Organic foods aren't necessarily pesticide-free. Pesticides that are allowed for organic food production are not usually man-made. They usually have natural substances such as soaps, lime sulfur and hydrogen peroxide as ingredients. Yes, organic farming practices use fewer synthetic pesticides that have been found to be harmful to the environment.
But industrial organic farms use their own barrage of chemicals that are still harmful to the environment, refusing to support technologies that could reduce or eliminate the use of these products altogether. Take, for example, the firm stance of organic farming against genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Contrary to popular belief, organic foods have pesticides, whether they are used directly in crops or not. Organic foods can be treated with pesticides from the USDA Approved Substance List, which includes products such as copper sulfate and hydrogen peroxide.
Although organic farmers mainly use natural pesticides in their crops, there are also synthetic pesticides approved for use in organic crops. In addition, the USDA reports that pesticide residues are found in both organic and conventional crops alike in its Pesticide Data Program, but all crops are subject to regulations governing safe consumption levels. As Michael Pollan, best-selling author and supporter of organic, said in an interview with Organic Gardening,. That's not to say there's no hope for organic agriculture; better technology could bridge the production gap, allowing organic methods to produce on a par with conventional agriculture.
The Department of Agriculture (USDA) has established an organic certification program that requires all organic foods to meet strict government standards. Contrary to popular belief, organic cattle can be raised in a broiler pen; buying organic meat does not guarantee grass-fed or grass-finished animals. In the same survey, in which 95% of organic consumers in the UK said they buy organic products to avoid pesticides, more than two-thirds of those surveyed said that organic products and meats taste better than non-organic products. Organic doesn't mean pesticide-free. The bottom line is that organically produced fruits and vegetables may not be pesticide-free.
Canadian scientists pitted “reduced risk” organic and synthetic pesticides against each other to control a problematic pest, soybean aphid. USDA certified organic products must be produced in accordance with organic regulations and without the use of prohibited substances or excluded methods such as sewage sludge, irradiation, or genetic engineering. When the Soil Association, a major accreditation body for organic products in the UK, asked consumers why they bought organic food, 95% of them said their main reason was to avoid pesticides. But my scientific mind, background, and training require me to explain that the idea that organic products are not treated with pesticides is actually a common myth about organic foods.
Why the government doesn't monitor the use of organic pesticides and fungicides is a very good question, especially considering that many organic pesticides that are also used by conventional farmers are used more intensively than synthetic ones because of their lower levels of effectiveness. While there are many marketing claims that add value to food, consumers can rest assured that USDA organic products are verified as organic at every step between farm and store. This is the third installment in the Organic 101 series that explores different aspects of USDA organic regulations. Consumers buy organic products hoping to maintain their organic integrity from farm to market.
So, again, if everything is organic in a processed product but contains a transgenic citric acid, do you label it as “organic”? .