What is the deal with Organic, Farmed, and Wildcrafted Essential Oils?

Sep 14, 2020

This is a subject that is rife with assumed ideas and with some misconceptions. When you get out there in the real world many people will think one thing yet when the realities of life are factored in a different picture is presented. So let us look at each one.

Organic; So what comes to mind when it comes to organic and how our food is grown under this label. Of course, since I am supposed to be focusing on how this topic applies to essential oils, we first must understand that what applies to one also applies to the other. In some cases, a particular plant is eaten as a food or even distilled or pressed into an essential oil. But lets us keep it simple. When we consider the Organic label on a product we usually formulate the idea in our mind that it is grown under conditions where that the product never is exposed to any synthetic ..cide.. as in pesticide, Insecticide, or herbicide of any kind. Don't get me wrong here, I am not in favor of any of these things on my food either. But the product is never grown in conditions that afford the opportunity for these "bad" things to come in contact with the food, thus we have pristine food. It also implies that other stuff like human sewage is not used on or in the soil as well as a super well-balanced nutrient level in the soil and on and on along those lines. Also, one must keep in mind that there is a long list of "Organic" certifying agencies out there, many of them are very strict and really looks into many aspects of making sure that when they certify it Organic, then you can be assured that it is a pretty safe food product. But many are not so strict. In selecting essential oils one of the main things people want to know is if this "oil" is USDA Organic certified. Honestly, it takes all the self-control that I can muster up to keep from laughing. I don't want to burst their bubble. I really want that particular certification to mean something. Really I do. But in my book it doesn't. Here is why. Any product that is used on a crop that carries the Organic certification has to be free of many things and any kind of amendments, such as fertilizer, or any kind of say pest control or whatever has to use a product that is approved to be used under that label. If a product is not on the list, it cannot be used, no matter how "Organic" it might be. If a product that is used that isn't on that list then the Organic certification for that farm is revoked. But some of those certification agencies goes a step further. They will allow these synthetic things like the "...cides.." to be used if there is a problem and no natural product is available. Did you get that? Just reread the last sentence. So how "Organic " is it then? The USDA is the main culprit that does just that. Some certifying agencies will not allow such a practice to take place. So the moral is to make sure you know WHAT agency has done the certifying of the product you are buying. The suppliers that I use for essential oils uses many of the certifiers that are extremely strict. They do not rely on the USDA Organic label as their primary certifiers. I know I have sort of went the way of appearances of focusing on the "cides" for example, but many more things are taken into account. It is in my opinion that having a so-called "Pure" product is impossible. Environmental pollution comes to mind. Another is secondary pollutants that is never spoken about. I have discussed this aspect in many of my so-called discussions or E-lectures. Let us move on to the farmed products.

Farmed: Now when we look at this aspect, we will have to divide the food from the essential oils. when a food product is farmed, many times it will be as Organic as any labeled Organic product. It is just that the farmer has for one reason or another chose to not pay the fees that allow him or her to use the label. So a farmed product may be organic or it may not. But when it comes to essential oils, many growers know full well that their product is going to be analyzed and any of thee "..cides.." for example would be detected. So they don't use them. So in most cases, there is just not a whole lot of difference between "Farmed" and "Organic". So the question goes out. What can you do and how can you know? About the only way to know is to look for secondary signs. In many analytic reports, it amounts to ratios with whatever numbers the report is showing. You need to know the areas from which the product has originated. With food that is very difficult. With essential oils, it is a little easier. People that make these assessments based on a long list of criteria will usually make the right calls. Those who rely on just a stamp of approval or such usually is just guessing in the dark. Most outside analytic reports are usually pretty reliable. In house, reports are usually very unreliable or boarding on useless. In this day and age, the "Farmed" label on a product is becoming much more reliable and safe as most producers know their name is on the line and they are more interested in producing a good crop than running a scam. Notice that I said most, not all. The same applies to the above mentioned Organic label as well.

Wildcrafted: Man oh man, this is a catch-all label if there is ever a catch-all phrase/label. The term implies that you have some smuck that goes out and wanders aimlessly around cutting or sniping a product here or there. Well, actually some wildcraft harvesting is actually done this way. Depending on the knowledge and expertise of the individual doing the harvesting, a real quality product can be delivered to you. We actually have a supplier that fits into this category. But the product will usually be on the expensive side. Overall, most products harvested this way will not be purchased by the average person on the street because of pricing. For example, some plants are harvest under the wildcraft label by going out in a swamp and harvesting the plants there. That is by definition, wildcrafting. These plants are usually not as expensive. Other plants, most of the time they are trees, will be clear cut harvested mechanically. These plants/trees also qualify as "wildcrafted". So with wildcrafting, if it isn't cultivated, such as most annuals are, then you are likely going to be able to quality as "Wildcrafted". This labeling allows for plants across the board on quality, so in the end, it just really tells you under the conditions it was grown and the is no quality assurance what so ever. Most of the time the Wildcrafted plants are not cared for in any way, and that produces a plant that can be all over the board as to quality.

So some takeaways here. If someone tells you that their food or essential oil is purer than pure itself, well, they are out to lunch. Impossible to do and even more difficult to prove as any test will only test for a certain group of criteria. IE; you can't test for something that you don't know what to test for, right? Plus the expense of running endless tests soon becomes financially impractical. People that make absolute claims about most things really don't know what they are even talking about. I guess that whatever they are carping about, must be just some idea that makes them feel good about themselves or what they are doing. Don't shatter the illusion. The most important thing is t keep in mind that the majority of people in the essential oil arena really are trying to make sure their product is top-notch quality. Most of these people are smaller operations and their name is on the line. Now when it comes to food, most food for most people is produced by large corporations with nameless and faceless people, so in that arena, it can be a different story at times.

So the bottom line... if you have a pretty idea s to what the plant quality is supposed to be and know any kind of history of the plant, then you will be much more informed and not subject to some shyster taking advantage of you. Also, this will help you to make better decisions as to what will be best for you. With that my friends, that is the real certification of quality of anything you do or use.

End of Report. KK.

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