3

votes

Can we trust organic foods from foreign countries to really be organic?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 22, 2012 at 3:49 AM

A friend commented the other day that she found it hard to believe that produce imported into the US from Mexico and labeled organic was really organic. If I want to be extra cynical I can ask what "organic" means in the US but let's not go there.

What do we know about "organic" produce from foreign countries? Is produce from some countries more reliably organic when it claims it is? Are there watchdog organizations that monitor organic standards around the world?

Ignore for the purposes of this question the thought that we should all buy local.

What do you think?

B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on June 22, 2012
at 06:58 PM

C'mon kids. I love America, I even love Americans. I am an Americanophile. But some of your meat sucks. The original question was stereotyping foreign meat, I was simply pointing out the irony, coming from the country that produces the suckiest meat in the world.

76026e8ef496039d5075440ff731aa0d

(5386)

on June 22, 2012
at 05:52 PM

@borofergie *shooting him with a spray bottle* no...No....NO BAD...and don't let me catch you begging for free range when you're in Ohio either or next time it's a rolled up news paper on the nose....

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on June 22, 2012
at 02:18 PM

Way to stereotype there, borofergie. We "guys" didn't invent it. There is plenty of fantastic food to eat in Ohio. You'll just have to look for it.

F9638b939a6f85d67f60065677193cad

(4266)

on June 22, 2012
at 01:26 PM

I've considered anything marked organic and from outside the US as not organic.

F9638b939a6f85d67f60065677193cad

(4266)

on June 22, 2012
at 01:24 PM

The question was about imported produce sitting on our own grocery shelves. Not about the quality of meat on your own plate.

584cdd1a2dd83e46b8b76758f4c57b19

(600)

on June 22, 2012
at 04:31 AM

I find it very hard to believe in the validity of that myself

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on June 22, 2012
at 04:06 AM

I always questioned it, too, and doubt the validity of such stickers.

  • 35b2cb4d450e5288895c255dfdfff35d

    asked by

    (5828)
  • Views
    4.5K
  • Last Activity
    1279D AGO
Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

8 Answers

1
F690de6e86fda05bf1b4c2ed834c477b

(180)

on June 22, 2012
at 05:24 PM

In the African country where I live, almost every vegetable is organic by virtue of the fact that pesticides aren't commercially available to the small-time farmer. Most beef is grass fed because they wouldn't think of wasting grain or corn on the animals.

That said, my understanding is that even though the amazing selection of fruit is organic, it would be difficult to classify it as such "officially" for export because this country lacks the infrastructure and capacity to properly document the food as organic.

So, while it's good to be skeptical (as some of the other commenters have noted), it's also worth considering that much of the produce that is produced in or exported from the developing world may in fact be organic even if it's not labeled as such.

Much of it, of course, is highly polluted, but it's worth doing your research on the specific country context. The meat here is a little stringy, but overall I've never eaten healthier than I do now. The amount of fruits and vegetables I can buy with $4 - including fruits that would be expensive in the U.S., like pineapple, mango, and avocado - is astounding.

1
Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on June 22, 2012
at 03:59 PM

I would look to see if the item is "certified organic".

Food Co-ops will check carefully to make sure they are selling truly organically grown food, so they are a fairly reliable source. Whole Foods, not so much.

1
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on June 22, 2012
at 11:16 AM

Anything labeled organic is essentially done so on the honors system. And given that organic food is generally marked up 50-200%, the incentive is quite high to shirk the system.

As with most food, buying local is your best bet. You're less likely to find growers pouring on the chemicals than in an industrial environment. This goes for meat as well. Even grain-fed cattle are treated with antibiotics nowhere near the level that CAFO cattle are.

0
Medium avatar

(238)

on September 21, 2013
at 05:14 AM

Blindly trusting food produced in the USA is going to disappoint you in the long run. Just look at the peanut processing facilities that spew out salmonella laced products. They failed to do simple cleaning and maintenance that would protect customers from illness and/or death. Happens everywhere. Some of the Organic produce from Mexico is used by companies like Earthbound Farms - see this from website

"Our organic acreage in Mexico is monitored by the same American independent third-party certifying agency that certifies our operations in the United States. These fields are managed by the same farmers who manage our fields in the US, and we follow the same Good Agricultural Practices on our farms in Mexico that we do on our farms in the US."

0
Medium avatar

on September 21, 2013
at 04:21 AM

I don't trust "organic foods" from other countries because I saw a program about how some organic foods (such as frozen berries) contain chemicals thats have been banned from being used in certain countries yet these "organic" foods end up on supermarket shelves... so yeah I don't completely trust some organic foods. I think a true "certified organic" label is the way to go.

But then again you probably have more important things to worry about when it comes to foods.

0
A98d67461714eaabe1802cd5d9437fc3

on September 21, 2013
at 03:18 AM

I personally do not buy any food from China. I do not have any hard facts to support my personal choice. I just feel that if China produces & exports baby/toddler toys made with lead, they would allow food to be incorrectly labeled for export.

0
Fd1c5e35538fbe2ea5eccb8acd7ae546

(496)

on June 22, 2012
at 04:09 PM

Do we trust the Amish claims.Who knows what they're doing in the fields.I recently bought eggs from an Amish farm and the yolks were so deep orange but the chickens were not looking good and their free range area was all muddy and no grass.Makes me wonder.And I don't even want to think about other countries where it's so easy to pay somebody off and get the food labeled any way you want.What kind of supervision are we talking about in a remote area in a different country

0
B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on June 22, 2012
at 01:08 PM

Still laughing at the concept of American's worrying about the quality of other people's meat.

I'm off to Ohio next week, and I'll spend the whole week worrying about the corn-fed, hormone-injected, antibiotic crap that I'll be forced to eat, everytime I go out.

Working on the premise that you guys more or less single-handedly invented to concept of "unhealthy meat", surely anybody elses is bound to be better than the stuff that most people eat by default.

76026e8ef496039d5075440ff731aa0d

(5386)

on June 22, 2012
at 05:52 PM

@borofergie *shooting him with a spray bottle* no...No....NO BAD...and don't let me catch you begging for free range when you're in Ohio either or next time it's a rolled up news paper on the nose....

B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on June 22, 2012
at 06:58 PM

C'mon kids. I love America, I even love Americans. I am an Americanophile. But some of your meat sucks. The original question was stereotyping foreign meat, I was simply pointing out the irony, coming from the country that produces the suckiest meat in the world.

F9638b939a6f85d67f60065677193cad

(4266)

on June 22, 2012
at 01:24 PM

The question was about imported produce sitting on our own grocery shelves. Not about the quality of meat on your own plate.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on June 22, 2012
at 02:18 PM

Way to stereotype there, borofergie. We "guys" didn't invent it. There is plenty of fantastic food to eat in Ohio. You'll just have to look for it.

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!