Why Buy Organic
The USDA defines organically produced food as being grown without the use of conventional pesticides; fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge; bioengineering; or ionizing radiation and grown by farmers that emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations.
Farms utilizing organic growing methods must obtain organic certification by a USDA approved certifying agent who is responsible for inspecting all aspects of organic integrity; growing, harvesting and packing, prior to certification being issued.
Companies that package organic products, such as Teas Etc, must also obtain organic handler and processor certification from a USDA approved certifying agency if they are going to sell products as organic. Obtaining this certification requires an organic system plan which details every aspect of organic integrity including; production and packaging, sanitation, pest control, record keeping, lot number system and storage. Along with the facility certification individual products are reviewed and certified. To see a list of all of our certified organic products.
Organic Labeling and the USDA seal?
The USDA categorizes certified organic products into 4 groups, based on the percentage of organic ingredients as follows;
Teas Etc will only list and label products that contain 100% organic ingredients as “organic”. It is our hope that by doing this that we will eliminate any possible confusion about how much of a product is organic and what ingredients may or may not be organic. We feel that it should be easy to shop for organic tea without having to interpret the organic labeling requirements.
We may make reference to organic status such, EU (Europe) certified or JAP (Japan) certified, to identify a product with certification other than USDA only as a means to provide that information to our customers.
What are the benefits of buying organic?
There are many benefits to buying organic here are some of the best:
How do I know I am buying organic?
It’s no longer enough to look for the USDA organic seal. Unauthorized use of the seal is not uncommon. A USDA certified handler or processor, or company selling products that are packaged by a certified supplier, will have a certificate available. Along with the certificate, the supplier should maintain a certified product list of the individual products that have been certified, even if all products are organic.
Things to look for;
Be a smart organic consumer, ask the right questions, look for the right list and certificates and be sure to get what you pay for and want.
© 2007 Teas Etc., Inc
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Beth Johnston, a tea importer and noted tea expert, publishes an informative monthly newsletter on tea, tea history, health and lifestyle enhancements. To learn more about the world of tea, join her free newsletter at http://www.TeasEtc.com/Newsletter.asp or visit http://www.TeasEtc.com.
This article, including the copyright and "About the Author" section, may be freely reprinted online in its complete and unaltered form provided you send a copy or link of the reprint to us.
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