To celebrate Canada Organic Week (Sept 19 – 26) we have put together a list of organic questions and answers, in a fun infographic. Scroll down for all the live links and a text version of all the info if that’s your thing.
Canada Organic Week
Wikipedia Organic Certification
Organic Production Systems Standards
Environmental Medicine Organic Vs Conventional Foods Study
Little evidence of health benefits from organic foods study
These days people buy, eat and wear more organic than ever before. But with all the certifications, labels and details, even the greenest shopper may not know exactly what it all means. So the London Drugs Green Deal Team delved into the world of organic certification to answer a few basic questions.
What makes a product ‘Certified Organic’?
Requirements vary from country to country, and generally involve a set of production standards for growing, storage, processing, packaging and shipping. Synthetic pesticides and genetically modified seeds are not permitted, On-farm and facility inspections are conducted to verify that organic producers are operating within standards.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency oversees the Canada Organic label. In the US, it’s the Department of Agriculture (USDA Organic)
Canadian Organic Standards also include principles like protecting the environment, minimizing soil degradation and decreasing pollution.
Other countries with organic certifications include Australia, the European Union, France, Germany and Japan
What about ‘Organic Ingredients’?
Multi-ingredient products with 70-95 per cent organic content may have the declaration “contains x% organic ingredients,” but may not use the Canada Organic logo and/or the claim “organic”. Multi-ingredient products with less than 70 per cent organic content may only use organic claims in the product’s ingredient list. These products may not use the Canada
Only products with 95% organic content or more may be labelled as “organic” or bear the Canada Organic logo.
What’s the difference between Organic and Natural?
Natural means that:
• The food or ingredient must not contain an added vitamin, mineral nutrient, food additive or artificial flavouring agent.
• Must not have had any constituent removed or significantly changed (except removal of water).
• Must not have been submitted to processes that have significantly altered its original physical, chemical or biological state. (Source: CFIA)
Why is organic more expensive?
It isn’t always. But organic farming is more labor and management intensive. Organic-certified operations must have a plan and keep records that verify their compliance. Organic farms are also usually smaller than conventional farms and may not benefit from the economies of scale that larger growers get.
Canada’s Organic Standards cover everything from seeds to weeds to transportation.
Is Organic food better for you?
The jury is still out. Some studies show that organics provide greater levels of vitamin C, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus than non-organic varieties, while being significantly lower in nitrates and pesticide residues. Other studies have found there isn’t much nutritional difference between organic and conventional foods.
When you consider the effects of conventional pesticides in soils and waterways, more organic production is probably a good thing for everyone’s health.
The BOTTOM LINE:
Going organic is a personal choice, but it’s not a decision you should have to make on cost alone. That’s why London Drugs is committed to offering you some of the best organic options out there, at great prices.
That’s the REAL Green Deal! Happy Organic Week!