What does ORGANIC MEAN in Canada in 2016?

Photo Credit: Canadian Food Inspection Agency

When you are browsing through a Canadian grocery store you will come across food labelled organic, but what does it really mean?

In multi-ingredient items, the farmer/manufacturer must be able to prove that at least 70% of its contents are organic and its composition complies with the requirements.

How is the food grown?

1. Without toxic and synthetic pesticides, herbicides, fungicides or fertilizers.

2. Without growth hormones or antibiotics *unless the animals life is in danger,

3. Humane animal standards and outdoor access,

4. Without fossil fuel fertilizers or sewage sludge,

5. Without GMOs or nanotechnology.

How is the food prepared?

1. Without irradiated products,

2. Without artificial preservatives, colours, flavours of chemical additives,

3. Without MSG, aspartame, sodium nitrates or nitrites,

4. Without GMOs.

Organic production is based on principles that support healthy practices. These principles aim to increase the quality and the durability of the environment through specific management and production methods. They also focus on ensuring the humane treatment of animals.

The general principles of organic production include the following:

Protect the environment, minimize soil degradation and erosion, decrease pollution, optimize biological productivity and promote a sound state of health.

Maintain long-term soil fertility by optimizing conditions for biological activity within the soil.

Maintain biological diversity within the system.

Recycle materials and resources to the greatest extent possible within the enterprise.

Provide attentive care that promotes the health and meets the behavioural needs of livestock.

Prepare organic products, emphasizing careful processing, and handling methods in order to maintain the organic integrity and vital qualities of the products at all stages of production.

Rely on renewable resources in locally organized agricultural systems.

Note - if you are interested in reading more about the Permitted Substance List or the Canadian Organic Production Standards.

Learn MORE at Canadian Food Inspection Agency

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