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Organic Products and Foods

Description

This course is about labels such as organic, GMO, and natural, the basics of pesticide exposure, the history of the organic certification, existing regulations, and assessing some of the claims you often hear about organic foods.
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About Course

This course is about labels such as organic, GMO, and natural, the basics of pesticide exposure, the history of the organic certification, existing regulations, and assessing some of the claims you often hear about organic foods.
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What I will learn?

  • What Does Organic Mean? Certification for farming practice restricting the use of pesticides and fertilizers 
  • What is GMO? Genetically modified organisms have altered DNA. Practically everything is a genetically modified organism from the bananas we eat to the dogs we own. Simply a side effect of domestication and therefore does not have any health effects. There is currently a scientific consensus that GMO crops pose no greater threat than conventional food. Each is addressed on a case-by-case basis. 
  • What is “Natural”? Restricted but largely unregulated term that has varying definitions. Sometimes manufacturers use it to mean unprocessed, sometimes meaning it contains plant-based ingredients. Does not indicate safety, health value, environmental benefit in any way. Beware of this marketing. Organic and natural are also not interchangeable
  • The Basics of Pesticide Exposure: Carcinogenic Potency Project building database for 30 years, natural and synthetic doses of chemicals can be equally toxic to ingest depending on the dosage, the similar carcinogenic rate among synthetic and naturally occurring, pesticides often lower than gov regulation and therefore not harmful, claims vs scientific support 
  • History of Organics: Movement from everything being organic essentially to industrialized elements offering inorganic items, public perception in the 2000s 
  • Regulations around organic: CFIA mandatory for consumables (food, feed, seed), government regulations around pesticide/herbicide use 
  • How Does Organic Affect The Environment?: Can reduce soil and water quality, can also promote the use of more circular models (ie: green manure, plant rotation, mulch for weed control) 
  • Why Are Organic Foods and Products More Expensive? More labor is required 
  • Does Nutritional Content Vary Between Organic and Inorganic Foods? To summarize - it does not. Nitrogen and phosphorus differ (as this is what is in many of the fertilizers and pesticides) but most other content does not vary. Meats follow the same trend. All differences are not statistically significant 
  • Takeaways: Shop organic if you’d like, but the differences between organic and inorganic are not enough to change your health or the health of the planet dramatically. Getting to know your local farmers could be a great way to connect with your food and truly see what inorganic farming even looks like.

Course Curriculum

Ready-To-Use Shareable Resources

  • Organics Knowledge Check
  • Presentation Slide Deck: Organic Products and Foods

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Course level:Intermediate
Course Duration: 0
Last Updated:August 4, 2023

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"The Ecodemy is an extremely useful and multifunctional platform designed for anyone looking to become more conscious about their sustainability impact, to sustainable and ESG professionals looking to advance their knowledge."

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