How can you begin to trust an organic shop? In Singapore, there is currently a resurgence in the demand for organic products. With the market being a multi-billion dollar industry, it is no wonder that scammers are slowly creeping in, trying to take part of the spoils of healthy eating. News reports have been circulating regarding fake organic foods littering supermarkets and local markets. Not only are these conning people of their hard-earned cash, but these are also health hazards, with most of them exposed to dangerous chemicals.
Given this volatile market climate, consumers need to be vigilant now more than ever in checking and counterchecking products they buy. How can one be sure that the organic oats they purchase weekly in their favorite grocery are the real thing? How can they differentiate between an organic product and a wannabe? Check out these five sure ways to become an organic food lie detector!
How to become a human organic food lie detector
Do your research
- Every informed decision is backed up by facts from credible sources. In order for you to determine what’s real or not, you must know what’s out there in the first place. Ask around. Read the news. Go online. Maximize all the sources of information at your disposal. However, be smart in choosing which ones to believe. With the prevalence of “fake news,” double-checking your sources isn’t such a bad idea. Watchdog lists can be a good place to start. Look for lists and surveys done by credible groups like the Pew Research Center or nonprofit advocacy groups like the Cornucopia Institute and the Environmental Working Group. Government agencies like the United States Department of Agriculture also has a list named Organic Integrity Database. However, this has been reportedly incomplete and unreliable.
- Buy from your local market
- One of the best ways to be sure of the origin of a product is to get it direct from the source. Local markets are sprouting everywhere nowadays, and most have farms near the place where they sell. Looking for the best organic products in Singapore? Check your local market. Products arrive fresh and are sure to be organic. In addition to that, buying from your local markets builds relationships—farmers and sellers to consumers—which in turn builds trust. Ask them how they got started, what are their farming techniques—the more you know, the less likely you are to fall victim to fake organic products.
- Be wary of well-known brands
- There are organic brands that you’ve come to recognize, trust and love. You cease to question whether they’re organic or not on the basis that you’ve been buying them for so long. However, some of these smaller brands are being bought by larger, more commercial companies, changing the quality of their products without the consumers’ knowledge. Investigate and find out whether your favorite brand is still true to its word.
- Read labels and check codes
- Government agencies usually gives certification to products that are organic. This may come in the form of labels or stickers. Also, organic products have codes that identify them as organic. However, be wary! Several reports have claimed that such labels and codes can also be faked! While food monitoring is being intensified worldwide to manage this threat, double check your labels and codes before purchasing.
- Trust your senses
- As the adage goes: “To see is to believe.” Use your senses. Organically grown products are seldom identical and are usually smaller, as there are no artificial growth hormones involved. Also, organic food smell and taste better.
Follow these five steps, and for sure, no fake organic product will ever get past you!