What Does Organic Really Mean?

 

Set of Organic food and Product Badges and label

Set of Organic food and Product Badges and label

Did you know that in the United States, the word organic has a legal definition? This is good news because so many other words that you find on food labels (I’m looking at you, all-natural“!!) isn’t regulated by the FDA, which means they are primarily used for purposes of sales and marketing, as opposed to that of informing the consumer.

The word organic is different. And when you buy organic in the United States (or buy products with the USDA Organic Label), you can actually learn something about the food, depending, of course, on what kind of food it is:

Fruits, Veggies, and Other Produce certified organic means:

  • Grown in soil that hasn’t used chemical fertilizers or pesticides for 3 years.
  • Not produced with Genetically Modified seeds (GMO’s — the O stands for organisms)

Meat certified organic means:

  • Animals are raised in living conditions accommodating their natural behaviors.
  • Fed 100% organic feed and forage
  • Not administered antibiotics or hormones.
  • Not produced with Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s)

For processed, multi-ingredient foods, organic means:

  • No artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors
  • All ingredients organic (with some minor exceptions like enzymes in yogurt, for example)
  • Not produced with Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s)

Foods that say “made with organic [whatever]” :

  • 70% of the ingredient is organic.

So… Should I Buy Organic?

The answer, in 99%* of cases is “yes”. Protecting you and your family from the chemicals in fertilizers and the genetic manipulations of GMO’s is an important part of healthy living and cancer prevention. Unfortunately, buying organic is a bit more expensive in the short term, but when you weigh those costs against the rising cost of medical care, investing in your health will always be cheaper.

The final caveat we’ll say about all of this is that getting certified organic is expensive, which means that while your local farm might be growing all its food organically, it might not be able to say that it’s organic because it hasn’t paid to go through the whole process.

When shopping at a farmer’s market, feel free to ask the vendors how their products are grown and/or produced. If they tell you they are “grown organically”, this is a good sign that they are probably “organic”, even if their operation hasn’t been officially certified.

USDA Organic Seal

Update: A recent post from Healthy Holistic Living, mentioned several ways that organic foods fall short:

You’re going to be shocked to learn that there is no limit to how much mercury, lead, cadmium, arsenic and aluminum is allowed in “organic” products.

It’s a fact: USDA organic standards place NO LIMITS on levels of heavy metals contamination of certified organic foods. Even further, there is no limit on the contamination of PCBs, BPA and other synthetic chemicals that’s allowed in certified organic foods, superfoods and supplements.

In other words, organic tells us something about how food is grown — but fails to tell us anything about the environmental conditions that crops may be exposed to.

2015-10-19T10:02:03+00:00

Related Questions

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    Q: Hello I am currently on the full body detox and I have a question for you. How do you feel about organic chicken from a credited organic food store? I was wondering if eating organic steamed chicken was ok and whats your take on almond milk.

    A:

    Thanks for the question.

    Animal products are not part of the detox program. The detox protocol is a raw food detox as well. Most if not all food should be consumed raw. Organic meat is a double edged sword. On one hand you have an animal pumped full of anti biotics and on the other hand you have an animal refused antibiotics if they are sick. Which they routinely are being that they are crammed in sheds. The amount of land required by the USDA to be considered free range is the size of a sheet of printer paper. Birds kept in such close quarters communicate diseases fast. I do not recommend any animal products when on a detox. 

    The main issue with detoxing is lessening the workload of the livers and kidneys so they can clean house. Animal protien is acidic to the body and forces the body to work overtime digesting the excess protein. 

    Almond milk is fine if you make it yourself. Its really not that hard to do if you have a good blender. If you can't blend it yourself you can buy it from the store but remember that it's pasteurized and probably has added sugars which you want to avoid.

    Here is a quick web resource but I am sure you could find others

    http://ohsheglows.com/2013/01/24/my-favourite-homemade-almond-milk-step-by-step-photos/

     

    Hope that answers your questions,

    Gary Gibson HHC CPT BMI VLC

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    Q: WE ARE VEGETARIANS, AND WERE EATING A LOT OF SOY PRODUCTS UNTIL YOUR NEWS LETTER CAME OUT ABOUT SOY PRODUCTS. DOES IT MAKE A DIFFERENCE IF THEY ARE ORGANIC SOY PRODUCTS? WHAT IS WRONG WITH ORGANIC YOGURT? It doesn't matter if the soy is organic or not! What's wrong with organic yogurt?

    A:

    Please read our article "DANGEROUS DAIRY". There's plenty wrong with it! But remember, soy is far better than meat and dairy!

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    Q: I started my Full Body Cleanse today do I have to take it at those times specified? Also it is recommended to eat raw, however I never saw Organic mentioned. Organic is extremely costly here in Philly and you have to go a distance to get organic. What do you suggest?

    A:

    No, you don't have to take it at the specified times. It's just a reference to give you an idea of how to spread out taking the individual formulas.

    Eating organic food is best, but not prescribed as we all don't have access to organic foods. As long as you stay RAW, you should still receive the benefits of the cleanse.

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    Q: Am I allowed to use organic seasonings on foods while performing the Full Body Cleanse?

    A: Yes you are. But always make sure to read the laber. Some seasoning contain perservatives, you want to stay away from that.

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    Q: I wrote to you a couple weeks ago asking if it was normal for me to have an outbreak only a day or two into the full body cleanse kit. You wrote back and told me that an outbreak is the body healing. It is two weeks later and I am still having an outbreak! Is this a good sign? Do you think this outbreak may continue on through my anti viral kit? I have been eating mostly fruits and vegetables, however I felt like I needed more substance and I was not enjoying my food at all... so I bought organic noodles and organic tomato sauce (sea salt only, tomatoes, no sugar, you get the point). Is adding some of this into my diet going to make the kits less effective or possibly not work?

    A:

    The outbreak is a result of your body trying to eliminate the toxicity and impurities from your body. Continue to follow the guidelines of the Cleanse.

    In regards to what you ate, YES, they make the cleanse less effective, so you may not want to eat much of cooked foods. Raw foods will optimize the cleanse. If you are having trouble staying full, try more healthy fats, like avocado, coconut cream, or raw nuts and seeds.

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    Q: What organic shampoo and conditioner would you recommend using? Also, while detoxing, is Navy beans an acceptable food to eat if I want something cooked or does it cause mucus? Is it really a nutritional bean?

    A:

    Aubrey Organic is a good brand of shampoo and conditioner.

    You may eat navy beans but they are mucus forming despite a few nutritional benefits.

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    Q: I am in need of cleansing my body and weight removal! (Removal and not loss because I don't want to find it again)! I need to remove about 80 pounds of unhealthy weight from my body and would like to do so in a natural way. I looked at both your Female Cleanse and the Full Body Cleanse, but don't know which is a better option for me to follow right now? I eat a lot of organic foods, I juice (some) but need to increase my water intake (A LOT). I don't drink much soda at all and when I do it is organic carbonated lemonade. I realize carbonated drinks are not good for us and limit how much I drink. My body lets me know when I have eaten something that is not good for me by causing my hands and feet to swell. To reduce this I drink water. I am allergic to wheat and try to stay away from it as much as possible. I have few ailments and have started working out again (cardio and weight training). I also looked at your weight loss products, but thought I should maybe detox first. What do you think? Any assistance you can offer on your products and which ones I should take is of great appreciation.

    A: The best thing for you is the Full Body Cleanse. The Full Body Cleanse will allow you to remove unwanted weight, while also optimizing your entier body so that you can maintain that weight and live a healthier lifestyle.

     

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    Q: I'm doing the ANTI-VIRAL CLEANSE AND REGIMENand I would like to know if I can used organic almond milk with oat bran cereal from bob's red mill and order organic cereal. Also what is the 35% HYDROGEN PEROXCIDE used for?

    A:

    You have free will and can do as you like, Beloved. We recommend all raw (and unprocessed) so if you really want to eat the almond milk and cereal, it's your choice! 35% FGHP should only be used for enema purposes (half ounce added to the water).

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    Q: Is sea salt and warm water a good natural laxative? If so how often do you recommend the use of sea salt for elimination? I was reading The Master Cleanser by Stanley Burroughs and it gives this recommendation, along with drinking lemon water mixed with organic syrup and cayenne pepper. Is it safe to give myself an enema 2xs per day using a hot water bottle filled with fresh squeezed organic lemon and distilled water? Asking this because Bzod had me to listen to 88.3 today here in Cincinnati and the guy (Mike) was telling how he does this regularly and has great results.

    A:

    Yes, sea salt in water is a mild laxative!

    You can do it as often as you FEEL the need to drink or take it. 

    You can also consume the Master Cleanse (cayenne, maple syrup, lemon juice) if you choose. You can drink this as much as you like depending on how you feel.

    And yes, you can perform enemas 2X a day! Enemas are very helpful for health!

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    Q: Lunch is organic salad dressing allowed or maybe fresh lemon juice and some extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) (cold pressed)

    A:

    Organic salad dressing is a healthy alternative, but because they're bottled they usually contain preservatives to sustain their condition on store shelves. We recommend sticking to raw and fresh ingredients like using extra virgin olive oil as a base for homemade dressings. Adding apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, sea salts and other spices are common ingredients for homemade dressings.

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    Q: I am an underweight but healthy 26 year old female. I would like to maintain my weight and I use organic canned coconut milk in my grain hot cereal. Is canned organic coconut milk acidic? If so, what brands are alkaline?

    A:

    Anything canned is going to be acidic. What ever you use for make, let it be raw. Raw coconut milk fresh from the coconut is alkaline.

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    Q: What do you think about organic whole cane sugar....unrefined and unbleached? Not really a good thing to consume but it's better than white table sugar if you feel you must consume sugar.

    A:

    Not really a good thing to consume but it's better than white table sugar if you feel you must consume sugar.

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    Q:

    A: All of our products are 100% all natural plant life herbs. We do not use any kind of unnatural ingredients including animal products, gluten, GMO, binders or fillers. 80% of the herbs we use are organic, the other 20% of herbs used in our products does not come in organic form.

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    Q: I was reading your article about vinegar being harmful to the body because of its acids and I was curious to know what you think of the Organic unpasturized, unfiltered apple cider vinegar with mother? I saw that at the end of the article it stated that "if you must" use vinegar to use the organic apple cider vinegar but, I have read many places that it has many health benefits such as reducing bad cholesterol, regulating blood pressure, eliminating toxic waste from the body, fighting fungal and bacterial infections, helping relieve joint pains, breaking down fat which helps in natural weight reduction.

    A:

    I approve of apple cider vinegar for health purposes. Some good stuff!

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    Q: I purchased 100.00 in organic herbs. Chapparal leaf, poke weed, psyllium husk powder, Pau d'Arco Bark. I purchased these herbs because my husband exposed me to the virus. I did not want to use traditional drugs to kill the virus. The only symptoms I have is the crescent moon under my eyes. I am 61 years old. My husband is African and refuses to use protection to prevent illness. Are they safe in small quantities?

    A:

    The herbs are safe in small quantities and actually all quantities as herbs are 100% safe!

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    Q: I notice that my 5 year old son as a cavity, and also his teeth are of a grayish color. He does not eat a lot of sweets, and artificial foods. I try to eat food that is organic, lots of fruits and vegetables. My concern is that, he is not getting enough vitamins, protein, and calcium. Is there of particular diet that you would recommend for my child?

    A:

    To make sure your child is getting enough nutrients, give the child Dherbs.com Children's Nutritive Formula 9, Calcium Extract, and Moringa Seed Extract. (Read our article on Moringa in the articles section of our site).

    Article:
    Moringa

    Product Links:
    Children's Calcium Extract
    Children's Iodine Extract
    Moringa Seed Extract

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    Q: I eat a lot of fruits and, veggies, I don't consume a lot of meat but I'm concern about the raw veggies and fruit lately because I read and article how washing your fruit and veggies isn't helping to clean fecee and other environmental mishaps that plaque out food so what do you recommend is there a organic wash or what?

    A:

    YES! VEGETABLE & FRUIT WASHES are sold at good health food stores such as Whole Foods Market.

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    Q: You mention in an article that your vitamins/minerals are phosphate (organic). I am confused. Phosphate is inorganic. Are you referring to organophosphates? Please explain why I should buy your magnesium phosphate or Vitamin C phosphate, they are inorganic?

    A:

    Phosphate is ORGANIC! Oxide is INORGANIC!

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    Q: What is your opinion on organic oatmeal?

    A:

    I was never an oatmeal eater, but it's one of the best cereals one could eat.

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    Q: Can I continue to take my organic hemp protein?

    A:

    You can consume organically natural hemp protein while on the cleanses, however we prefer to let the herbs work on it's own. A lot of people feel like they need an additional amount of protein while on the cleanse, but the best source of protein is within the foods we consume.