How to identify Organic foods in India
What is Organic food?
Organic foods are those produced without man made fertilisers, pesticides, growth regulators and livestock feed additives. It is produced with a mindset of environmentally and socially responsible approach. This is a method of farming that works at grass root level preserving the reproductive and regenerative capacity of the soil, good plant nutrition, and sound soil management, produces nutritious food rich in vitality which has resistance to diseases.
Which standard accredits organic food production?
The Government of India has implemented the National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP). The national programme involves the accreditation programme for Certification Bodies, standards for organic production, promotion of organic farming etc. With NPOP recognitions, Indian organic products are duly certified by the accredited certification bodies of India and are accepted by the importing countries.
How Organic products priced?
Organic food is cheapest when bought directly from a farmer or producer. Buying local, organic food will often cost less than the non-organic equivalent. Unfortunately, most of us cannot access organic food directly from the producer and therefore it tends to be more expensive than the basic non-organic equivalent in the supermarkets. It does pay to shop around. Some organic products cost less than premium non-organic products. You might be pleasantly surprised.
Understand the labelling in your shopping items:
Price look-up codes, commonly called PLU codes. There are codes on the stickers on fruits and vegetables:
If there are only four numbers in the PLU, this means that the produce was grown conventionally or “traditionally” with the use of pesticides. The last four letters of the PLU code are simply what kind of vegetable or fruit. An example is that all bananas are labelled with the code of 4011.
If there are five numbers in the PLU code, and the number starts with “8”, this tells you that the item is a genetically modified fruit or vegetable. Genetically modified fruits and vegetables trump being organic. So, it is impossible to eat organic produce that are grown from genetically modified seeds. A genetically engineered (GE or GMO) banana would be: 84011
If there are five numbers in the PLU code, and the number starts with “9”, this tells you that the produce was grown organically and is not genetically modified. An organic banana would be: 94011
New Logo to identify Organic food products
To set certain standards, The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has introduced the Jaivik Bharat logo to help customers identify authentic organic food.
Just like the green and red dots, used to distinguish between vegetarian and non-vegetarian food, the government has launched a new logo for organic products. Henceforth, no dealer can sell an organic product without the logo. Any producer or supplier found violating the rule could stand to lose his/her licence and registration. To obtain the logo, the product would have to meet specific standards of organic farming.
Identify the right product for your health and have healthy lifestyle.
Go Green!!!! Go Organic!!!