It has taken us years of working with farmers, as well as researching / studying sustainable agriculture, to conclude that the organic label is a common misconception...
Many people think ALL Organic practices are better without knowing why. A common misconception is that all organic farms do not use pesticides. When in fact, most large organic farmers do use pesticides. Organic farmers use pesticides regulated from naturally occurring substances, whereas conventional farmers use synthetic. With this comes another misconception that organic pesticides are safer than synthetic. Studies have shown organic is no more benign than conventional. On the other hand, it is proven that organic pesticides are not as effective; therefore, organic farms spray up to 7 times more than conventional. In addition, organic food has a higher rate of e-coli and salmonella.
Most organic food found at the super market comes from other countries or across the USA. Consumers are not informed about where it comes from or that particular farm’s practice other than by using this broad and complex label. Even most of the organic food coming in from the West Coast is subject to shipping regulations and transportation pollution emissions. This is NOT the true definition of organic.
We work with so many farmers that practice organically but with more intensive labor efforts than organic sprays. After more research they are now even trying to limit the tilling of soils, because this disrupts the natural ecosystem which allow plants to thrive. Crop rotation is also important as they add their own elements to the soil. The more elements present equates to healthier soil. The healthier the soil comes the added ability to sequester carbon and naturally produce & transfer nitrogen fixing bacteria.
Certified Organic is a $50 Billion industry. It is important that we begin to view things for what they are. An industry this size will obviously have its outside political and economic influences, especially when brands are being produced by the same conglomerate and monoculture farming giants. This forces regulation set by the USDA to be more lenient for those practices and businesses versus the smaller farmers and producers with little capital trying to do everything they can to stay strong to the roots of a local knowledge-based food system.
After 50 years of comparing organic farming to conventional, scientists have found no evidence that organic is any healthier than conventional. Local and knowing your farmers practice is the only way to ensure quality, nutrient dense, clean, non-hazardous food.
Organic has transitioned to a misconception driven by the new "American Dream" of working less and making more versus how it originated; working harder and making less in order to offer full integrity to the end consumer.