Organic Farming Not What You Might Think

CANADA - The public's misconceptions about organic food are understandable, says a University of Guelph professor who does research on organic farms.
calendar icon 17 January 2007
clock icon 1 minute read
"There is a great misunderstanding about what organic farming is," said Ann Clark, an associate professor of organic and pasture production systems in the Department of Plant Agriculture. "Canada is one of the last major, developed countries to develop a national standard (for organic food)."

Clark said the lack of standards in past years has led to confusion about what organics are.

Organic foods differ from traditionally farmed foods in that organics don't use many of the conventional means of agricultural production, including herbicides, pesticides or growth regulators.

Organics use many natural substances such as livestock manure and compost, sea-based products and various mined minerals. Organic farmers also use such techniques as longer crop rotations to control specific pests or weeds and to nourish the soil.

"I like the word organic because, unlike sustainable, it has a definition. Organic literally means compliance with standards," said Clark.

The introduction of national standards for organic farming and food introduced in 2006 will hopefully give the public a clearer understanding, she said, but there are still some things about the standards that need to be changed.

Source: Guelph Tribune
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