What Is Organically Grown Produce?

Organic refers to a specific method of growing and processing foods, and is defined as produce grown, packaged and stored without the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides or irradiation. Instead, organic farmers use a blend of old and new technologies and scientific research to balance the Earths natural ecosystem. They work with nature to build and replenish the nutrients in the soil through crop rotations, composting and cultivation. This encourages healthy soils which produce healthy plants that are naturally more pest and disease resistant.

What Is Certified Organic?

To be considered "certified organic" under Florida Statute 504.34, products must meet the following standards:
  • No harmful chemicals have been applied to the land for at least three years.
  • Farmers and processors are inspected annually by a certifying agency.
  • Farmers and processors must keep detailed records of practices.
  • Farmers are required to maintain a written organic management plan.
organic produce


Where Can I Purchase Organically Grown Produce ?
Look for signs, labels or stamps identifying produce as organic. These will be in your grocery store, restaurant or farmers market. Organic produce comes in all shapes and sizes. Many food categories now offer organic options in convenient, everyday food like bread, milk, yogurt, pasta, cereal, microwave dinners, fruits and vegetables. Ask your grocery store manager for assistance in finding the items you want.


Why Buy Organic?
People give lots of reasons for choosing organic products. Many people, including world-renowned chefs, find that organically grown foods taste better than those grown the conventional way.
One of the main reasons shoppers give for buying organic food is avoiding chemicals. More importantly, when you buy organic products, you encourage farmers to use environmentally friendly methods which keep unwanted chemicals out of the soil, water and air.


The choice is yours . . . buy organic.

It simply makes good sense. Studies have shown that 2/3 of the pesticides used on tomatoes and 1/3 of insecticides sprayed on oranges were applied only to improve cosmetic appearances. For example, early season citrus organically grown may appear green on the outside, when in reality it is ripe and ready to eat on the inside.
Perhaps the best reasons to purchase organically grown agricultural products are that they are naturally grown and nutritious.
organic produce


What are "Fresh from Florida" Organics?

When you see products displaying the Florida Certified Organic "Fresh from Florida" logo, it means these products are certified organic. Produce pruchased under the "Florida Certified Organic" program is your assurance that these products are naturally grown.
Organic Certification sign


What If I Need More Information?

For information on the organic certification programs contact:

Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
427 Mayo Building
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0800
Phone 850/488-4132
Fax 850/488-7127

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