Organic vs Sustainable

Sustainable organics

Before the USDA organic label existed, the term "organic" implied farming practices that not only restricted chemicals, synthetics and genetic engineering, but were also sustainable in the long-term.

Sustainability means choosing crops that are naturally well-suited for the local environment and not negatively impacting the land.

By doing so, natural eco-systems and biodiversity can thrive, and our soil and water systems remain unaffected.

USDA’s effect

Unfortunately, the USDA "organic" label only addresses the production-side of farming (i.e., the use of fertilizers, pesticides and GMOs). They don't check farms' long-term effect on the environment and water systems.

In April 2004, the USDA weakened its regulations further, allowing the use of non-organic materials on "organic" farms, and hormones and antibiotics in "organic" livestock. Luckily, after thousands petitioned and contacted their office, the USDA retracted the directives the following month.

All in all, the USDA certification has helped bring organics to the mainstream, yet some believe it has been detrimental to the movement as a whole by weakening the true meaning of "organic".
More about:
The USDA and Organics
Regulations & Politics
Organic vs Conventional