A starchy substance extracted from the root of the CASSAVA plant. It's available in several forms including granules, flakes, pellets (called pearl tapioca) and flour or starch. The most widely available forms are tapioca flour (also called cassava flour) and pearl tapioca. The flour is used as a thickening agent for soups, fruit fillings, glazes, etc., much like CORNSTARCH. Pearl tapioca is used mainly to make pudding and comes in several sizes, regular or instant forms and in a variety of prepackaged flavors. Pearl tapioca is available in most supermarkets, whereas the other forms are more commonly found in health-food stores and Asian markets. If stored in a cool, dark place, all types of tapioca will keep indefinitely. 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.