There is a big problem with the label ORGANIC. Many organic farmers are upset and disappointed with how "organic factory farms" have taken over the multi-billion organic food industry. And they should be upset.
Organic foods are foods grown and processed following organic farming standards (rules). But... Big Business (who support factory farms) has influenced the organic rules and has found all sorts of loopholes which they use. This is not for the better for the farmer or consumer.
Ethical organic farmers are paying the price. Doing organic correctly (e.g., cows actually graze outdoors, berry crops actually grown in soil) costs more than factory farming which ignores organic rules (e.g., stuffing thousands of animals into buildings without any real access to outdoors). So... the smaller organic farmers actually following the spirit of organic standards can't compete with factory farms and are being forced out of farming.
Also, much "organic" food and products coming from countries such as China and Turkey are NOT organic - the label is a total fraud. That is why their "organic" is so cheap compared with North American and European grown organic food.
Organic farmers are now fighting back by developing labels that distinguishes their food and products as "real" organic - organic how it's meant to be. For example, the animals receive organic feed from the start, do go outside, and crops are grown in soil (and not artificially in water filled containers). A new label gaining popularity is Real Organic Project. So far over 1000 US farms have joined.
What you can do: Go check out farmers markets and support small farms. Buy organic food that is known to support real organic practices (e.g., Organic Valley - a co-op of organic farmers) rather than factory farmed food (e.g., Horizon, Aurora). [See photos: Cornucopia; Two organic farm and industry watchdogs are OrganicEye and Cornucopia Institute]
Written by organic blueberry farmer Hugh Kent, from Mother Earth News: Real Organic Project: Is “USDA Organic” Really Organic?
Is “USDA Organic” Really Organic?
Many of us who want good, healthy food look at labels in hopes they’ll help us evaluate our food and its quality. We’ve turned with hope to terms like “all-natural,” “sustainable,” and, lately, “regenerative,” but none of these has an established or consistent meaning. In the U.S., the word “organic” stands alone as a term defined by law. “Certified Organic” can only be used if the product complies with the law (which emphasizes the enhancement of soil quality as its foundational principle). ...continue reading "Some Foods With Organic Labels Are Not So Organic"