Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Is it Really Organic?

In an effort to both support our local growers, and ensure that our food doesn't contain pesticides, hormones, or anything else that is undesirable, I started buying only organic foods when possible. However, how do you know it is really organic?

If you're interested in making the switch to organic foods, too, you may also wonder how they tell if you are actually buying organic foods. Don't worry, it is relatively easy to make sure that you are buying truly organic foods.

There are strict standards associated with the making and selling of organic foods. Companies claming to sell fully organic foods may only do so with the backing of Quality Assurance International (QAI) or the USDA. When shopping, just look for certified organic labels. All food that meets industry standards should be labeled properly. This is one of the best and easiest ways to make sure that you are buying truly organic food.

Here's another easy way to make sure you're buying organic foods - choose specialty organic or natural food stores that specialize in organic foods. Locally owned and operated stores are often smaller, and offer the possibility getting to know the manager or owner so that you can speak with them if you have concerns or questions. Since I live in a small beach community, I have come to know most of the people working at our local food stores, but even in a larger community it is possible, especially at the smaller specialty stores. That being said, you shouldn’t have any problems. Most specialty stores go out of their way to ensure that they are only selling one hundred percent natural, organic foods.

You can also shop the Internet for organic foods. Stick with specialty online organic food stores. Some organic product manufacturers, like Earth’s Best Organic, have online stores where their products are sold. We have a local organic grocer that delivers to our neighborhood once or twice a week. You just make your order online. Alternatively, you can pickup at their store.

Don't rule out your local supermarkets, grocery stores, or even warehouse clubs such as Sams Club and Costco. We are seeing more and more organic foods at these mainstream stores. I'm finding fresh organic produce, organic meats, and other organic food products at our local grocercy store and in Costco. Much of it is mixed right in with the other foods, they don't always have a separate organic food section. So, be on the lookout for organic foods throughout the stores.

These are just a few ways that you can take to make sure that you are buying one hundred percent organic foods. Let us know if you have any other suggestions.

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