What Does it Mean to be Organic?

More and more you are seeing organic options in stores. It’s no surprise to see an increase in organic options when, according to Pew Research, four in ten Americans say they eat partially or mostly organic. While you may know this is a positive shift in the food industry you may not know what it means to be certified organic. Organic produce is more than refraining from the use of pesticides to grow crops. To earn that “USDA Organic” seal, produce must meet strict standards in a variety of areas. These include soil quality, pest control and weed management.

Soil quality and management are the foundation of organics. This makes perfect sense as this is where the produce receives nutrients and calls home until harvest. Organic produce must be grown in soil that has not had synthetic fertilizers or pesticides applied for three years prior to harvest. Additionally, seeds used to grow the crop cannot be genetically modified. This means that all organic produce is non-GMO. Farm inspections are conducted yearly to check seed sources, soil conditions, water systems, cross-contamination and weed and pest control.