What does the Organic label really mean and why is it important?

“The Community Market Co-op is a locally planned food co-op that will be located in the Fuquay Varina area; a full-service, community-owned grocery store which will emphasize products which are locally grown and raised, organic, minimally processed, healthy and fairly traded.” -Excerpt from www.thecommunitymarketcoop.coop

Most of us are completely comfortable with the idea of locally grown and raised, but how many of us really understand what it means for a product to be labeled “organic”?                                                  

Organic food is produced by farmers who use renewable resources and practice soil and water conservation to protect the environment. Organic meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products come from animals that are given no antibiotics or growth hormones, and organic food is produced without using most conventional pesticides or synthetic fertilizers. A Government-approved certifier inspects the farm using both announced and unannounced visits to make sure the farmer is following all the rules necessary to meet USDA organic standards, and to ensure that they are producing and processing organic products in a manner you and your family can trust. The USDA Organic symbol guarantees that the product is at least 95% organic. Companies that handle or process organic food before it gets to your local supermarket or restaurant must also be certified.

So then why doesn’t everyone buy organic? In many situations, organic food may cost more than conventional food  — but for very good reasons. The extra labor and time necessary to meet the standards for the typically smaller organic farmer generates higher operating costs, yet these organic farmers do not receive the government subsidies that conventional farmers do. Therefore, the price of organic food reflects the true cost of growing food!  In cases where it does cost more, the environmental and health benefits of organic agriculture make it worth the additional cost. While The Community Market Co-op will make organic products available when possible, we are not limiting our inventory to solely organic options.

So what about the products labeled “all natural” – isn’t that really the same thing? Absolutely not! In the United States neither the FDA nor the USDA has rules or regulations for products labeled “natural.” As a result, the label can be misleading as food manufacturers often place a “natural” label on foods containing heavily processed ingredients.


We all care deeply about the food we cook for ourselves and our families. The Community Market Co-op will provide organic options when possible,  but in all cases we will provide healthy food options while also supporting our neighboring farms and producers. Wouldn’t you like to join us and be part of this community building effort? Become an owner today and support healthy food options in our community!!

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://thecommunitymarketcoop.coop/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/blog-photo-e1444308911600.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Colleen Williams moved to Apex from Maryland in 1991, was widowed in 2003 and moved to Fuquay Varina 10 years ago with her new husband, Myers. She has 5 grown children, 2 grown step-children and together they share 9 grandchildren. Colleen wanted to get more involved with the community now that she has time since retiring from 40 years as a high school math teacher, and because she and her husband enjoy eating the food they grow and the eggs their chickens provide, the Community Market Co-Op seemed like a great place to get involved![/author_info] [/author]  

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