What Does it Mean to be Certified Organic?
You see it everywhere-- I know I do! Organic has moved beyond just produce and is on all sorts of different items-- chips, yogurt, even coffee!
Here at Treats for Chickens, we pride ourselves on being one of the only organic chicken treats! It’s essential to our business. However, I know it can be confusing (trust me, it was for me too!) what exactly that means and entails. I figured, I’d write up a quick, little post about what organic means and why it’s important to us here at Treats for Chickens.
What Does Certified Organic Mean?
A product that has the USDA organic label means it has been certified by the United States Department of Agriculture.
There’s a lot of suuuuper boring paperwork and rigorous inspections needed to get that important little green label. We've been doing it since 2013!
- Broadly, it means only approved organic chemicals and non-GMO products can be used.
What Makes Something Organic?
According to the California Certified Organic Farmers website all produce that do NOT use:
- sewage sludge
- bioengineering (GMOs)
- ionizing radiation
- and most synthetic pesticides and fertilizers
I mean, sewage sludge? Gross.
Animal products can only receive a certified organic label if they are given an organic diet.
For me, here at Treats for Chickens, to receive an organic certification the products must be at least 70% organic for the CCOF organic label and 95 to 100% to receive the USDA organic label.
This means that at least 70% of the ingredients must be organically grown and non-GMO. In the case of Treats for Chickens our attention is directed at the 95-100% organic!
Why NO GMO’s in Treats for Chickens?
Although GMOs have a near negligible effect on human health, the biggest problem with them is that they are patented by large corporations who abuse their patent and have shady, questionable practices. [and now you know how I really feel!]
By purchasing certified organic produce, animal products, and foods, you aren’t supporting their shitty business practices. Also, most small, local farms and businesses cannot use GMO’s or don’t, so when buying organic, you can help support your local economy, farmers, your friends and family.
Natural Means Organic, Doesn't It?
Nope, Natural does not mean organic.
A product that's labeled "natural" doesn't really mean anything.
Unlike the labeling for organic, which requires extensive paperwork and oversight, "natural" can pretty much be put on anything. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) hasn't ruled on the issue, but has greatly encouraged only products that have "nothing artificial or synthetic... has been added to a food that would not normally be expected to be in food" to be labeled as natural.
It has nothing to do with manufacturing methods or pesticide use-- like organic labeling-- and instead mostly a buzzword. It's a worthless indicator on the manufacturing, methods, and environmental impact of a product.
But here's the thing: at Treats for Chickens we use the word "natural" because well, our products are natural in the sense of being the true form of just that: natural. Real. No Junk. Nothing Funny.
Hopefully you now have a better understanding of what organic means and why it’s so important to us here at Treats for Chickens! I continue to put a lot of time and effort into designing healthy products that are organically sourced so you and your chickens can have the best experience possible.
Check out this informative-- and super interesting-- USDA labelling graphic. It not only explains what the USDA Organic label means, but also what all the other USDA labels mean as well.
Also check out this CCOF organic labelling infographic. It explains not only the different levels of organic labeling but also goes into more detail on its importance.
Be on the lookout for the circle USDA Organic label or products that list Made with Organic Ingredients.
Thank you to CCOF and USDA for the information on organic labelling!