The rules that determine whether your weekly grocery haul gets a snazzy “organic” sticker on it are a lot like a school uniform. Most controversies over these rules have to do with just how strict they should be. Should organic farmers have to dress their carrots in Harry Potter-style robes, so to speak, or are they allowed to mix up their potatoes’ USDA-designated blazers with knee socks of their own? But as our parents taught us, we can’t always judge on appearances: Organic rules mostly apply to the tools farmers are allowed to use rather than the outcomes they achieve. Watch our video above to learn how they work.

Of course — just like the organic rules themselves — this is a complicated debate. If you want to learn more, check out our more in-depth exploration over here.