Certified Organic is a Scam – Stop Wasting Your Money

Seriously. Right now. Stop. If you’ve got your Amazon Fresh window open and there’s something certified organic, take it out. Certified Organic is a Scam. It’s not worth it.

The term organic gets thrown around a lot. It carries with it an air of being intrinsically better for you. But is that really the case? Is broccoli stamped with that big shiny “USDA Certified Organic” label any better for you than the broccoli sitting right next to it without that label? They both look green. Isn’t that enough?

Is Certified Organic Worth the Cost?

Anyone who does the household shopping and buys organic-labeled produce knows that the cost of buying organic is a heck of a lot more than “non-organic” products. I put the “non-organic” in quotes, because, honestly, the food is still an organic compound. “Certified Organic” is a specific term with its own legal definition. But I digress.

produce shelf photo
Photo by greggavedon.com

Organic produce can be as much as 100% more expensive than unlabeled produce. If you’re making salsa at home, wouldn’t your rather spend $2.76 / lb on red bell peppers vs. $5.89 / lb? If that shiny sticker on the produce wasn’t guaranteeing delivery of more appreciative nutrient content?

Certified Organic is a scam. European researchers went through more than 300 studies to conclude that most of the nutrient value is equal between conventionally grown produce and certified organic produce.

The new analysis repeats some of the Stanford group’s findings. It finds that organic and conventional vegetables offer similar levels of many nutrients, including minerals, vitamin C and vitamin E. Conventional crops are higher in protein. And there are fewer pesticide residues on organic foods, as you’d expect.

What’s in Certified Organic?

Studies show that more antioxidants aren’t the only thing you’re getting more of when it comes to certified organic. Certified Organic requires adherence to a set of production guidelines. It does not mean that it contains any fewer chemicals related to pesticides. Nor does it mean that there are no GMO organisms associated with Certified Organic.

UC Berkeley biochemist Bruce Ames and his colleagues found that “99.99 percent (by weight) of the pesticides in the American diet are chemicals that plants produce to defend themselves.”

Whole Foods - Responsibly GrownThen what is it exactly we’re paying for? Is Certified Organic a scam?When it comes to certified organic vs. conventionally produced crops, what we’re paying for is labor, enforcement regulations and the like. Not nutrient value.

How about that? Why would I pay a premium for a sticker when all that premium is just more overhead. Certified organic is a scam.

Other “Rating” Labels to Consider

A few years back, Whole Foods Market rolled out the label “Responsibly Grown.” They were sued by trade groups saying that by creating this new rating label, they were devaluing the organic label.

But the group says the biggest objection to Responsibly Grown is that it ends up devaluing in consumers’ eyes the importance of the Certified Organic label.

Under the Whole Foods program, the group says conventionally grown produce, treated with toxic agrochemicals, can be rated higher than Certified Organic produce, which is grown under strict, legally enforced compliance overseen by the USDA.

So, what’s the difference between the wholefood’s market label that a consumer trusts and the USDA’s Certified Organic? Not a whole heck of a lot it turns out. If you trust Whole Foods, go with Whole Foods.

Who Knows What to Believe?

At Upcycle, we aren’t certified organic. And that’s on purpose. For quite some time there hasn’t been any real value to the consumer in that label. Certified organic is a scam.

If you really want to know what’s going on with your produce, there’s no better way than to clear a bit of dirt, plant some seeds, cover with #NativeSoilFertilizer and proceed to water. In that case, not only do you get the physical and mental health benefits of growing your own food, you also have the piece of mind that you know where it came from. Seed to the table.

Want your vegetables to have a happier childhood? Rest assured sustainably sourced Native Soil will get the job done.

Want to learn more about growing your own food at home with Native Soil? Enter your email below to receive our guide on growing bushels of food in a tiny space. And join the discussion on Facebook and Twitter.

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