It's OrGaNiC

We have posted about organic and the meaning of the label in the grocery store before, or lack thereof. As a quick reminder- organic doesn’t really mean anything, at least not yet. Produce that cross state lines are sprayed with pesticides as is imported produce and there’s no regulations on the soil, pest control, nor welfare of the animal (if you’re buying meat and not produce). As a reminder, the word organic in a literal sense just means “consists of carbon chains” and has in no way been regulated in the world of food. It isn’t like “halal” or “kosher” which have strict guidelines, albeit based on religion, that if broken have very real consequences. Anyway, with the rise of the word “organic” the U.S. Department of Agriculture is finally deciding to try to step in with rules on what can and cannot be labeled with the term “organic”. The revisions for products to meet the standards for the organic label are as follows: the products would have to meet standards for soil quality, weed and pest control, animal welfare, and additives. The guidelines have come about in response to the rising incidence of organic food fraud- it’s hard to say that something is or is not fraud without a clear set of rules to abide by. Is there any sort of guide for organic foods now? Yes, but the standards were published in 1990 and are more than 30 years old at this point. That doesn’t sound major, however, if you take into consideration that Coca Cola had cocaine in it until 1924. It wasn’t a lot of cocaine, but it was just enough to give Coca Cola the competitive edge prior to cocaine being banned and later classified as a controlled substance. In addition, cough syrup had heroin in it until 1910. Heroin did not begin its life as a “street drug”, at least not in the U.S. It was originally marketed as an ingredient in cough syrup to help with pain and act as a cough suppressant. More specifically, it was meant to be a non-addictive morphine substitute and cough suppressant. Boy did they miss the mark with that as heroin is also considered to be a controlled substance. The moral of the story? Just because something is mass produced and marketed a certain way, doesn’t mean that it’s healthy nor safe. We imagine the goal here is for the products to be cleaner/healthier as advertised. Especially since the rise of big-name organic stores that are so common that it’s surprising to hear that someone isn’t familiar with at least one of the following stores: Whole Foods, Costco (though not an organic store, has a ton of organic products), Trader Joe’s, Lowe’s Foods, Sprouts, and Publix. At this point, organic foods make up a multibillion-dollar industry, so having more strict guidelines on what can bear the label “organic” will only help the industry and increase trust in the label.For the latest in news and stock picks, don’t miss our podcast at