What is organic?
Organic is a labeling term that indicates that the food or other agricultural product has been produced through approved methods that integrate cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity.
Simply stated, organic produce and other ingredients are grown without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, genetically modified organisms, or ionizing radiation. Animals that produce meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products do not take antibiotics or growth hormones.
The USDA National Organic Program (NOP) defines organic as follows:
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.
For more information visit: www.organic.org
My personal thoughts on Organic
I believe that organic food is more nutritious, cleaner and of course better for your body and health. I learned all about organic foods and products in the early 90s. I lived in Santa Cruz, California. Santa Cruz is a very health conscious town with many, many options for vegetarian restaurants and health food stores that introduced me to this kind of lifestyle. The other reason why I support organic products is because when I purchase organic I also often simultaneously support my local farmers and local merchants.
What are GMOs?
You’ve probably heard about GMOs, which are also referred to as genetically modified organisms, GE (genetically engineered), herbicide-tolerant (HT) or Bt crops. In simple terms, a GMO is an organism that has been changed injecting it with genetic material from another species. GE seeds were introduced commercially in 1996 and now dominate the production of corn, soybeans, and cotton in the United States. GE crops contain one or both of two major categories of traits:
• Herbicide-tolerant (HT) crops, more commonly known as “Roundup Ready crops,” are genetically engineered to survive direct application of one or more herbicides during the growing season, chemicals that would otherwise kill or severely stunt the crop.
• Bt crops are engineered to produce toxins…that kill certain agricultural insect pests.
Consider this: much of the corn, soybeans, cotton, sugar beets, and canola in the United States are genetically modified. This means the ingredients made from them, including such common ingredients as corn syrup, soy lecithin, sugar, vegetable oil and cottonseed oil, are genetically modified as well. In fact, according to California’s Department of Food and Agriculture, 70% of processed foods in American supermarkets now contain genetically engineered (GE) ingredients. At this time, none of these products are required to be labeled as genetically engineered.
For more information on the Non-GMO Project’s testing and verification of risk ingredients and processed foods, please see the Non-GMO Project Standard. Visit: www.nongmoproject.org
If you agree that you have a right to know if the food you are eating has been genetically engineered, send a message to the FDA today. With just one click, you can show your support for the FDA petition requiring the labeling of GE foods and win back your right to know.
Right now, we have the choice to avoid GMOs (genetically modified organisms). We can choose organic products, which, by law, are required to be grown and processed without the use of GMOs.
We also have the right to know what we are eating, and the right to make informed choices about what we eat.
My personal thoughts about GMOs
As you know, I’m a huge advocate of organic foods. When you read the organic label, it also typically means that GMOs are not allowed. When I eat a certain foods, I want to eat exactly what I selected, not a genetically engineered version of it. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be a science experiment. I don’t want to wait around and see what happens to my body and my health after consuming unnatural foods – that is genetically engineered food.
What is Fair Trade?
The Fair Trade Certified™ label ensures consumers that the farmers and workers behind the product got a better deal. It is more than a certification stamp and more than a seal of approval. It reassures consumers that their purchases are socially and environmentally responsible. It is the end result of a rigorous global inspection and monitoring systems.
The Fair Trade Federation (FTF) is the trade association that strengthens and promotes North American organizations fully committed to Fair Trade. The Fair Trade Federation is the trade association that strengthens and promotes North American organizations fully committed to fair trade. The Federation is part of the global fair trade movement, building equitable and sustainable trading partnerships and creating opportunities to alleviate poverty.
The Federation envisions a just and sustainable global economic system in which purchasing and production choices are made with concern for the well-being of people and the environment, creating a world where all people have viable economic options to meet their own needs. They seek to alleviate poverty by continually and significantly expanding the practice of trade that values the labor and dignity of all people. For more information visit: www.fairtradeusa.org and www.fairtradefederation.org