Certified Organic Produce/Eggs

seramasNovember 8, 2008

Several postings on the different forums claim to be selling organic produce/whatever but when I look them up on the USDA Certification list they are not certified or even applying for certification. In the USA in order to claim 'organic' you must be certified to sell to the public. I'm a Bio-Chemist and one of my past jobs was to test 'organic' foods sold. Nearly 90% of these organic products contained high levels of pesticides and heavy metals...the list goes on and on. It is a long process to become organic certified. My question is, is anyone here certified organic? I'm looking for certified organic vegetable seeds. You may contact me via www.virgilwalters.com.

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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

You might try the Seed Exchange forum...

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   November 9, 2008 at 5:00AM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

I know several people who farm completely without chemicals or hormones and have for plenty long enough to pass the test for organic certification; however, they refuse to have the government sniffing around their operation. Welcome to Texas. These farmers know better than to try to pass their beef off as certified, though. They understand that getting caught at that game will bring the HEAVY government out to visit with them, so they don't.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2008 at 5:51PM
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Most times it is not the farmer that is passing off non-organic as organic, it is the wholesalers/retailers that see an opportunity to make extra money. I tested for a large chain of food stores. Another thing wholesalers/retailers will do is pass off pork as veil and Hereford beef as Angus beef.

You can farm without chemicals/hormones and do all that is required to be organic but the land is contaminated either by man or naturally (arsenic comes to mind out west) and negates all the hard work. So to be certified isn't that hard and has very little government 'snooping'. The most costly part of being certified is testing the land/water and correcting any problems that they may have. Once certified you will be required to be inspected and re-certified at regular time intervals.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2008 at 10:53AM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Once certified you will be required to be inspected and re-certified at regular time intervals.

Which is what they call, "snooping," in Texas.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2008 at 11:42AM
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seramas, growers who sell less than a certain value (I think $5000) of produce a year and grow within the USDA rules can legally sell their produce as organic. Tom

    Bookmark   November 11, 2008 at 12:52PM
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If the ground that they are grown in is contaminated-either by man or nature how can you grow organic anything? In many of the southern states it was very common to have paper mills spray gravel roads with paper manufacturing waste that turned out to be toxic (PCBs and several other toxic chemicals). Then for years it was common to use cheap fertilizers (50s and 60s) that were loaded with toxic commercial byproducts. Than there were a glut of 'natural' fertilizer that were (and still are) made from city sewage waste that are loaded with household chemicals. Unless the land you grow in is certified one truly can't say beyond any doubt they are growing organic.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2008 at 2:00PM
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If I remember correctly, Southern Exposure seed exchange is certified organic - actually, I found it, and there is a link below to the certificate itself. I know that not all of their seeds are CO, so make sure you only order seeds produced by them labeled USDA organic.

Here is a link that might be useful: Organic Certificate

    Bookmark   November 12, 2008 at 10:56AM
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Thank You very much MyLoNite-just what I was looking for.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2008 at 1:07PM
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Dibbit(z7b SC)

Johnny's Select Seeds are certified organic - maybe not all of them. I believe Cook's Garden are also. I have to go out now, but will try to remember others....

People/organizations/corporations selling products as certified organic when they are not at all is an on-going problem in the organics field. It does cost to be properly certified, if only in terms of time, and stay certified - you have to keep track of every bit of input, from seeds to fertilizer, as well as growing conditions, neighbors' practices (spraying herbicides, etc.) as well as grow the vegetables, harvest them, pack them and get them to the broker or market. I think, if I wanted to produce on a scale that would be viable, that I would simply say that my produce was grown without artificial inputs/assists, and not try to be certified, as it takes too much energy and attention to detail, not one of my strong points. I think you have to grow for 3 years without adding artificial/chemicals fertilizers, etc., before you can apply for inspection and certification - which is why some produce is labeled as "transitional". And I know I am not telling you anything you weren't already aware of, Seramas, but others might not have known some of the above.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2008 at 2:14PM
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I have been certified in the past. Didn't sell anything produced but had a roadside stand with a sign saying: All vegetables/fruits here are organically grown. You may have what you need and if you like donate to help with costs. Do not feel you must donate in order to take, just take what you can use.

There were more than enough donations to cover the costs of seeds and such.

Currently want to start growing organic produce again but this time will be growing in greenhouses on raised beds. That way as my arthritis worsens I'll be able to work from a wheelchair. Won't have to worry about certifying the land but will just buy certified growing mediums. Will also use reverse osmosis filter system as only water source. Since the chickens only eat organic feeds with no animal byproducts or processed food byproducts their manure will make good 'tea' to feed with.

I'm not doing this to make money but to occupy idle time and keep myself healthier. Also love the taste of organic foods.

Thank You for the Seed sources mentioned.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2008 at 5:54PM
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Can you say that your produce is "organically grown" without being certified organic in Canada? I'm not going to apply to be certified organic but would like people to know that everything is grown chemical free.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2008 at 7:59AM
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You can't say in the US markets "organic" anything unless you are certified, and you must have your ID Number on packaging label. You can say grown chemical free. Be sure that your not being contaminated by a nearby farmer or neighbor or through the well water you are watering with. It doesn't cost very much to have your produce tested for chemicals once a year to be sure.

This site may shed some light on the subject: http://www.foodnavigator-usa.com/Science-Nutrition/Scientists-test-how-organic-organics-are

    Bookmark   November 23, 2008 at 9:35AM
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kristenmarie(Z4-5/New Mexico)

Let me put a plug in here for SEEDS OF CHANGE, an organic certified seed company based near me in New Mexico. Great company. I believe Fedco also has some certified organic seeds.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2008 at 10:37AM
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