Why choose organic?
For many consumers, the option to choose a certified organic product is compelling. Is it worth the extra money or effort?. What does “certified organic” even mean? Why choose organic in the first place?
Organic certification is a complex process that aims to ensure production methods adhere to certain regulations. The goal of organic certification is to encourage crop and livestock production that avoids the use of synthetic chemicals. It ensures that crops are produced on land that is not contaminated. In the case of livestock it provides guidance for ethical feeding, breeding, and housing standards.
Standards of organic certification are set by country or region. Canada and the US have similar standards, but they are not a 100% match. Same with the European Union and many other countries that produce agricultural products organically.
The certification itself provides consumers with assurance that producers are adhering to these standards. To maintain organic certification, producers must prove their practices adhere to these standards. There is a lengthy (and sometimes costly) system of audits involved, to assure the end consumer that any organic claims made are accurate and true.
Why does organic certification matter?
Think back to not that long ago… In the 1980s, consumers could expect to find five or six main brands of coffee available in grocery stores. This was before the big chains of coffee shops could be expected around every corner. At that time, consumers knew very little about coffee production, how chemicals were used on coffee farms, and how coffee producers were treated in the global marketplace.
Once the option of fair trade and organic coffee appeared, the market changed almost overnight. Consumers had the opportunity to vote with their dollars. For just a little bit more, they could ensure that the producers earned a fair share of the retail value and that the products were produced without the use of pesticides and other chemicals. It sort of fell into place. These days, the selection of coffee brands and options are incredibly diverse - in those same grocery stores.
It could be argued that the quality of coffee actually improved with these changes.
What does this mean for therapists?
As in all industries, an increasing number of producers are offering products that meet the standards of organic certification. In the world of therapeutic lotions and creams, many of the key ingredients are produced agriculturally. Consider the seed oils like canola, sunflower, and even coconut. Some creams contain lanolin that is a byproduct of wool production. There’s even organic cotton production now, that allows manufacturers to offer certified organic linens and towels.
Then there are a host of herbs and flowers used in many therapeutic products, from chamomile to arnica to lavender. All of these are crops grown on farms way back down the production chain. If the families that run those farms operate organically, they can offer their crops at a premium, and also provide processors with the assurance of organic certification.
Ultimately, organic certification provides a paper trail between the original grower and the end user.
Does it make one cream superior to another? Maybe that’s not the right question. What organic certification does provide is an option for the consumer. In a clinic setting, the option to choose organic (or vegan, kosher, cruelty-free, etc) is an added value for the client.
Body Best is proud to offer these options. In the end, the consumer can decide. We invite you to consider some of the high quality certified organic options available.