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What Does "Organic" Really Mean?

What Does "Organic" Really Mean?

In the dictionary, organic means : ( of food or farming methods) produced or involving production without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or other artificial agents. The word "organic" appears on packages more and more in the United States and many other countries around the world. Amidst nutrition facts, ingredients lists, and dietary claims on food packages, it might appear as one more piece of information when shopping for foods. Understanding what "organic" means, helps us make informed choices, when visiting stores or farmers' markets. For the grocers, roasters, chefs, consumers etc... it means that the products they sell, cook with and eat, is free from synthetic chemicals and pesticides.

USDA (United States Department of Agriculture), certifies organic foods, according to federal guidelines, based on many factors. Some of them are, soil quality, animal raising practices, pest and weed control and use of additives. Organic farmers can only rely on natural substances, physical, mechanical or biologically based farming methods to the fullest extent possible.

As far as organic coffee goes, the farm's fertilizer must be 100% organic. If inorganic fertilizers such as synthetic nitrogen, phosphate, and potash are used, the crop used cannot be certified by the USDA. The coffee is produced without aid of chemical substances, such as certain additives or pesticides and herbicides. Meanwhile, the OFPA ( Organic Food Production Act of 1990) focuses on the production of coffee after the harvest. It regulates the use of chemicals on the product and how the coffee beans are handled throughout the production process. 

Organic agriculture can strengthen the natural environment's resistance to disease. A coffee crop of this standard is generally grown in shaded areas, which promotes the preservation of forests. It also minimizes soil erosion and is beneficial to our ecosystem. The bird population also develops a great relationship with the coffee fields, while keeping the insects under control, and fertilizing the soil. 

Well, as I was researching for this blog, I became aware of certain facts I did not know before. Hope you learned a few things as well and/or found it useful.


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