All Things Maine
All Things Maine

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Absolutely Organic

Arthur Harvey of Canton has stirred up a lot of people in Washington. The organic blueberry farmer sued the government in 2003 for allowing food with synthetic ingredients to be labeled "USDA Organic."
"The basic principle of the law is that anything labeled organic has to be 95 percent organic and 100 percent natural. I think that's a pretty simple principle," Harvey said in an interview.

The idea may be simple for Harvey and farmers like him to follow, but it's more complicated when food is processed. To make blueberries into jam, for example, or milk into yogurt, thickening usually requires pectin. Pectin comes from fruit peels, but because of how it's made, it's considered synthetic. [Link]
45.7 million pounds of Maine blueberries were processed last year. See the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) website for details on certified organic blueberry farms in the state.

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