Although we are quite familiar with the word ‘organic’, regardless of the product or entity —  it is actually important to understand the difference between an actual label and a mere assumption. In a layman’s language, Organic is something that’s extracted out of the living and doesn’t involve artificial treatments. However, the context in which the term is used depends on the concerned product as well.

Improper Usage of the Term

The way ‘Organic’ is used as a term is often misinterpreted or rather misdirected. Firstly, it is important to note that Organic is generally used to label toys, agricultural products, food items, body care essentials, and a wide range of entities. However, some companies end up putting the organic label on a host of body care essentials like soaps and shampoos when both have artificial and harmful chemicals in them. Consumers, therefore, must be aware of this potential goof up and conduct extensive researches before believing if the product is actually organic or not .

However, it is easy to determine whether the usage is improper or not. If a product is listed as organic, the package will also have the name of the certifying agency. Apart from that, if the product states ‘Made with Organic’ or even ‘Contains Organic’, the term cannot be singled out at the front. For a product to have Organic written on the front side of the label, it should at least have 95 percent of organic components within.

How to Identify — Techniques that Help

At present, we would restrict our discussion to food products and techniques to determine whether they are ‘Organic’ or not.

  • Size— An organic food product is reared and produced naturally and therefore should not have an intimidating presence. Artificially cultivated vegetables and fruits are often enhanced with growth hormones and it’s advisable to refrain from them.
  • Taste— Although taste is more of an ambiguous factor to determine product sustainability, Organic items usually have a natural flavor to them. Nowadays, most of the fruits are grown and ripened artificially which eventually lead to water retention and non-uniform taste.
  • Cooking Time— Organic food items take lesser time to get cooked unlike the ones that are enhanced with unnatural and inorganic substances. It wouldn’t be wrong to infer that organic products have a more reachable boiling point as compared to the unnatural ones.
  • Labels— There are times when companies inappropriately acknowledge their products as organic when the ingredient list contains synthetic and artificial substances. Therefore, even if the Organic certification is displayed, it is advisable to go through the ingredient list before selecting a product.
  • Certification— While stickers with 4-digit Price Lookup codes signify pesticide-influenced growth, 8 digit codes starting with 9 stand for organically grown produce.

Most consumers rely heavily on USDA certifications for validating product quality and the ‘Organic’ tag. However, there are instances when even the USDA regulations are misdirected, leading towards poor certifications. It is therefore important to rely on certain real-time identification techniques in addition to the labels and certifications, in order to check if the ‘Organic’ tag is graciously earned or casually placed.