What does organic really mean?
Organic food means more than it not having conventional pesticides. The USDA organic seal has the goal of preserving nature and biodiversity, minimizing pollution, maintaining animal health/welfare, minimizing artificial chemicals and not utilizing GMO ingredients. This also includes allowing animals access to the outdoors rather than factory farming, along with regular onsite inspections of certified organic produce.Food terms can get confusing, so I want to break down what each USDA organic term really means.
Organic crops refer to non-genetically modified produce that was grown without irradiation, prohibited pesticides, sewage products and synthetic fertilizers.
Organic livestock refers to both welfare and health standards being met when raising these animals. This includes feeding livestock 100% organic feed, animals having access to the outdoors and no growth hormones or antibiotics used.
Organic dairy means that the cows that were milked for the dairy in question, had full access to the outdoors and grazed on pastures during the growing seasons of the farms they were raised on.
Organic processed foods have a slightly different definition, meaning that 95% of listed ingredients are certified organic.