Right up front, we want to make clear that we applaud companies that avoid using GMO ingredients. It’s a notable commitment on their part. But it’s also valuable to understand the vast difference between Certified Organic and Non-GMO Verified.
First and foremost, Certified Organic means non-GMO. It’s simple. Just like the Non-GMO Verified seal, the USDA Organic seal verifies that no GMO ingredients were used in the product.
That’s where the similarities end.
Non-GMO Verified only prevents a company from using ingredients that were genetically engineered. It does not prevent the use of harmful chemicals from being used to grow the ingredients, and it does not address the possibility of harmful chemicals entering into a food product at the many stages of production. As a result, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, synthetic fertilizers, and other harmful chemical additives, including cleaning products, can potentially find their way into your food.
The USDA Organic verification—while forbidding the inclusion of GMO ingredients—also prohibits the use of all other harmful chemicals at every stage in the production of each ingredient and also in the production of the final food product.
Put bluntly, the organic standard is far more rigorous, much harder to get and maintain, and addresses many more aspects of food production.
The Lancaster Food Company’s organic certification guarantees that we use only the purest, cleanest, safest ingredients possible and bake breads using old-world methods that completely avoid nasty chemicals that can hurt you, your family, and our world.
To prove that we are always in compliance with this strict organic standard, we are audited regularly by independent inspectors. We also routinely submit thorough documentation of every ingredient we use and prove we never adulterate a product with a non-organic ingredient. We do this with third-party audited records that verify the amounts we make and the formulas we use, and we match those records to invoices that corroborate what we purchase from approved and certified organic producers and suppliers.
We also document and share with our organic certifying agency (Pennsylvania Certified Organic) the details of our production process along with a complete list of approved cleaning agents (we use things like Simple Green, chemical-free high-temperature steam cleaners, and 7th Generation dish soap). The organic certifying agency then verifies that we do what we say we do during regular and thorough inspections.
Maintaining organic certification is incredibly difficult. And the efforts we go through to maintain ours ensures that our products are always something we can all be proud to enjoy!