What does organic mean? There is so much confusion over this. Furthermore, it is difficult to know what labels we need to look for to ensure we are buying certified organic products. The good news is, there is more variety than you thought. Let us explain.
According to the Australian Government Standard for Organic and Biodynamic Produce, Certified Organic “means the application of practices that emphasise the;
- Use of renewable resources and;
- Conservation of energy, soil and water and;
- Recognition of livestock welfare and needs and;
- Environmental maintenance and enhancement, while producing optimum quantities of produce without the use of synthetic chemicals”
In addition, the organizations who monitor these standards require them to “have been applied for three years before the products can be labelled as organic or biodynamic.”
What does this mean?
This means that the term organic does not just refer to produce that is free of synthetic chemicals. In reality, it is much more holistic than that. When farmers grow in an organic way, the conservation of the environment is paramount. They ensure the soil, air and water are all kept chemical free. Organic farming principles benefit everyone as they aim to conserve resources for future use. Organic farmers take great care to keep the soil healthy and to imitate nature’s way. Likewise, they try to interfere with the animals they rear as little as possible. For example, the farmers handle the animals less, give them more freedom to eat where they choose, and obviously do not feed them any synthetic chemicals.
Which organizations are monitoring these standards?
The Australian government has contracted seven organisations to uphold the Organic standards. All are accredited by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) under the National Standard for Organic and Biodynamic Produce.
Here are the links to their websites:
What logos should I look for?
When you are shopping, look out for the follow logos. This guarantees that you will get organic.
In a nutshell
So, what does it all come down to? Here are the key things you need to know when choosing organic.
- When consumers buy produce that is Certified Organic it is absolutely NOT Genetically Modified.
- Certified Organic produce does not contain any synthetic agricultural chemicals. This includes: pesticides, fungicides and herbicides.
- Organic farmers focus on biodiversity protection and land regeneration.
- Certified organic food is real food made without synthetic colourings, preservatives, additives or GM ingredients.
- Certified organic food and drink must contain a minimum of 95 per cent certified organic ingredients.
- Australian legislation doesn’t require foods made with genetically modified material to be labelled. Therefore, your best way to avoid it is to look for an organic certification logo.
Finally, another way to ensure you are purchasing organic, is to shop at The Organic Place. We only source certified organic produce and products.