I am sure everyone has seen the “organic” certification logo on various products when shopping at your preferred retailer, but are these products really worth the price tag?
Products that are certified organic are grown and manufactured according to federal guidelines. These guidelines deal with soil quality, types of pest and weed control and the use of additives among several other factors. The USDA website states that products that are certified organic are produced through approved methods, which integrate cultural, biological and mechanical practices that foster the cycling of resources, promote ecological and conserve biodiversity.
Some products are certified organic if they have grown in soil that has had no prohibited substance applied to it for three years prior to harvest. These substances include synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, irradiation and genetic engineering (GMOs).
What about multi-ingredient foods? Organically processed foods are prohibited from containing artificial colors, flavors or preservatives and require all of the ingredients to be certified organic. For example: a protein powder blend that is certified organic is required to present an organic certification for each ingredient in order to bear the USDA Organic certification logo.
The companies that are committed to having an Organic Certification go through a very exhaustive process from sourcing the organic ingredients and verifying the integrity of the supply chain to submitting all of the appropriate documentation for their products. Not to mention that if some of these ingredients come from abroad the process becomes even more difficult and onerous. This is why organic products are often priced higher than other comparable products.
However, assuring that the finished product doesn’t contain all kinds of artificial flavors or preservatives is a positive for your health. So, it is really up to each individual whether or not buying organic is worth the additional cost. However, as Virgil said, “The greatest wealth is health!”