food definition, because they do everything they can to keep them organic. Organic foods are strictly defined by legal organic food definitions, but that does not stop all detractors. According to scientific evidence, organic food does not contain any more nutrients than their compatriots, but they do contain fewer anti nutrients, elements like nitrogen and heavy metals. Whether you are an avowed organicvore or a skeptic, what is certain is that organic foods are have huge market power, and are likely here to stay, regardless of their legal definition.