What is Organic Food?
Organic food crops are grown without the use of chemical pesticides, herbicides, fungicides or synthetic fertilizers, and is non-GMO. It is also free from irradiation, artificial colors and sweeteners, preservatives and many other processing aids and ingredients in processed foods.
Organic meat, dairy products, and eggs are produced from animals which are fed organic feed and have requirements around free range and outdoor access. Organic livestock and poultry are not given antibiotics, hormones, or medication (other than vaccinations) in the absence of illness. If medical treatment of an animal requires antibiotics, that animal can no longer be sold as organic, or used in production of organic products.
Why buy organic?
Organic agriculture is based on the principles of health, ecology, fairness and care. Certified organic food is produced in a way that supports the well-being of the environment, animals and people. When you purchase the food you eat, you are making choices—about your health, the health of your family, and the health of our environment.
Organic farmers build healthy soil and biodiversity—fertilizing and building the soil’s organic matter through the use of cover crops and green manures, compost, and biologically based soil amendments.
Why does organic food cost more?
Organic farming is more labour intensive and requires more space – for example: there is a limit to how many organic animals can be raised in a barn, and natural fertility building and pest management strategies like green manures and crop rotations mean organic farmland is not always planted with a crop destined for market. Organic prices are also higher because organic demand exceeds supply.
What is a certified organic product?
A product can be certified organic if it has been certified by an accredited certification body that it meets the rigors of the Canadian Organic Standards. Any product label that displays the Canada organic logo or claims the product has 70 per cent or more organic ingredients must include the name of the certification body that certified it.
Products with 95% or Greater Organic Content:
Multi-ingredient products that contain 95% or more organic ingredients may be labelled as organic and may display the Canada Organic logo.
Two provinces have organic logos for products that are grown or processed within those provinces. In order to use these logos, operators in Quebec and British Columbia must comply with the applicable provincial organic regulations.
Canadian store shelves carry many products which display organic logos other than the Canada Organic logo. This is often facilitated by equivalency arrangements, which Canada currently has with seven other countries: USA, Costa Rica, European Union, Japan, Switzerland, Taiwan, and United Kingdom.