Organic does not mean that pesticides and herbicides are not used. In my reading, I saw no mention of GMOs or requiring heirloom seeds. There were no restrictions as to where the water comes from for the crops or livestock. We have this fantasy when we hear the term, organic, of wheat swaying in the breeze and pastures of cows with flowers behind their ears.
Not all farmers can say that their produce is organic BECAUSE the term is government regulated. The farmer must pay to have a government certification to say his produce is organic.
So, What does that mean to you as the consumer?
Certified organic food must be grown and manufactured in a way that obeys the standards set by the country where they are sold.
Let’s look at U.S. certified organic food regulations.
Organic food production is a self-regulated business with government oversight in the United States, and many other countries, that require farmers to obtain special certification based on government-defined standards in order to market food as organic.
In the United States, organic production is managed in accordance with the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 that places specific conditions by incorporating cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that nurture cycling of resources, encourages ecological balance, and safeguards biodiversity.
That sounds good so far.
Processed organic food should contain only organic ingredients. If non-organic ingredients are present, at least a certain percentage of the food's total plant and animal ingredients must be organic (95% in the United States).
Leaving 5% that does not have to comply as being organic.
Foods claiming to be organic must not contain artificial food additives, and are regularly treated with fewer artificial methods such as chemical ripening, food irradiation, and genetically modified ingredients. Though 'fewer' is not defined.
Pesticides are allowed as long as they are not synthetic… except when they are permitted.
Under US federal organic standards, if pests and weeds are not controllable by management practices, such as companion planting and manual weeding; Or by using organic pesticides and herbicides, "a substance included on the National List of synthetic substances allowed for use in organic crop production may be applied to prevent, suppress, or control pests, weeds, or diseases."
Then there is Nanotechnology ("nanotech") which is manipulation of matter on an atomic, molecular, and supramolecular scale.
A number of groups have called for organic standards to prohibit nanotechnology based on the unknown risks of nanotechnology. The use of nanotechnology-based products in the production of organic food is prohibited in some jurisdictions (Canada, the UK, and Australia) and is unregulated in others
If livestock are involved in the organic certification, the animals must be raised with consistent access to pasture and without the routine use of antibiotics or growth hormones.
You can see that by not using antibiotics, at all, there could be other issues.
To be certified organic, products must be grown and manufactured in a manner that adheres to standards set by the country they are sold in.
This is just a brief overview of what that means.
Maybe next time you talk to a farmer your questions should be concerned with produce and animals not grown with chemicals, while appreciating that local grown food has the health benefits of being in rich local soil yesterday, and is full of nutrients, that produce that is shipped have lost along the way.