Are Organic Foods 100% Pesticide-Free?

The term “organic” is used to describe the way agricultural products are grown and processed. In the United States, organic agriculture does not use synthetic chemicals, instead focusing on maintaining the natural state of the soil and often implementing practices such as crop rotation. The US government has inspected the need to label organic products more securely than gluten-free products. Contrary to popular belief, organic foods have nothing to do with nutrition or health, but rather with agricultural production.

USDA certified organic foods are grown and processed in accordance with federal guidelines that address soil quality, animal husbandry practices, pest and weed control, and the use of additives. Organic certification verifies that farms or handling facilities comply with organic regulations and allows producers to sell, label and represent their products as organic. Regulations prohibit organically processed foods from containing artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors and require that their ingredients be organic, with some minor exceptions. In Australia, the levels of agricultural and chemical residues allowed in domestic and imported foods are set by Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ).

The buyer's guide is intended to provide advice for consumers who want to limit exposure to pesticides to choose varieties with low scores (their Clean 15 list) or replace foods on the Dirty Dozen list with organic products. Associate Professor Jayashree Arcot from the UNSW School of Chemical Engineering says that organic farms must pass an audit and review process before being certified. Familiarizing themselves with the USDA organic label and understanding its claims allows consumers to make informed choices about the food they buy. For a product to bear the USDA organic label, a third party must verify that at least 95% of the ingredients are organic.

Despite this, many organic businesses and farmers opt for organic certification anyway to increase consumer confidence. Organic foods are a great way for consumers to reduce their exposure to pesticides while still enjoying delicious food. By understanding what it means for a product to be certified organic, consumers can make informed decisions about what they buy. Knowing what is in your food is an important part of making sure you are getting the most out of your diet.

Mildred Auala
Mildred Auala

Wannabe travel practitioner. Alcohol fan. Hipster-friendly social media buff. Unapologetic coffee lover. Unapologetic travel guru. Incurable tv junkie.