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All you need to know about organic products

In the second part of this series, know what you’re getting into when you buy organic products

brunch Updated: Apr 02, 2016 19:33 IST

In the second part of this series, know what you’re getting into when you buy organic products:

Everyone talks about organic products, but few people know much about them. So here are some FAQs.

Where do I buy organic products?

* Grocery chains, though the fruits and veggies may not be labelled.

* Online farm baskets, where fresh produce is delivered to you if you agree to purchase a minimum quantity of the produce regularly.

* Organic dairy farms supply products directly to your doorstep.

Avoid: Suppliers who run organic businesses from their homes as most of them lack the experience to be consistent.

What does the labelling mean?

100% organic: The product contains no hormones; used no chemical fertilisers, chemicals and antibiotics; used no genetically modified seeds; used no sewage or sludge as manure; included no non-vegetarian derivatives in the feed; if it is a dairy product, at least one third of the cows’ diet was grass.

Free range/Pasture-raised: The animal or bird had access to outdoor pastures. This is vague, because the outdoor access may have been for just 10 minutes a day.

Certified organic: This label is the most trustworthy, meaning that 95 per cent of the rules of organic farming were followed.

Derived organic: Doesn’t explain how the product is organic. For example, ingredients are organic, but the processing may involve chemicals.

Made with organic ingredients: At least 70 per cent of the ingredients are organic.

Fresh: Does not necessarily mean organic.

Pure: The food is not adulterated and was packed in hygienic conditions. Not necessarily organic.

What’s a fair price for organic foods?

With no regulations as of now, prices can range from cheaper than non-organic to 40 per cent higher than non-organic food.

Are organic foods better-looking than non-organic ones?

They are plainer. Non-organic produce looks good because of polishing, wax-coating, bleaching, and removing the outer layer of cereals or grains.

What kind of a shelf-life can I expect for organic foods?

Natural food attracts bacteria, fungus, insects, birds and so on. Consume it quickly.

From HT Brunch, April 3, 2016

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