Have you ever bitten into a tomato or any organic fruit or vegetable that you’ve just paid a higher price for and wondered if it was truly organic? If you have, you are not alone, especially when the tomato was bland with no flavor. It makes you wonder, how can something that was grown organically taste so bland and why am I paying such a high price for something that has no flavor? “Organic certification requires careful tracking of the source of products so that labeling and signage in stores are accurate.” (2) Can we be assured that the organic labels are true to the produce?
Because of the growing demand and awareness of many consumers, healthy food is becoming more popular. The growing market allows for competition and more markets are carrying the “organic” brand of foods. “Consumer preference for organic and “all natural” foods remains on the rise, according to market trend research and retailer sales.”(1)
What are the regulations for organic foods? “Organic and other natural food manufacturers are under increasing regulatory and consumer scrutiny for tracing claims back to the source for all ingredients. Failing to verify the authenticity or identity preservation (IP) status of materials, maintain chain of custody and ensure the accuracy of labels can have devastating consequences for a manufacturer, including regulatory action and consumer fraud class action lawsuits.”(1)
Does this mean that we can be sure of the organic seal on the produce we are eating or are there other contributors to consider? “For example, is there a potential for cross contamination from a non-organic source? This is a common risk where a supplier engages in the co-production of organic and non-organic materials…Unverified packaging and labels are other sources of risk with the potential to affect the integrity of product claims. ”(1)
In the past, supermarkets such as Wal-Mart and Whole Foods have been accused of mislabeling their produce. “The Cornucopia Institute, a Wisconsin-based advocacy group which promotes sustainable farming, claims Wal-Mart (Charts) is defrauding its customers by mislabeling non-organic products as organic.”(3) “The Cornucopia Institute, a national farm policy research group that acts as an organic industry watchdog, announced today that it asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate allegations of consumer fraud and mislabeling related to Whole Foods’ ”Responsibly Grown” produce rating program.”(2)
It is important that we are critical about the foods we eat because, “we are what we eat.” To ensure that what we are eating is truly organic and the best tasting, healthy food to eat, we must become familiar with the practice of growing our own food. By becoming educated on how and even more by growing our own foods, we can be assured that we have the best food that will provide health and strength for ourselves and those we care about.
It is no wonder that in an income driven society, many people compromise health for wealth - but this should not be the case. The effort given and exerted towards being educated in the growth and maintenance of organic food production will save us money in the long run and can be an investment that will prove to be lifesaving.
1. Carlson, L. (2017, February 23). Achieving Transparency in Organic and Natural Product Claims. Retrieved from https://foodsafetytech.com/feature_article/achieving-transparency-organic-natural-product-claims/
2. Cornucopia News. (2015, June 24). Whole Foods Faces FTC Mislabeling Investigation. Retrieved from
3. Wong, G. (2007, January 17). Wal-Mart accused of 'organic fraud'. Retrieved from http://money.cnn.com/2007/01/17/news/companies/walmart_organic/