Calling Organic “Illegal”

A customer came into our store the other day and I was going over some of our products and explaining why I think they are superior to what is currently on the market; excellent taste, low in sugar, locally grown, and certified organic. The customer said, “It should be illegal to say anything is organic because nothing really is; it’s just a marketing ploy”. When I asked for clarification, the customers said “There is no way you can guarantee that your fruit does not have pesticide residue on it since the wind can carry it from a neighbor’s field 5 miles away”.  Seriously?  You can’t honestly compare the minuscule chance of pesticide residue carried on the wind from 5 miles away to fruit growers who spray directly on their crops and soil once every few weeks!

As far as Organic being a marketing ploy, I completely disagree. I am not claiming that by eating organic food will cure you of cancer, grow back your hair or give you more ‘Vrooom’ in the bedroom. What I am saying is that the food that I produce has met the standards to be called certified organic, in a similar way to other standards like being certified Kosher. Now, you can argue the value of these standards, but you can’t argue the fact that the standards have been met. What I consider a marketing ploy is products stating ‘No sugar added’, yet add fruit sugar. Stating you are organic, yet using Round Up and Miracle Grow in your soils. Stating your packaged almonds is a Saskatchewan Made product when there are no commercial almond trees on the prairies.

In the end, I told my customer that, while being organic is not a perfect system, the products I sell are the best quality, and grown in the safest, and most sustainable way I can. Further, maybe I will have an impact on other conventional growers, like others have impacted me. Who knows, my neighbor may choose to grow organically, and possibly the neighbor beyond. The customer then stated, “Yes, and then you will only have to worry about pesticides on the wind from 15 miles away!”. Sigh…