Organic Coconut Oil: Its True Meaning and Characteristics
Organic coconut oil is the result of coconut farming practices that rely very little, if any, on artificial inputs. Its production emphasizes “feeding of the soil,” rather than the tree.
Organic farming takes into account zero-to-minimum dependence on man-made activities. Certifying bodies discourage the use of hazardous chemicals from farm, to distribution, to marketing.
The entire production and distribution chain, not just the end product, are the important factors in organic growing.
To ensure minimal contamination from air and ground pollution, coconut farming is ideally done far away from congested cities. The best coconuts produced are cultivated within close proximity to a volcano where the surrounding soil is rich in nutrients.
Tropical coconut trees (Cocos nucifera Linn) are remarkably resilient and can withstand harsh environmental conditions. Farmers do not need artificial means to ensure an abundant harvest.
Chemical pesticides and fertilizers degrade the quality of crops and can affect the amount of Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT) or Medium Chain Fatty Acids (MCFA) plentifully found in coconut oil.
Some organic coconut oil designation agencies don’t seem to distinguish between copra and fresh coconut meat. Copra is dried whole coconut and is typically used to produce Refined, Bleached and Deodorized (RBD) or coconut cooking oil.
Because of the refining, bleaching and deodorizing process necessary for sanitation from contaminants, RBD coconut oil no longer has that fresh coconut aroma and flavor.
Beware of “Scam-Organics”
There’s a rich mix of high-grade coconut oil brands here in the Philippines. But every once in a while, I still encounter highly processed varieties passed on as organic extra virgin coconut oil. They’re very cheap so people are fooled into buying.
Watch out for low-cost, minimally processed oils made from copra. Just because they are not as processed as RBD oil doesn’t mean they are better than RBD oil. You’ll know they are made from copra because they smell and taste awful.
Producers of certified organic virgin coconut oil adhere to stringent regulations laid out by different accrediting agencies. But it comes at a price.
Part of the expenses incurred is passed on to you, the consumer. You get what you pay for.
Bottom line? Don’t forget that coconut oil is a “food” so make sure you get one that is in agreement with your nose and tongue. Choose certified organic. Even better, get it from a local producer.
Small, independent manufacturers are a lot less likely to use harmful chemicals as they simply can’t afford them. In essence, they don’t need organic certification which big business can “buy” any time.
Is coconut oil healthy? Absolutely! Especially organic coconut oil, which retains most of the phytonutrients such as antioxidants known to have numerous health-boosting properties that have been stripped away from processed or refined types.
Coconut Oil › Organic Coconut Oil