With the unprecedented growth of organics over the past 10+ years there is no doubt that the words “natural”, “local”, “sustainable” and of course “organic” have become common place…but, what do these words really imply? Bottom line, aside from “organic”, which is a regulated term, they’re all pretty much up for interpretation. While we know that a head of lettuce can be locally produced, but not organic, or that bunch of carrots portrayed as “natural” can realistically be neither organic or local, keep in mind that your customers may assume they all mean pretty much the same thing.
The only real way to know you’re purchasing a true organic product is by taking a quick glance for the label seen above (some may not be labeled, but will contain appropriate verbiage). If you or your customers ever have any doubt, just remember that a USDA Organic Seal verifies (by U.S. mandate) that that particular product was grown without the use of synthetic pesticides, food irradiation practices, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and processes that pose any sewage contaminant risk.
P.S. When purchasing “local”, always be sure to ask where, as definitions of “local” can vary substantially from business to business.