Generally, organic foods must be grown in safe soil (chemical free), not be genetically altered, and must remain separate from non-organic products. Farmers are prohibited from using synthetic pesticides, bioengineered genes (GMOs), petroleum-based fertilizers, and waste fertilizers. Specific guidelines must be met in order for products to be labeled as “certified organic“.
Organic livestock must have access to the outdoors and be fed organic material. They may not be injected or consume antibiotics, growth related hormones, or any animal by-products.
In most Western countries, organic food is regulated by defined government standards. In the United States of America, the USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP) provides oversight and regulation over the industry.
According to the website for the USDA’s National Organic Program
Organic is a labeling term that indicates that the food or other agricultural product has been produced through approved methods that integrate cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity. Synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, irradiation, and genetic engineering may not be used.
What is organic cat food?
Organic cat food is pet food produced using organic and natural ingredients that are consistent with the USDA’s National Organic Program. These pet food products are widely considered higher quality and healthier options for felines. Pet food manufacturers aren’t held to the same quality standards as human food manufactures. However, the USDA still oversees the monitoring of pet food manufacturers and will certify them organic (typically through certified and approved 3rd parties). When purchasing organic cat food, look for the green USDA Organic label.
Additionally, organic cat food also commonly does not contain corn, wheat or soy (ingredients considered unnatural to cats and dogs) but this is not necessarily specific to organic foods. These foods are produced in both dry and canned varieties as well as treats and supplements.
Some common ingredients found in organic cat food are: organic chicken, organic turkey, peas, brown rice, flaxseed, specific vitamins like B1, salmon and other fish, and a wide variety of other fiber sources.
Today, “natural” cat food brands are more common than certified organic. The phrase “natural” is a general term used to describe foods made directly from animals or plants and not from artificial ingredients. However, the term “natural” is not certifiable and many companies use this term loosely when describing their product. It has become a buzz word to attract new customers.