10 tips to avoid falling victim to organic fraud

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To curb organic fraud, governments should take measures to punish criminals. In addition to the economic gain, the low-risk detection of such products and mild penalties for perpetrators also play a role in product fraud.


More and more people are becoming aware of contamination from chemical fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides and larvicides used in conventionally grown foods. The health risks of such foods increase the demand for organic foods that are grown without the use of synthetic chemicals and products.

Increased consumer demand and economic gain have left organic products vulnerable to fraud. Organic fraud can be defined as the willful addition, replacement, counterfeiting and misrepresentation of food for the purpose of economic gain in order to market it as organic.

In addition to food, there are skin care products and natural cosmetics made from organic products. Companies market their goods as “organic” to imply that they do not contain any artificial additives such as colors, preservatives or flavorings.

When you don’t grow your food yourself, the only thing to keep in mind is whether a product is organic or not. The question is, how do you avoid falling victim to organic fraud? Here are 10 tips you need to know:

  1. Use database compiled by watchdog groups

Some areas have created a database created by watchdog groups selling real organic products. This is done to support and protect farmers who make real organic products. If you are lucky enough to live in such an area, groceries can be obtained from any of the locations listed. This way you will be less cheated.

  1. Buy locally

According to experts, you are likely to become a victim of organic fraud involving imported organic food because you cannot verify its status. When you buy groceries from a local farmers market, it’s easier to check with the farmers about the methods they use on their products.

Find out what they feed their animals and how they control pests and weeds on their farms; how they store their products before they go on the market. That will give you an idea of ​​whether they are organic or not.

  1. Organic certification

Some countries use organic certification to certify that a product is made according to certain organic standards. This is done through the use of labels and certification marks. This will help you see what is organic.

Selection of vegetables; Image courtesy of
skeeze via Pixabay, www.pixabay.com
  1. Appearance, size and shape

When buying organic products like fruits, vegetables, and grains, pay close attention to how they look. In contrast to conventionally grown food, organic food is never identical in appearance.

Their shapes and sizes vary, and they look physically imperfect. This is because they haven’t been modified in any way. Compared to non-organic foods of the same type, they are relatively dull in color and also smaller in size.

  1. Smell and taste

If you are familiar with the smell and taste of the product you are buying, you can never go wrong. Organic products have a distinctive, strong smell and taste. The oils made from organic seeds are powerful and full of flavor.

However, caution should be exercised when purchasing products like oils as the scammers have come up with ways to add synthetic flavors that smell the same as the organic flavors. To be on the safe side, only buy tested and certified organic oils.

  1. Contains more seeds

Organic fruits and vegetables are known to have more seeds than their non-organic counterparts. For example, comparing organic watermelons, papayas, and oranges versus their non-organic counterparts shows that their organic counterparts have more seeds. Some non-organic fruits and vegetables contain no seeds at all.

  1. Worms and insects

The presence of worms and insects in organic products is a good indicator that they are organic as these creatures are part of the environment. In such a case, just put the products in the sun for a while, then wash them properly before eating or cooking. Conventionally grown produce rarely contains worms and insects because of the chemicals used to control pests.

  1. durability

The shelf life of products can be used as a test to check their consistency. Due to the preservatives used, the non-organic products can be kept for weeks. Organic products, on the other hand, can only be kept for two to three days at an average temperature. However, their life can be extended by using the refrigerator.

  1. Cooks faster

If you want to know if a product is organic or not, check the cooking time. Organic foods cook faster than non-organic ones.

  1. Organic is more expensive

If the offer is too good, think twice. You will know that if foods labeled organic are sold at a price that sounds too good to be true, you will be scammed. The cost of producing organic food is much higher than that of non-organic food. Organic foods are of course more expensive.

Conclusion

The way food is produced is important. Organically grown foods are linked to better health because they are rich in nutrients and less exposed to harmful chemicals. Fraudsters therefore take advantage of the demand for organic food, because sometimes the difference between organic and non-organic is difficult to see.

Organic fraud is growing because companies today outsource most of their processes and therefore have less control and transparency in areas such as manufacturing, procurement and logistics. Outsourcing from emerging offshore markets exposes them to not only local but also international sources of product fraud.

To curb organic fraud, governments should take measures to punish criminals. In addition to the economic gain, the low-risk detection of such products and mild penalties for perpetrators also play a role in product fraud.

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