The USDA: Is “Organic” Really Organic?
At the time of the United States Department of Agriculture’s founding, about half of all Americans lived on farms, which is comparable today, which is only around 2 percent. Founded in 1962, the USDA was signed into law by former President Abraham Lincoln. Then, he called it “the people’s department.”
Given that the economy of the United States was largely agrarian at the time, it’s no wonder that the department was manifested in order to help the economy. Originally, the mission of this department was to provide farmers with assistance and to ensure that food continued to be produced and distributed to those who needed it.
Today, many of the programs that the USDA is concerned with is the education of food and nutrition to the American people as well as distributing food evenly among them.
I took the liberty of going to their website and looking up their mission statement. A screenshot of which is provided below:
In recent years, the word “organic” has seemed to manifest itself on a good majority of the products we see at the grocery stores, or anywhere food is advertised. Phrases such as “made with organic ingredients” or “100 percent organic” have attracted consumers like a fly to a bright light. Mainly because of the fact that they are under the impression that they are putting something healthy into their bodies and the bodies of their children.
Unfortunately for many Americans, the organic labels can be very misleading. Of course, many people have pointed their fingers at the same ones who are regulating and providing this food for us, the USDA.
According to fact, if an item is labeled “100 percent organic” it is supposed to contain nothing but organic ingredients. However, if an item is labeled “certified organic” then it is supposed to contain 95 percent organic ingredients. Crazy right? Therefore, food production companies are allowed to add up to 5 percent of dyes, colors, GMO, or other “sludge” into their product.
In my personal opinion, organic means organic. If an organic product is mixed with something that isn’t organic, then it isn’t organic anymore. According to Megan Roosevelt, RD, LD, “Today there are more than 250 non-organic ingredients approved for use in organic foods, according to what is known as the ‘The National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances.” Here are just a few substances: Soap, Ammonium, Ferric phosphate, Copper sulfate, Formic acid, Peracetic acid. Now I don’t know about you, but I have no idea what those substances are or what they do to my food. As a consumer, the thought of this can be completely terrifying.
An organization known as the “Non-GMO Project” is breaking new ground in fighting the war against non organic and non GMO foods. I know that when I buy an item at the supermarket with this label on it:
I know that I can trust that this is completely organic, without any false advertisements or labels to worry me or anyone else concerning with what they are putting into their bodies.