What is organic food?

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What is organic food?

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So whether you're buying food at a farmer's market or a grocery store or directly from the farm or wherever you get it, the one sure way you can know the food has actually been grown in an organic manner, a manner that avoids the use of toxic-persistent pesticides, that avoids growth hormones, is to see that organic symbol. And getting that seal is not a light process, whether you're a farmer or a food processor. It means you have to go through the process of having a third-party come in and they go through everything in your supply chain. They literally visit the farm in my case for my milk and my fruit and my flavorings. In the case of a farmer who might be at a farmer's market, certification means somebody visited your farm and looked around to see what are you doing? What are you practicing? What are your records? And you have to keep very religious records that show that the animals have been exposed to pasture most of the year, that they have not been exposed to synthetic growth hormones, that the fields have not been using genetically engineered seeds or crops or what have you. It's a rigorous process. It's not easy to get the seal. But it's the one way as parents and as shoppers we can be sure that that food is as pure as we want it to be. To be fair, many small farmers, say someone that has a couple of crops, Brussels sprouts, let's say, don't get the certification, but they actually engage in the practices. And that's just because there's some expense and some time and some labor involved in getting certified. So if a farmer at a farmer's market tells you, I actually farm organically or biodynamically or something else, ask them a few more questions. Why and how and what's the difference. And judge for yourself if it makes sense to you. But again, the one way you can be certain is if the seal is there, either on their booth or on their products.

See Gary Hirshberg's video on What is organic food?...

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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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