It’s hard to know your food is nourishing your body the way nature intended when there is advertising campaigns and media causing mass confusion about what is good for you, as opposed to what is marketed to be good to increase profits of a company. It’s even harder to know that the food you buy from a supermarket is good for you when the use of pesticides and herbicides around the globe are under-regulated causing millions of illness ever year (WHO Organisation report) and are being labelled as carcinogenic. Add that to the import regulations and it certainly is a maze that will cause any person who cares for their health and the planet to become bewildered about how it got so complicated.
This article will aim to debunk some of the questions about how the Certified Organic processing authority we use, Australian Certified Organic, ensures your food is the safest, cleanest and most environmentally friendly food you will find.
Firstly, how it’s grown….
Organic agriculture is governed by strict government standards ensuring production is undertaken without the use of toxic and persistent pesticides and synthetic nitrogen fertilisers, antibiotics, synthetic hormones, genetic engineering or other excluded practices, sewage sludge, or irradiation. All these are sadly found in chemical and conventional agriculture practices.
Organic farmers understand that what you put into the soil has a profound impact on what you get out of it and recognise it as their biggest asset. They recognise that by caring for the soil it provides plants with the nutrients they need to grow. Plus, it enables the absorption of major and micro-nutrients like Vitamin C, resulting in a higher nutrient content and often a better tasting crop. All this resulting in healthier bodies for those who consume these crops.
It all starts with practices to help build healthy soils, which nurture the plants and help decrease the incidence of plant disease. In order to earn organic certification, land must be handled without prohibited materials for at least three years. With certification, organic farmers must develop an organic operating farm plan, which is overseen by their certification agency with annual third-party inspections.
Then how it’s processed…
Organic foods are minimally processed without artificial ingredients or synthetic preservatives. The use of GMOs is prohibited during the production and processing of certified organic products. A rigorous certification process, including periodic testing, is required and completely irradiation is prohibited in organic processing.
The processes used in an operation that has been certified to organic standards is reviewed and assessed with special steps taken to make sure the organic ingredients are not co-mingled or contaminated with non-organic materials.
And on importing….
If you are buying imported Certified Organic products you can be sure to know the product has not been irradiated. Every product, the place it was grown and its intended use are all factors that are considered when products are reviewed and assessed for their acceptance into Australia. The Department of Agriculture is concerned about infestations of bugs and bacteria into our ecosystem that may cause damage. If a imported product is tarnished the importer is to be given the option of (i) return or (ii) having the product cleaned or re-graded at a Department of Agriculture approved premises thus deeming it no longer certified.
Beyond this measure random and ongoing sampling of imported certified organic products by the certifying authority are undertaken. Residues of herbicides, pesticides, modern agricultural heavy metals, GMO genetic material, micro-biologicals and a range of others are conducted to ensure the food we sell and you eat is safe for you and the environment in which it is grown.
As a registered processor of Australian Certified Organic there is more great information available at their site: www.austorganic.com