Certified Organic – What Does it Mean

Portrait of a Cow in a Wild Meadow, Grown for Organic MeatThe “certified organic” trend started in grocery aisles, but we see it in all sorts of products and services these days. Many of us are used to spending a few extra bucks for the organic option, but do we really know what we’re paying for? The pros at D’Arcy’s did their homework and the summary below outlines the facts about organic certification. Read on for more!

 

WHAT DOES ‘CERTIFIED ORGANIC’ MEAN?

The Canadian Organic Standard covers several aspects of production, including but not limited to:

  • Eliminating toxic, synthetic pesticides;
  • Avoiding growth hormones and unnecessary antibiotics;
  • Improving humane treatment for animals including outdoor access;
  • De-incentivizing contemporary shortcuts such as nitrogen- or sewage-based fertilization, GMO/nanotechnology usage, irradiated products or ingredients and many other issues;
  • Preventing use of chemical additives, artificial or harmful preservatives, colours or flavours (MSG, aspartame, sodium nitrates and nitrites, etc.).

The fact is… Organic certification was created with good intentions, but– like any new industrial standard– it must be continually updated and scrutinized to keep up with modern advancement and discovery.

 

WHO REGULATES ORGANIC CERTIFICATION?

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) controls organic certification— they set the Canadian Organic Standard in partnership with organic producers, then CFIA Accredited Certification Bodies enforce it across the country. This system, known generally as the Canada Organic Regime, is meant to ensure certified organics are grown, marketed and sold in a responsible, transparent manner. Critics of the process argue there is financial incentive to overlook wrongdoers, as well as overall vulnerability to human error.

The fact is… ‘Certified organic’ production may be too new of a concept for it to be taken at face value by an everyday consumer– it’s up to them to be well informed!

 

WHAT DOESN’T ‘ORGANIC’ COVER?

The CFIA and their producers are very upfront that ‘certified organic’ only covers a specific range of details. The following is a list of some product labels that are not controlled by organic certification:

  • Free-range, free-run, cage-free and other egg classifications;
  • Grain-fed, grass-fed, grass-finished and other feed types;
  • Local, farm-fresh or other geographic information;
  • Natural, all-natural, country style and similar claims about the health, quality and reliability of the product.

The fact is… All experts agree that you should investigate any claim made on a product label before buying it.

 

If you have questions about ‘certified organic’ products, the alternatives, and the availability of both at D’Arcy’s– contact or visit us today! Our helpful, friendly staff takes pride in their knowledge and familiarity with what we sell, why we sell it and the quality of our suppliers.

Comments are closed