A few days ago I was chatting with a colleague about my soap, and afer looking at my website they werecurious about the word wildcrafted, and what I list as wild crafted ingredients in my handmade soaps. As I was attempting to define the word I realized that I was not 100% sure that I was providing correct information. Uh-oh; I better educate myself on this. Natural Science News has some ideas expressed in an article titled "Should Wildcrafting Be Banned?" While not recent, the article does provide valid ideas in support of both organic and wildcrafted ingredients and harvesting practices.
Some people use the words wild-crafted and organic interchangeably, and from what I have read I do not think that this practice is accurate. I read one definition (I have not been able to track down the source for this again) that states wildcrafted products are usually organic, but not certified as organic usually because there is no certifying agency in the area where it is grown. And, that organic simply means that the product is certified organic by a recognized certifying agency. hmmm... Is it that simple?
In organic farming USDA regulations allow the use of some synthetic pesticides and herbicides, and the regulated applications of these pesticides must stop a minimum of three months before harvest. It is not easy to become organic certified, and there are stringent procedures and practices that must be in place and followed in order to maintain certification so there is certainly a degree of confidence that comes with purchasing and using organic products. Organic crops are grown under careful standards that ensure the proper growth and health of both the plant and the humans who use the end product.
Wildcrafted does mean that crops are grown without the application of substances to them; they grow wild. Some people say that given this information wild crafted crops are superior to organic crops because their leaves, fruit and root systems remain free of substances that have been proven harmful to consumers. Proponents of wildcrafted crops also believe that these crops are more potent although research has not proven this to be true with all crops. You should be aware that some people now use the word "natural" to refer to wildcrafted crops because they are disappointed to learn that organic crops can be grown with toxic and synthetic chemicals. There are also questions about harvesting endangered plantsand sustainability with wildcrafted crops, and some companies are careful to use the words sustainably wildharvested on their labels.
I am now paying more attention to ingredients and labels in general, especially my own product labels.