Organic FAQ

Q: Are only fruits and vegetables organic?
A: No. Dairy, meat, cereals, beverages, and other food items can be made organically. Organic dairy and meat products can be produced by not giving animals harmful hormones designed to stimulate production. Cereals and grains can be grown without pesticides. Virtually all foods can be produced organically.
Q: Are all fruits and vegetables organic?
A: No! In fact, most of the ones bought in grocery stores are most definitely not organic. They are grown with pesticides, artificial fertilizers, and other harmful chemicals that you, in turn, ingest when you consume them. Organic fruits and vegetables are not made using those methods and are typically specially marked on shelves.
Q: Isn't organic food expensive?
A: It depends. Prices vary by region and depend on the point of purchase. Many farmers' markets that sell organic foods are cheaper to buy from than grocery stores. A growing number of organic producers intentionally keep their prices at or around the same level as other food producers in order to encourage more buying of organic foods. In many places, organic foods are covered and even encouraged by government assistance programs.
Q: Does organic food taste different than other foods?
A: Yes – it tastes better. Scientific studies have shown that organic foods, especially fruits and vegetables, retain more of their natural flavors than mass-produced products. Additional studies have shown that they also contain more nutrients that humans need in order to stay healthy.
Q: Where can you buy organic food?
A: Almost everywhere. Most grocery stores carry organic foods, and some stores – including Whole Foods and Trader Joe's in the United States and Waitrose in the United Kingdom – specialize in carrying organic. There are also many websites that sell organic.
Q: How do I know if certain foods are organic?
A: Usually, the label. In most countries, there are strict standards that distributors must follow in order to receive federal or regional approval to mark their products as "organic." Many nations have a special seal or logo that is put on packaging in order to show that the product is organic. If you visit a local farmers' market, you can ask at each stand whether the produce is grown organically. Most farmers are happy to discuss their farming practices with people.
Q: Are all "organic" products completely organic?
A: It depends. In the United States, there are different "levels" of organic. Per the USDA, "100% Organic" can only be put on products which are, obviously, 100% organic. Products labeled "Organic" must be made with at least 95% organic ingredients, meaning some ingredients may not be organic. Foods labeled "Made with Organic Ingredients" can contain up to 30% non-organic ingredients, but cannot contain GMOs or some of the other most offensive artificial ingredients. Products containing less than 70% organic ingredients can list those ingredients as "organic" on the side of the box, but the overall product cannot be advertised as truly organic.
Q: Is organic produce of a lower quality than non-organic?
A: No. The pesticides and artificial fertilizers used to produce non-organic foods strip away many of their positive attributes and cause them to be produced in environments that are too free of bugs (nature's little helpers) and other things we've been encultured to see as dirty or bad. Organic apples might not have the same brilliant colors as some non-organic ones, but that's because those non-organic apples have been soaked in harmful chemicals to make them have those colors. Nature is perfect because it's imperfect, something mainstream commercialized agriculturists do not keep in mind when trying to override it with artificial materials.
Q: Are only vegans and vegetarians organic?
A: Quite the opposite. The majority of organic eaters are omnivores. You do not need to abstain from any animal products in order to be organic. Omnivores who eat organic meats, dairy, eggs, and other animal-derived products are able to avoid the growth hormones, antibiotics, and other harmful chemicals put into those animals by the mainstream livestock and dairy trades.
Do you have questions about organic food? Ask your questions via e-mail and they will be answered!