Ingredients in the 5% of certified organic

Watch Video: Ingredients in the 5% of certified organic by Gary Hirshberg, ...
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Ingredients in the 5% of certified organic

There's been a lot of confusion about what it means to be certified organic. There are 3 levels of organic. You can be 100% organic. Very rarely does that happen. You can be 70% organic. That's called made with organic. You'll actually see the words. But a lot of organic is 95%, and a lot of people are confused. What's in that 5? Why isn't it 100? The reality is that it's not possible to get some ingredients organically certified. For example if you had soda water, it's carbonated. Well you can't get organic carbon dioxide. [exhales] There's some carbon dioxide. It's freely available. So there's a specified list of ingredients. I believe right now it's about 32 of them. There's something called the National Organic Standards Board that approves those 32 ingredients to be included in that 5%. In other words, you can't just say 95% of organic and 5% of whatever. The 5% is strictly regulated, strictly limited through a pretty rigorous scientific process with citizens and farmers and scientists all debating. And these 32 ingredients are ingredients that have been found where organic alternatives just don't exist. There are yeasts for example in bread, or cultures in yogurt, that are 10s of 1000s of generations old because they multiple so quickly. You can't certify the great-great-great-great grand parent of my yogurt culture and know exactly where it came from. So for that reason, 95% is a very safe bet. you can rest assured that your interests are being protected. Because it's kind of an interesting thing. We as an industry have a stake in the standard meaning something. As a matter of fact, I can't think of another industry on earth that's actually fighting for more government regulation. But organic wants more regulation, because if the symbol doesn't mean something, then it will be like the word natural, which means exactly nothing. You might want to go take a look at a really cool video that's on YouTube right now that's called only organic which shows the difference between organic and natural. Unfortunately the word natural has really been hijacked, because there's not a set of laws behind it. There's no set definition. There's no standards. There's no 5%. There's no nothing. Basically anything you want can go into the product. You can slap a farm or a barn on the label and call it natural. But it really doesn't have, there's nobody who's going to certify it. With organic, you've got regulators. You've got folks watching. You've got certification that can be stripped from you. And you can go to jail or get heavily fined if you put it on and you're not really observing the spirit and the specific law.

Watch Video: Ingredients in the 5% of certified organic by Gary Hirshberg, ...


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Gary Hirshberg

Gary Hirshberg is Chairman of Stonyfield Farm, the world’s leading organic yogurt producer, and Managing Director of Stonyfield Europe. He is also the Chairman and Founding Partner of “Just Label It, We Have the Right to Know,” the national campaign to label GE foods. Gary has received twelve honorary doctorates and numerous awards for corporate and environmental leadership including a 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award by the US EPA.

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