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What is Organic Food?

"Organic" has some quite specific legal definitions in most developed countries.

In the U.S, all farms or products claiming to be "certified organic" must be guaranteed by a USDA-approved independent agency to be meeting the following guidelines:

* Sound records kept of all operations

* No use of antibiotics or hormones in livestock

* No use of genetically modified organisms

* No irradiation

* Use sound soil conservation and crop rotation practice

* And most importantly, that there has been no useage of prohibited materials within 3 years prior to certification, or at any time during certification.

The USDA defines 'prohibited materials' as synthetic fertilizers, pesticides and sewage sludge. It is also a requirement that there is no cross-contamination during processing, which means organic wheat for example cannot be ground in a flour factory that also handles non-organic material.

Produce grown organically certainly tastes better than the usual supermarket stock. It also contains higher levels of nutrients and far lower residual pesticides. You can read all the latest Organic Food articles and research at http://www.ge-free.com/

In general food grown free of pesticides, herbicides and genetically modified organisms (GMO) is organic to some extent. Certified organic food is that which meets the strict criteria of the USDA as described above. Most countries have their own version of regulation.

Organic food can be classified into two groups, fresh and processed.

There are many additional requirements for certification of processed organic food:

* contains a minimum percentage of organic ingredients.

* has no added artificial ingredients like preservatives etc.

* is processed free of artificial methods like chemical ripening or irradiation.

Most processed organic food is now available in supermarkets. There are also organic only stores in most large cities now, and there will be many more similar stores as the production of certified organic food increases.

Jeremy is the owner of http://www.ge-free.com/ and publisher of the Organic News blog. Go to ge-free.com for all the latest organic food articles and news.

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In The News:

NASA is now targeting February 2022 for the launch of its powerful Space Launch System (SLS) rocket. 
The U.S. military launched three suborbital rockets this week from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. 
As cooler temperatures move over the eastern U.S., the West is forecast to see heavy rain and mountain snow, including what's known as a "bomb cyclone" near the Northwest. 
Wednesday's full moon is the hunter's moon. 
A pig kidney was successfully tested on a dead patient last month for the first time without being immediately rejected.
A scuba diver in Israel discovered a 900-year-old sword off the country's Mediterranean coast that experts say likely belonged to a Crusader knight.
Russian thrusters have accidentally tilted the International Space Station (ISS) for the second time this year. 
NASA's Lucy mission launched early Saturday from the agency's Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, Fla.
A robot dog armed with a sniper rifle was unveiled this week in Washington, D.C. at the annual meeting of the Association of the United States Army.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has issued a category G2 geomagnetic storm watch for the northern hemisphere for Monday.

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