Buying organic food has become popular for consumers now. It has been their way of achieving a sustainable and healthy life. Commercial markets are also selling organic food. The increasing demand is a good news for organic growers. This means that they can sustain their livelihood and the production of organic food.
However, there have been issues surrounding the market that some products are really not ‘organic’. They were just labeled as organic to attract customers leaning toward a healthy living.
How can we shop for real organic products?
Read the Labels
In the United States, the Agriculture department certifies products that are organic by sticking a black or green seal. The seal signifies that the products are made with 95% or 100% organic ingredients. Apart from the seal, you can also see an organic print saying “100% Certified Organic Product” or simply “100% Organic”.
Check the Code
All products have distinct PLU codes. These codes are little numbers on stickers that are entered when you purchase your groceries. The PLU code of organic products start with 9 and is followed by four more numbers.
Beware of ‘Greenwashed’ Products
‘Greenwashing’ is very rampant in most commercial stores nowadays. Some companies take advantage of organic seals, prints or eco-friendly terms in their packaging to market and sell their products, creating a reality that their products are organic. Most commonly, ‘greenwashed’ products include cosmetics and baby care products.
When in doubt, ask the sales representative or store employees if the products are really organic. The store is more knowledgeable about their products since they know where they get these products.
Use your Senses
You can also determine the difference between organic and inorganic foods by using your senses. Organic foods do not look identical, no tomatoes look the same whereas, inorganically grown products are almost identical. Organic foods are usually smaller as well, as there are no growth hormones involved. Lastly, organic food smell and taste better.
Shop at Local Farmers’ Markets
If you want to be 100% sure with the products you buy, shop directly at local farmers’ markets or community supported agricultural shops. Ask about their farming practices and techniques. No doubt, they sell real organic products.