Organic Foods with Pesticides?
Do Organic Foods Contain pesticides? Until today I would have said no, but the answer is”Yes”. Don’t go running for the hills just yet! The pesticides in “Organic” foods come from (natural sources) such as plants. Organic food farmers must abide by the national standards in order for their product to be labeled Organic. In abiding by these terms they are unable to use synthetic pesticides.
What organic really means
It means that these pesticides, if used, must be derived from natural sources, not synthetically manufactured. Also, these pesticides must be applied using equipment that has not been used to apply any synthetic materials for the past three years, and the land being planted cannot have been treated with synthetic materials for that period either. (1992)_Science_Vol 258,pp 262-265,<P>
Other methods employed by Organic farmers
Most organic farmers (and even some conventional farmers, too) employ mechanical and cultural tools to help control pests. These include insect traps, careful crop selection (there are a growing number of disease-resistant varieties), and biological controls (such as predator insects and beneficial microorganisms).
What does the USDA organic Seal ensure?
Purchasing a product that is labeled Organic ensures that as a buyer you are purchasing 95% organic ingredients. The other 5% can be made up of non-organic ingredients such as salt, baking soda and non synthetic flavors,vitamins and minerals.
Reasons you can trust the Organic Seal
Some may feel a little jaded with the knowledge that even Organic Foods have pesticides. Even with the knowledge that that Organic Food Farmers must abide by a regulated national standard, it can be a little alarming. Here are some reasons to trust the process and why you can still trust your Organic seal:
- The USDA has been certifying all foods that contain the Organic Seal meet the National Organic Standards Board requirements since 2002.
- As mentioned the USDA will verify that all Organic labeled foods contain no more than 5% non organic ingredients which still cannot be synthetic in nature.
- Farmers must provide a history of every substance applied to their land for three years. They must pass a rigorous pesticide residue testing program. Toxic synthetic pesticides are not allowed in Organic production.
- The organic seal verifies that farmers did not use Growth Hormones or Antibiotics
- Beginning with seed selection and soil management, Third party agencies are used to audit the farming, processing, handling, storage and anything not mentioned in between.
If the thought of Organic foods having some form of pesticides has left you feeling discouraged, clearly the only other option is to grow your own! For more information on Organic practices and regulations see the source information below.