This tag was created by Maria Frank. 

Field Guides to Food


While the terms “organic” and “sustainable” are certainly not interchangeable, both overlap as statements of value when they refer to methods of growing food that weigh long-term use of resources more heavily than the maximization of scale and output in the short-term.

The term organic may be used...
  • as in organic chemistry (meaning carbon-based)
  • as a label for a mode of agriculture that is broadly committed to food organism and soil health, and in some countries (such as the U.S.) is governed by specific rules and auditing practices:
    • USDA Organic (or Certified Organic): Food that complies with the standards set by the National Organic Program, and for which the producer has completed an application documenting the practices, paid the certification fee, and been inspected by a third-party.
      • See for information on USDA Organic. Click "Consumer Information" near the top for a digest version; see the other links for more in-depth information.
Jewett & Braaten point out that organic could come from far away (even other countries), although "local" and "organic" are terms habitually used and conceptualized together.

"Beyond organic" is also an emerging category.

Related terms: organic agriculture

Within the tag family "Values, Justifications, and Motivations," in the "Sustainability" cluster.

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