Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Bio or Biologique. Aliments Biologiques, Produits Biologiques AB - Organic Food and Wine in France.

Behind the French Menu
Bryan G. Newman
Updated June 2018

Agriculture Biologique – Organic Agriculture.
When in France and looking for organic produce watch for the AB label.
Organic wines, meats, vegetables, milk, cheeses and more are all available in France, and there are many organic restaurants. The initials AB identify Agriculture Biologique, and it is France’s most respected green organic label.

Colombard Vin Bio, Côtes de Gascogne
All produce and products bearing the label AB will have been controlled at many stages, and they will have met a host of stringent requirements.  All produce bearing the logo AB will have been grown and or produced without synthetic pesticides, insecticides or genetically modified seeds. Animals will only have eaten or been fed organic feed, and none will have been injected with antibiotics or growth hormones, etc. Organic vineyards are found in some of France's most famous wine producing regions and the sales of organic wines are increasing by over 10% per year. 

Many restaurants offer individual organic dishes or dishes made with organic eggs, but there are hundreds of entirely organic restaurants in France.  Just Google “Restaurants bio France” and you will find tens of guides including:

Whole grain organic rye bread
The AB label, introduced by the French government in 1985 is well regulated and supervised; it is trusted, and it will be the initials for the organically produced foods that one sees most often.  (N.B. In France, as in other in other countries, organic farming regulations do not seriously attempt to regulate for better living conditions for farm animals).

Organic eggs.
In the USA processed foods may be labeled 100% organic if 95% of the contents are organic, the 5% left comes from a shrinking list of items that are not yet available organically. In France, unlike in the USA, no synthetic products at all are permitted in that 5%.  There is no control for saltwater fish and or seafood caught in the wild, as no one can control what your oyster or fish fillet had for lunch, but organic freshwater trout and sea farmed fish are on restaurant menus and in the supermarkets.

Organic shrimps
The French organic farming industry may lag somewhat behind some other countries in Europe, but it is growing. Over 4% of all farmland is now used for organic products; the organically raised beef cattle industry show numbers rising by 15- 20% a year and the number of organic fish farms are also growing.

The taxpayer’s Euros are involved as the government subsidizes farms that switch to organically raised crops and animals; the government also supports farms that use organic solutions to groundwater pollution problems.

Miel De France Lavander Bio Honey.

Local associations such as AgroBio Périgord in the Dordogne and the Association de l'Agriculture Biologique de Picardie are two of the many local associations and organizations that work together with the government-managed Agriculture Biologique.

The Common Market organic foodstuffs label.
This green leaf label with 12 stars covers organic products from among its 28 members

Other labels mark vegetarian, vegan, lactose-free and gluten-free products.

Searching for the meaning of words, names or phrases
French menus?

Just add the word, words, or phrase that you are searching for to the words "Behind the French Menu" and search with Google. Behind the French Menu’s links include hundreds of words, names, and phrases that are seen on French menus. There are over 400 articles that include over 3,000 French dishes with English translations and explanations.
Bryan G. Newman

Copyright 2010, 2016, 2018
For information on the unpublished book behind this blog contact Bryan Newman


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