Organic Food Certification

There are varying rules that apply to organic food certification depending upon the business that is seeking certification. Obviously the same rules wouldn’t apply to organic seed suppliers as would apply to organic restaurants. But there is an organic certification process for each and every stage of food production – from seed to table.

Basically, any business directly involved in food production can be certified organic as long as they meet the requirements of certification. Each country, including the United States, has rules, standards, and procedures for certifying food production businesses. The rules, regulations, standards, and oversight vary from country to country. The standards in the United States are the highest and most stringent in the world. The standards in many other countries are far below those in America.

In the United States, the regulations for being deemed “certified organic” are basically that no chemical fertilizers, toxic pesticides, or drugs of any kind are used or have been used for a period of time in the production, processing, packaging, or serving of food. Of course, as with all governmental regulations, the requirements are stated over many pages using a great many words, but that is the gist of the certification requirements.

Today only between 2 and 3 percent of farm and ranch land is deemed “certified organic” worldwide. There are only a few seed companies that sell “certified organic” seeds. Not many processed foods are deemed “certified organic” or even “100% organic.” There are more restaurants today than there once was that are deemed “certified organic” – thankfully, that number is growing, but it is still miniscule in comparison to the number of restaurants there are in the world.

In order to eat as nearly organically as possible, it is important to look for the “certified organic” seal.


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