USDA Certified Organic Does NOT Mean Pesticide Free

Collard Greens growing at Walkover Micro Farm without the use of pesticides.

These days many people are wanting to improve their eating habits by adding more fruits and vegetables to their diet. More and more people are making the choice to eat USDA Certified Organic foods. While Certified Organic produce is a better choice than conventionally grown produce, many people are unaware that most Certified Organic produce has actually been sprayed with pesticides at some point. The USDA has a list of approved synthetic substances that Certified Organic farmers are allowed to use on the produce that they grow.

The government regulation of USDA Certified Organic crops is more favorable to large farms. These large farms have the financial backing to pay for the inspectors as well as paying for the other costs and fees that are associated with the certification process. These same large farms are also more likely to use pesticides in the growing of props than smaller farms.

As the popularity of Certified Organics has increased, the profitability of these crops has also increased and with that many producers are in the market solely because of the money making potential of Certified Organics and are less concerned with growing crops without the use of synthetic pesticides.

Another concern with Certified Organics is that many of them are imported. As consumers how are we to be ensured that the qualifications of the USDA Organic Certification have actually been met? This writer is not against consuming Certified Organics foods (as this writer does purchase them), however it is the opinion of this writer that it is best if consumers are informed as to what “USDA Certified Organic” actually entails. This is especially important for those of us that frequent local farmer’s markets because we can actually ask the grower/growers in person about the kinds of fertilizers and herbicides that they used in the growing of their crops.

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