What Does Organic Even Mean?!

Ever wonder, what does organic even mean?! The classic grocery store conundrum “this or that.” Wonder no more, here’s what it means and why we’re proud to be organic.

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3 mins
Marie Le Bouthillier
What does organic even mean?!

We've all been there: at the grocery store, hesitating between two options of an item on your shopping list - one is organic, the other is not. Trying to figure out if the investment in an organic product is worth it, “what does "organic" even mean?!”

We’re glad you asked because this conundrum is one we’re passionate about solving. As most of us try to put the most nutritious food in our mouths, while not taking too much out of the planet, buying organic seems like the right thing to do. We’re here to help you overcome your hesitations and make a wise choice: yes, organic is a superior choice for our planet and you. But why?

We must first go back to the roots of the food supply - the fields, to really discover what the term "organic" means. Since almost all of what we eat comes directly or indirectly from agriculture, that is where it all begins. Buying organic means that the soil from where the food comes from has been treated with superior sustainable techniques: conservation of soil fertility, no use of chemical and synthetic products, respect for natural cycles and animal welfare, and preservation of biodiversity. The crops used in organic fields are also GMO-free, an additional feature that guarantees sustainability. Practices not permitted in organic farming include the use of synthetic fertilizers, antibiotics, irradiation and synthetic pesticides. Organic food is synonymous with good soil, climate and environmental protection: all key things if we want to keep our planet healthy1.

From the fields, this food makes its way to our plates. When you eat food labelled organic, you're sure you're getting "the real thing." Since the word "organic" is a controlled name in Canada, only products containing more than 95% of ingredients that meet certain sustainability criteria can be labelled or advertised as "organic" or carry an official organic logo2. Don't be fooled by products labelled as natural or environmentally friendly, they can be excellent alternatives, but the word organic gives you the assurance that the food has been grown in an environmentally friendly manner according to the organic principles of the certifying body. Buying organic means encouraging a business that is transparent to consumers about its promise to the environment. In Canada, in 2019, organic products accounted for 2.6% of the total foods market share in major retailers - and this percentage is growing steadily since the demand is strong3.

Now that we've talked about the ecological benefits of buying organic, what about the effects of organic foods on our bodies? Some studies have shown that organically grown foods have fewer pesticide residues than conventionally grown foods4. Organic products can undoubtedly say, "We started at the bottom and now we're here" with regard to its impact on the quality of our food! 😉

At HOLOS, our beliefs are rooted in the conviction that we are all connected as a whole, including Mother Earth, so we will always put organic ingredients first. It is a full circle between us and the planet. That is why our Super Breakfasts are all certified organic by ECOCERT. You can learn more about this certification and what it means here: Organic agriculture certification and label in Canada.

Would you like to know more about our sustainable practices? You can learn about our change to 100% recyclable packaging here in our New Look blog.


  1. Organic agriculture certification and label in Canada.
  2. Organic claim - Permitted claims
  3. Organic Food Sales In Canada
  4. Higher antioxidant and lower cadmium concentrations and lower incidence of pesticide residues in organically grown crops: a systematic literature review and meta-analyses | British Journal of Nutrition | Cambridge Core

HOLOS’ Nutritionist (RD.)