Recent Posts

Breaking News

Going beyond organic

By KAYCEE REYES

Organic. When it comes to skincare, the words natural, safe, basic, clean, non-chemical, original, pure, or whole may come to mind. And none of them are wrong. Generally, organic means using naturally derived ingredients that are free from pesticides and artificial chemicals. But are they really? This is why some brands are taking their products beyond organic: It’s called biodynamic. Which makes us ask, how organic is organic anyway?

The Agricultural Marketing Service of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the National Organic Program provide regulations on food and non-food items and define if a product is “certified organic” under their standards. According to their definition, organic is a term that may be used to label food or agricultural products that have been produced through their approved methods using environmentally friendly practices that they have identified. Hence, sewage sludge, artificial fertilizers, radiation, and genetic engineering may not be used, according to the USDA.

For beauty products, however, the USDA states that “the FDA does not define or regulate the term ‘organic,’ as it applies to cosmetics, body care, and personal care products,” but that “the USDA regulates the term ‘organic’ as it applies to agricultural products.”

Hence, if a beauty product is using agricultural ingredients, it cannot be certified by the USDA unless it meets its certain standards on production, labeling, and so on. And to the USDA, it may label its products organic when a product has at least 70 percent organic ingredients, and may only obtain the seal when a product has at least 95 percent organic ingredients. This means that products with the term “organic” on their label without the seal may not have met USDA standards nor have been certified by the USDA as organic.

As the term “organic” may have been used more often than it should, biodynamics takes organic a step further. Organic and biodynamic farming are similar in their goal of having high-quality produce while promoting environmental sustainability through their ban on artificial chemicals and fertilizers, pesticides, and more. Biodynamics takes it up a notch, however, as it has an interrelated, harmonious approach in its farming practices by taking into consideration not only the quality of the produce, but also the soil, the animals, the plants, and the people.

Demeter International, the official regulatory body of biodynamic products, is based on Dr. Rudolf Steiner’s agricultural lecture in Europe in the 1920s. Moreover, it believes in self-sustaining farming practices where there is less human intervention as it relies more on the earth’s natural processes, cycles, phases, and even tides that could bring better soil and higher quality produce, over and over again.

It has been reported that biodynamic produce contains a higher concentration of nutrients than traditionally produced ones. So that translates to biodynamic beauty products too, which may have ingredients that are more potent than others. Initially, opting for biodynamic products may sound like a win-win situation for the consumer and the environment. There are some, however, that is not into its practices as it lacks a scientific basis on some of its methods. Moreover, biodynamic farming also faces another problem with inconsistent amounts of produce that may be a challenge in the future should demand biodynamic products increase.

While biodynamic principles face some backlash, consumers converting to or trying biodynamic products are slowly on the rise as more and more individuals become eco-conscious. Both organic and biodynamic principles have to be applauded in their actions toward a better environment, but with hope, more research is done on specific organic and biodynamic farming methods so that together we can live in a harmonious, sustainable environment for years to come.

 



Source: Manila Bulletin

No comments