[NAFEX] meanings of "organic"

road's end farm organic101 at linkny.com
Wed May 2 10:27:41 EDT 2007


On May 2, 2007, at 10:03 AM, Lucky Pittman wrote:
>

> It's not organic, since it's not a carbon-based molecule, but it is 
> 'natural'.

"Organic" is one of those tricky English words with multiple meanings.

Many chemicals that are "organic" in the sense of being carbon-based 
molecules are not acceptable for use in "organic agriculture". Many 
materials that are "organic" in the sense of being permissible for use 
in "organic agriculture" are not "organic" in the sense of being 
carbon-based molecules.

There is a connection between the two meanings: "organic" in the sense 
of organic farming and gardening got that name because it's based on 
properly building/sustaining organic matter in the soil. This organic 
matter is "organic" in both senses. However, the two senses of the word 
have diverged, and no longer mean the same thing; any more than a "bit 
part" in a movie means the same thing as the "bit" that's put in a 
horse's mouth.

--Rivka
Finger Lakes NY; zone 5 mostly
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