3 Myths about Organic Food
Food labels can be really confusing. A lot of people have misconceptions about organic foods and what it means for a food to be organic. The greater public assumes that all organic foods taste better, that they’re the same as natural foods, or that organic foods from other countries meet different standards than those in the United States. Not all of these statements are entirely true. In order to clear up some myths surrounding organic foods, check out the list below of our debunked myths:
Myth #1: All Organic Foods Taste Better
Many people think that organic food tastes better. Organic food isn’t that different from conventional, so if you are at the grocery store it’s pretty likely that the organic and conventional cucumbers taste nearly identical. The reason this myth came about is because sometimes when people buy organic, they are buying local. Local food commonly has more time to ripen on the plant and if it is from a small farm, the produce may be cultivated with more care. In this case it is probably true that the Armenian cucumber from your local CSA will probably taste better than a conventional cucumber from the supermarket.
Myth #2: Organic and Natural Foods are the Same
This is not true at all, as we learned in our recent post about what certain food terms mean. The term “natural” does not have a specific definition set forth by the USDA, so it can mean anything, but it certainly doesn’t mean organic. Organic food labels mean that those products have 95% or more organic ingredients, but there is no regulation about natural foods. The “natural” label is assumed to mean that the product is less processed than other similar products, but since the term is not regulated it is generally up to the company to determine whether or not their food is labeled “natural.” Because of this, a food label with the term “natural” should be treated the same as any other food label. On the other hand, a food label with “USDA Certified Organic” is guaranteed to be 95% or more organic.
Myth #3: Foreign Organic Foods Meet Different Standards
Any organic foods that are imported into the United States must meet the USDA’s standards for organic. The European Union and Canada have similar requirements as the United States and because of this there are certain agreements that allow the other countries to accept each other’s standards. Other than those, any produce or products imported to the USA with the seal of USDA Certified Organic comes from a manufacturer that has been carefully inspected by USDA personnel.