Organic black seeds and oil: Truth or Fiction
Nigella Sativa seeds and black seed oil are becoming a worldwide phenomenon, thanks to a variety of health benefits associated with its use. These tiny seeds have been shown to contribute to improving health! But benefits aside, the whole concept of “organic” Nigella Sativa seeds and black cumin seed oil remains a bit vague. Organic can take on different meanings in different places, and since black seeds are grown in several countries, it’s important to clarify what exactly users should look for in a black seed product. Let’s clear up the mystery, once and for all.
What Does Organic Really Mean?
By definition, a product that is organic is produced without the use of chemicals, pesticides, fertilizers, or other artificial ingredients. The term “organic” is tossed about these days, and there’s a lot of misconception as to what organic actually means. That’s largely because it can take on different meanings in different countries.
For example, the USDA has special requirements for any food product labeled organic. Other countries will check the land you’re growing on and give you an organic certificate only if no pesticides were used during the last 10 years on a particular farm. Some countries need to test the crop, not the land. Some countries have no organic restrictions, and that’s worrisome to the consumer. If you buy a product labeled organic from certain countries, that word is absolutely meaningless.
Can Nigella Sativa Seeds and Black Seed Oil Be Organic?
If buying organic is important to you, you need to look beyond the labeling and pay more attention to where your black seeds are grown and what the priorities are of the growers. For example, countries in the Middle East that are large growers of Nigella Sativa seeds use pesticides, which means their Nigella Sativa seed products will not be organic, regardless of how they label the product. Their reasoning is that they didn’t use specific pesticides or synthetic pesticides in growing the product, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t use any.
Other large black seed producers like Turkey, India, Ethiopia, Syria, and Egypt aren’t growing organic seeds, either. And if there are no organic seeds, then there’s definitely no organic oil. But their black seed oil labels still is able to hold USDA logo due to natural pesticides that were used but not synthetic. In the same time you will never see Ethiopian black seed oil with organic logo on the label and this has nothing to do with pesticides or land or the crop quality. In Ethiopia there is a rule that a farmer can get the Certificate of Organic if his farm is bigger than 50 acres (20 hectares) but in fact there are no Nigella Sativa flower grower in Ethiopia who own such a big land.
Growing Nigella Sativa flowers for black seeds carries the same risks as growing any other agricultural product. If farmers leave their crops vulnerable to pests, they could end up losing half their profit. It’s a business, pure and simple, and farmers are doing everything they can to maximize their crops. This usually means using pesticides, regardless of what the label says. Products that people grow in large quantities cannot be fit in the greenhouses.
But truth be told, there isn’t really much that is organic, even foods that aren’t grown with pesticides. Chemicals and pesticides are in our soil and water. We’ve been farming this way for decades, and there’s just not much protection from these components. Even the organic vegetables you buy at the store have likely been exposed to some form of chemical, and it’s almost impossible to escape completely from this cycle.
Why Buy Black Cumin Seeds if They’re Not Organic
Organic or not, the benefits of Nigella Sativa seeds and black seed oil are hard to ignore. These benefits don’t hinge on organic status, but rather in the seeds themselves. Your priority should be to look beyond buzzwords like “organic” and instead focus on where your black seed oil is coming from.
Seed quality can vary greatly between countries, so take time to understand your black seed’s journey before it ends up in your hands. As long as you have a quality product, you won’t have to think twice about it not being organic.