To celebrate Organic Week 2012 (September 22 to 29), we’re blogging about common myths and facts about organics.
Myth: “organic” and “natural” are the same thing.
Fact: They are not the same thing. While certified organic products are strictly regulated, there is no true way a consumer can know what a company means when it uses the term “natural.”
Myth: organic food is small potatoes in the agricultural sector in Canada.
Fact: Organic farming is hardly a small sector of the agricultural industry in Canada. It’s actually the fastest growing segment of Canadian agriculture! Organic Week organizers note that “The value of the organic market is now valued at more than $2.6 billion in sales, and has grown by 160% since 2006.”
Myth: organic products are different from conventional products because they don’t use toxic and potentially harmful chemicals.
Fact: While it is true that certified organic products don’t use potentially harmful and toxic chemicals, there’s a lot more to organic certification than just regulations about chemicals. With organic food:
- farmers use sustainable farming methods, working with nature rather than against it
- genetically modified organisms (GMOs), synthetic growth hormones or antibiotics, fertilizers made from fossil fuels, additives (such as aspartame; MSG; nitrates; artificial colours; flavours, and preservatives), and irradiation are not used
- animals are raised in humane conditions
- there are strict regulations that all of these conditions are followed
Myth: organic products aren’t widely available.
Fact: Certified organic food is found in the vast majority of major retailers and local health food stores. While organic products were once a niche market and only available in select locations, consumers today have easy access to them. And not only is organic food widely available, but organic cosmetics and personal care products, pet products, clothing and textiles, and countless other household products now have organic options.