Certified organic foods are produced according to federal standards set by the USDA National Organic Program. These standards were implemented in 2002 in the wake of the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 and continue to be interpreted and developed by the National Organic Standards Board, a federal advisory committee appointed by the secretary of agriculture. Organic standards address many factors: soil quality, animal raising, pest and weed control, and use of input materials.
The use of sewage sludge, bioengineering (GMOs), ionizing radiation, and most synthetic pesticides and fertilizers is prohibited from organic production. As for the land - certified organic produce is grown on soil that has been free of prohibited substances for three years prior to harvest to ensure that the crops will not be contaminated. Focused on the use of renewable resources and conservation of soil and water, organic farmers enhance and sustain the environment for future generations.
National organic standards also include regulations for organic processed products, including prohibiting artificial preservatives, flavors, and dyes. Organic ingredients are required, but the National List includes some exemptions such as baking soda and yogurt enzymes. NOP standards include specific labeling rules for both produce and processed good.
Studies show that organically grown food has higher amounts of Vitamin C, magnesium, phosphorous, and iron – all nutrients vital for healthy functioning of our bodies. Organic fruits and vegetables are high in nutrients and antioxidants, which provide energy and keep you looking young.
Excerpt authorized from CCOF webpage.