It's time for another Certified Organic Rant, in fact I'm overdue but I'm sure you'll forgive me. Every year about this time( as I am completing the extensive recertification paperwork required in order to be legitimately Certified Organic) I become hypersensitive to the Organic Posers which come out of the woodwork. I ignore many of them but some just get under my skin and therefore I must react.
My basic premise is this, farm however you choose, this is still America (for a short time at least) but please be HONEST about how you farm. You don't think being certified organic is worth the trouble, expense, customer trust or label recognition? Then by all means don't do it.
That's all I'm saying. If you think it best to keep your animals crowded into small places without grass, sky, dirt or fresh air just be proud of that and tell your customers. Or less dramatic, if you keep your beef animals outside with lots of room but you choose to feed grain, then tell your customers THAT. Or you choose to raise your hogs outside , fed organic feed but you still believe prophylactic vaccines and antibiotics are useful then tell your customers THAT.
Only those who are not proud of the way they farm will pretend to be something they are not.
But unfortunately as more customers demand good food raised in humane and healthy ways, more Organic Posers, or Fake Farmers as I also like to refer to them, raise their ugly heads and banners. First I'll define an Organic Poser, they are pretty easy to spot.
1. Labels, Signs, Facebook Pages, Blogs, Websites that say "Organic" but never mention their certifying agency. Ours is MOSA.
2. Use of the term "Raised per Organic Standards" yet they cannot list even 10 of the over 200 standards, nor will they own a copy of the NOP standards manual. How can they follow standards they are unaware of?
3. Will accept (and feed to their livestock) donations of non-CERTIFIED organic feed from restaurants, grocery stores, gardeners, neighbors.
4. Cannot answer the following questions with a "yes"
a. Do you graze on land that is certified organic?
b. Do you buy only certified organic replacement livestock? If not do you inform your customers
of the animals orientation.?
c. Do you only administer antibiotics to save an animals life?
d. Is your meat processed in a certified organic locker?
e. Do you post "No Spray" signs around the edges of your property?
5. Is not aware that any equipment used to cut, bale, ship organic feed must be cleaned according to NOP standards after that same equipment has cut, baled, or shipped non-organic feed.
6. Cannot list at least 5 approved organic treatments for animal illness, such as organic garlic and diatomaceous earth.
7. Gets all huffy and bent out of shape (like a huge pretzel) when you ask questions like these.
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