The USDA National Organic Program (NOP) defines organic as follows:
- Organic food is produced by farmers who emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations.
- Organic meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products come from animals that are given no antibiotics or growth hormones.
- Organic food is produced without using most conventional pesticides; fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge; bioengineering; or ionizing radiation.
- Before a product can be labeled “organic,” a Government-approved certifier inspects the farm where the food is grown to make sure the farmer is following all the rules necessary to meet USDA organic standards.
- Companies that handle or process organic food before it gets to your local supermarket or restaurant must be certified, too.