Organics Made Simple

The NHA has long believed that organic agriculture results in produce that is healthier for people and our planet.  We believe that compassionate, sustainable organic agriculture is both the legacy of the past and our hope for the future.

We also believe that the health benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables outweigh the risks of pesticide exposure, but that such exposure should be avoided as much as possible.

CHOOSE USDA ORGANIC:  Since Federal Organic Standards were implemented in 2002, the National Organic Program has certified that food lableld with the familiar circular green USDA Organic Seal is grown or raised without toxic or synthetic pesticides or fertilizers (including troublesome things like sewage sludge), antibiotics or growth hormones, genetically modified organisms, or irradiation.  Accredited certifiers determine whether produce meets USDA requirements.  To learn the details of food labels, visit www.ams.usde.gov/nop.  Here is a summary:

100 Percent Organic:  Made with all organic ingredients, these products may use the USDA Organic Seal. (Caution:  may also include added water and salt)

Organic:  Products must contain at least 95% organic ingredients, and may use the USDA Seal.

Made with Organic Ingredients:  Products made with at least 70 percent organic ingredients may list organic ingredients on their labels but may not use the USDA Organic Seal.

AVOID THE MOST CONTAMINATED PRODUCE AND CHOOSE THE LEAST CONTAMINATED:  For several years, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) has been testing the pesticide content of produce and producing a very helpful Shopper's Guide to help consumers determine which fruits and vegetables have the most pesticide residues and are the most important to buy organic as well as those with the least residues and are safter to purchase conventionally.

The 2013 "Dirty Dozen Plus" include:
Apples
Celery
Cherry Tomatoes
Cucumbers
Grapes
Hot Peppers
Nectarines--imported
Peaches
Potatoes
Spinach
Strawberries
Sweet Bell Peppers
Kale/Collard Greens
Summer Squash

The 2013 "Clean Fifteen" include:
Asparagus
Avocados
Cabbage
Cantaloupe
Sweet Corn
Eggplant
Grapefruit
Kiwi
Mangoes
Mushrooms
Onions
Papayas
Pineapples
Sweet Peas--frozen
Sweet Potatoes