The absence of chemical fertilizers, pesticides or other substances is the main characteristic of organic products. The same applies to bio/eco products as well. So, these three words practically refer to the same products. Apart from how you will choose to call them if you decide to buy them, you will have to be careful of some basic things. What are these? Here they are:
- An organic or bio/eco product has to have the special label which states not only the place of production and the name of the producer’s company but also of the packer’s or trader’s (if different from the producer).
- On that special label, always look for the logo and the relevant code of the Audit and Certification Body that certifies the fact that the particular product meets all the necessary requirements in order to be called “organic”. In fact, this body must be recognized by the Ministry of Agricultural Development and Food.
- Look at what state the product you have chosen is into- that means, if it is in a “complete” or “transitional” stage. This has to do with the soil of the field where it has been cultivated. If the particular field was previously used by farmers of conventionally grown products, then there will certainly be residues from the chemical substances that they probably used. Therefore, it needs time until the soil “is clean”. What does that mean? That all products that are cultivated there in the meantime, they are in a “transitional stage”, while these products that are cultivated after the soil “cleans” are characterized “complete”.
- When you buy organic products in bulk, e.g. from a street market or directly from the producer’s farm, it would be good to take a look at the Audit and Certification Body’s certification, which should be on every counter and mention each product in detail.
- Do you shop from a specific traditional agricultural cooperative? This does not automatically mean that the products you are buying are organic. The only element that proves something like that is the Audit and Certification Body’s certification, to which we referred above.
Lastly, if you do not usually go to organic street markets, or if you do not prefer organic products, it would be good to always choose those products that are “in season”. Yes, you should know that if you buy strawberries during winter, they obviously won’t be organic or they will have traveled many…miles in order to get to you.
Here, you can -if you want- follow the seasonality of many fruits and vegetables so that, when you go shopping, you will know what to buy and make the best possible choices.
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