5 Things You Might Not Know About Organics

August 31, 2017

There's no such thing as organic fish, chemicals are often used, and other things you need to know about organics.

Organic food has become unavoidable business for the food industry, and if you are a retailer, you should be well aware of the consumer demand. Even Walmart is now trying out and organic fast food in-store restaurant!

The Organic Trade Association states on their website, "In the first comprehensive look at organic purchases by households on a state-by-state level, 82.3 percent of 100,000 households participating in the nationally representative Nielsen study conducted in 2015 and 2016 reported purchasing organic on a regular basis throughout 2016. That’s up 3.4 percent from 2015." 

We here at SupermarketGuru feel retailers and their shoppers should be fully educated on organic and conventional foods, and we also believe both sides have merits and can be appreciated and considered from a scientific and factual basis. 

With that in mind, here are a five things you may not know about organic foods. 

You don’t necessarily have to start with an organic plant! That’s right, there's an allowance in the federal organic standards to use conventionally grown baby plants as organic starters. After the baby plant is planted, all organic methods will be utilized.

Organic farming can use over 100 pesticides. Organic does not automatically mean pesticide or chemical-free. In fact, under the laws of most states, organic farmers are allowed to use a wide variety of chemical sprays and powders on their crops. That being said, if pesticides are used in organic farming, they must be derived from natural sources, not synthetically manufactured. 

It might be organic, but it might be from the other side of the world. To get to your plate, most food, even organics, travel over one thousand miles. Shoppers should check labels or ask the produce manager about the origin of the store's organic produce and try to buy local. In addition to helping the environment, shopping local keeps dollars in your community. A small local farm might not be certified organic, but may use organic methods (or better!).

There is no such thing as organic fish! That’s right, when it comes to fish and ocean life, there are no USDA federal regulations that make something organic. So if seafood is marked as such, be wary: It's not required on a state or federal level to meet any specific standards, and it's probably more expensive.

As far as food safety is concerned there is no difference between organic and conventionally produced foods – so always remember to wash all fruits and vegetables thoroughly, and employ safe handling and storage for meat, poultry, dairy and fish.