Farm Blog

Place Order
False organic claims: How some local food-suppliers are misleading consumers...

Posted by: Trevor

February 13, 2012

Do you know that the food you're buying is really "organic"? Several local food suppliers are selling food as "organic" when in fact it's not.

The word "organic" is a regulated word. It's a bit like "Medical Doctor" --- the term is regulated. Or, to put things more simply, it's like the words "ounce" or "gram" or "pound" --- the words have a standardized meaning. The only ones that can call their products "organic" are those which comply with the "Canadian Organic Standards" and are certified by an independent certification organization.

Yet there are some local food suppliers who are deliberately calling their products "organic" even though they are not. False claims.

If a product is truly organic, it will usually have a sticker-logo like one of these on it.

We came across this recently with a local supplier, who made liberal use of the word "organic" even though we know they are not certified, nor are certain of their suppliers.

Why am I writing about this? Because they're undermining the credibility of the organic industry. If consumers can't trust the word "organic" then the movement will ultimately fail.

Farms that truly are certified organic spend lots of money to get the certification --- it doesn't come easily, and it's not cheap. The requirements are stringent, and the certification process is intensive. As it should be.

Is "organic" the be-all-end-all? Hardly. But it's a start, and it's currently the only way consumers can be assured that their food isn't contaminated by transgenic organisms (GMO).

How can you know for sure something is really organic? You ask the seller this: Which organization certified this product as organic? (For us, we're certified by FVOPA --- Fraser Valley Organic Producers Association). They should have an answer if they are legitimate.

Are these tomatoes really certified organic? I don't see any proof. Source: Wikimedia

Not too long ago we were buying produce in a local market --- there were some raspberries that were labeled "organic". We had this discussion with the grocer:

"Are you sure these are organic?"

"Oh yes."

"But it doesn't say which organization certified them."

"Oh, I know they're certified."

"Can you tell us who they're certified by?"


At that point we knew it was probably a scam.

The same thing happens frequently at farmer's markets and with local "organic" delivery services, where the risk of being detected is quite low.

Last summer in Kelowna when we were visiting the farmer's market, the same thing happened. A vendor with a booth full of lovely produce had a sign that said "Organic". But since there was no indication who certified him, we asked:

"Are you organic?"

"Oh yes."

"Who certifies you?"

"Well, we're not technically certified yet. We're in third year transition."

OK, that's nice that he's in third-year transition, but it's not organic yet, meaning his sign is false. We didn't buy his produce.

We're not saying that non-organic food is always bad. But we are saying that if you buy organic produce, remember to make sure there's proof that it's actually certified. If there's no proof, it's probably not really organic, and you are probably wasting good money.

Other Farm Blog Posts

November 7, 2020How to Get Enough Vitamin K2 In Your Diet
October 3, 2020The Secret to Optimizing Collagen Synthesis in Your Body
July 18, 2020Here is an Easy Way to Improve Your Sleep
July 4, 2020Do We Become What We Eat? Please Consider This
June 14, 2020A Delicious Way To Increase Your Selenium Intake
June 6, 2020Three Great Natural Sources of Vitamin D
May 31, 2020Nourishing Your Body with Natural Choline
February 15, 2019Is Organic Healthier? Study Shows Remarkable Benefits
January 27, 2018A Delicious Way To Boost Your Polyphenol Intake
September 11, 2017Better Than Garlic Butter, Whipped Lard Is So Good
March 17, 2016Chicken Bone Broth - A Healthy Start to Your Day
March 7, 2016Making Ultra-Nutritious Beef Back Ribs
February 25, 2016How To Make Super Healthy Pork Rinds
February 16, 2016A Delicious And Easy Way To Boost Your CoQ10 Intake
February 9, 2016How To Get Your Daily Dose Of Vitamin D From Pork
August 28, 2015Air-Chilled Chicken: 4 Reasons It's Better
March 19, 2015This Orphan Lamb Is Too Cute!
March 12, 2015These Fascinating Meat-Sheep Are New Additions To Our Farm
September 9, 2014These Pigs Are Having A Picnic In The Forest, Watch Them Having Fun
July 11, 2014Why Happy Cows Love Rotational Grazing... Watch As They Get Moved
June 18, 2014Watch As These Happy Chickens Enjoy Life, On The Grass And In The Sun
June 15, 2014She Went Vegan To Cure Her IBS
June 4, 2014Just Born: New Piglets, And They're Absolutely Adorable
May 20, 2014Alpaca's Getting Haircuts, Just In Time For Summer
May 11, 2014Baby Calves Galore, Momma Cow Has Twins
May 1, 2014Pigs On Spring Pasture At Sumas Mountain Farms
April 24, 2014Could West Coast Maple Syrup Be A Nutrient-Dense Superfood?
April 23, 2014How To Make Your Own West Coast Maple Syrup
April 18, 2014Watch Out For Local Suppliers Selling Fake Organic Food
April 16, 2014How to enjoy the benefits of wild Oregon grapes and thimbleberries
April 11, 2014A Traditional Festive Roasted Ham, With The Bone-In
April 2, 2014The astonishing super-nutrition of red marrow beef bones
December 10, 2013A Christmas Pig's Head Feast
November 20, 2013Buying your chicken in the US? It could be imported from China
November 14, 2013Rethinking seafood: 4 alarming reasons why it may be unhealthy
October 15, 2013Thanksgiving at Sumas Mountain Farms
September 17, 2013Lard: the momentum just keeps growing
August 21, 2013Another big health reason to buy organic, grass-only beef
July 25, 2013How to avoid dangerous fluoride levels in non-organic food
July 18, 2013Why grass-only beef has yellow fat, and why it's better
July 9, 2013Shill scientists still bashing organic
May 6, 2013Organic mixed farms vs. conventional monocultures
April 19, 2013Why buying locally produced food isn't enough
April 1, 2013More reasons to love, experience lard
March 25, 2013Dandelion chickens on spring pasture
March 19, 2013Bees and bugs: pollinators in action on our farm
October 30, 2012Small-scale family farms under attack by local governments
October 10, 2012CKNW news "The Bill Good Show" interviews Sumas Mountain Farms
October 8, 2012CBC television news visits Sumas Mountain Farms
October 3, 2012Why organic, local, small scale agriculture is healthier & safer
August 8, 2012Reflections on Lard - and vitamins A, D, E & K
June 27, 20126 reasons why pastured pigs are healthier and happier
June 25, 2012The best meatballs I've ever had
June 20, 2012Why organic farms are the best way to increase "green space"
June 18, 2012This tastes so good: Bacon-stuffed Pork Chops
June 11, 2012Cows on spring pasture
June 4, 2012Making parks more useful --- food security 101
May 29, 2012Reconstructing local food economies
May 22, 2012Why our eggs are totally soy-free
April 30, 2012A cow's life at Sumas Mountain Farms
April 24, 2012New Rideshare service allows customers to "carpool" their orders
April 21, 2012Now in stock: certified organic grass-only beef
April 18, 2012Reprieve: no GMO pigs in the food supply... for now
April 12, 2012Is food really too cheap?
March 21, 2012Easter hams are now in stock; more beef in 4 weeks
March 12, 2012Pork tenderloin is now back in stock: soy-free, certified organic, pastured, heritage breed
March 5, 2012Save the bees: What we're doing this summer
February 27, 2012Producing and preparing your own food
February 20, 2012Bee wars: the next frontier in global food dominance
February 6, 2012The best way to avoid eating Roundup
January 30, 2012Tapping big-leaf maple trees for sap
January 23, 2012Snowing on the farm
January 16, 2012What buying local food in the Lower Mainland actually looks like
January 9, 2012Pig's head: a healthy, traditional food
January 2, 2012Why local, organic food is important to our family
December 26, 2011Lard, Raw Milk, and Organ Meat: a formula for optimal health?
December 19, 2011Livin' Lardge: rendering pork lard, for health
December 9, 2011Organic pastured pork is now in-stock... and it's soy-free
December 6, 2011Maple Sap as an alternative to bottled water
December 1, 2011Soil: the wealth of nations