Basil (Ocimum basilicum L. and its varieties) is a popular herb known for its flavorful foliage. The fresh or dried leaves add a distinctive flavor to many foods, such as Italian style tomato sauces, pesto sauce and salad dressing. The essential oils and oleo-resins may be extracted from leaves and flowers and used for flavoring in liqueurs and for fragrance in perfumes and soaps. Varieties - Many types of basil are available, depending on use. For fresh market production, select a basil with good flavor and attractive, dark green or purple foliage. Sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) is the culinary classic. Italian, Lettuce Leaf and Opal are popular sweet basil varieties. Scented basils, such as Lemon, Licorice and Cinnamon basil, are used fresh or dried in potpourri, jellies, honeys, vinegars and baked goods. For production of dried leaves or essential oils, French, American or Egyptian basil may be grown. There are also several ornamental type basils. Organic food is produced by farmers who emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations. Organic meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products come from animals that are given no antibiotics or growth hormones. Organic food is produced without using most conventional pesticides; fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge; bioengineering; or ionizing radiation. Before a product can be labeled "organic," a Government-approved certifier inspects the farm where the food is grown to make sure the farmer is following all the rules necessary to meet USDA organic standards. Companies that handle or process organic food before it gets to your local supermarket or restaurant must be certified.