Organic Food Fraud

I recently came across this article and thought I would share it with my readers…yes, I have permission to do so.

There’s always somebody looking to make an easy buck.  Scams of all kinds are simple because honest people believe that other people are honest.  Not all of them are.  Let’s face it — we are truly at the mercy of the governmental agencies that regulate our food supply, including our organic food supply.

An orange is an orange.  You can’t look at two oranges and determine which one was produced using organic means and which was raised using traditional farming methods.  There is simply no way to tell by looking.  And yet, when the two oranges are displayed side by side if one is said to be organic, we will pay more for that orange.  The question is, however, is it REALLY organic?

We expect that when the organic label is on food products that we purchase, it means that the food was produced without the use of chemical fertilizers or toxic pesticides (among other things).

There have been testing procedures available for years to test for pesticide residue on fruits and vegetables.  There are regulations regarding legal levels of pesticide residue even on foods that are not called “organic.”  Not every apple or every leaf of spinach is tested, of course, but there are quality control measures in place that give us a certain level of confidence that chemical pesticide was not used on fruits and vegetables that are labeled organic.

However, there has not been a similar test to determine if chemical fertilizers were used in the production of food that is labeled organic — until now. Science, it seems, always eventually catches up with advertising.  Now there is technology available to test fruits and vegetables to determine whether chemical fertilizers were used.  There isn’t widespread use of the technology yet, but there will be. This is one more step in the right direction!

When I read this article, I was reminded just how often we hear about fraud, in one form or another, which just gives another reason why growing your own organic fruits and vegetables is such a good idea.