You say you want organic?

It's time you know your stuff!
Picking Organic Strawberries

It’s hard to believe organic was ever thought of as a passing fad, especially given that at one time everything was grown organically. Granted, there are some nasty little bugs that have found their way into our food chain, but we are truly grateful to the farmers who’ve figured out ways to dispatch those bugs using methods that aren’t lethal to humans.

We like “organic” labels on our food, on our clothes and even on our sheets and rugs. Our affinity for that kind of social responsibility is so pervasive that some of our elders in advertising and marketing are revisiting it with a less-than-baleful eye. Think they want a piece of our earnings pie? You bet they do. Others are looking at it and rolling their baleful eyes, as if to say, “We got ’em right where we want ’em, by the coin purses.”

So let’s not be the jackasses we’re made out to be in certain circles. Let’s be informed. Here are a few facts about what “organic” really means, provided by the United States Department of Agriculture, which oversees the labeling process: First of all, to legally bear the “organic” label in this country, the product must comply with standards the USDA has put forth. You can find those at

To put it in simple terms, organic produce cannot be genetically engineered, grown in synthetic soil or treated with certain pesticides. It cannot come in contact with sewage sludge. Similar guidelines are in place for livestock, with antibiotics and growth hormones also prohibited.

Here’s one of those pieces that paint us as a generation of easily manipulated dolts. It kind of pisses us off, to be completely honest.

You want a quote? Here’s a quote: “After surveying 300 shoppers who were, for the most part, under the age of 35, the consultancy BFG recently found that 70 percent purchased organic foods, even though only 20 percent actually had any confidence that they could define organic. More than half were ‘concerned, but confused’ about the words used to classify their groceries. BFG’s CEO, Kevin Meany, described these young shoppers to Fast Company thusly: ‘They desire honesty. They want to believe.’”

Our favorite quote, however, is this one. See if you can find the oxymoron. Or just the second syllable of that word is sufficient…

“’Organic’ cookies were also perceived to be more nutritious. (In reality, organic foods aren’t any healthier than other foods in a nutritional sense—it’s just that their lack of chemicals is probably healthier in the long run.)”


If you want to get behind the scenes in organic stuff, try the following link. It’s a quick read that is a bit more embracing, we think.

Here’s a list of eight top organic retailers across the country.

Reviews are provided for each of the chains. The list begins with Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage, a chain that got started in Colorado and is now branching out in other states. We’ve been there, and we like it a lot.

Here’s a bit of info on it: “Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage began as a mom and pop store. They now have over thirty-two chain stores, and an online store with features that show they really care about not just selling to the customer, but helping their customers. Natural Grocers considers itself to be a health food and supplemental chain store with an organic heart, and one gets that feeling with the features on their website. Carrying approximately 13,000 products, you’re sure to get just about anything you need through this site. They offer groceries, bulk items, specialty health food, and recipes along with a lot of personal care items, and household products.” You can also order on line at





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