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Saturday, March 14, 2009

When Can a Food Be Labeled “Organic”?

Written by Sandra Emmi

Many people today try to do their best to shield themselves from the harmful effects of pesticides, and for most this means paying more for foods labeled “organic.” However, few shoppers realize that the USDA’s National Organics Program, which regulates organic food labeling, actually allows for four different organic labels, each meaning something just a little bit different.

In other words, a food that contains some non-organic ingredients can still be labeled organic, depending upon the specific language used.

If your intent is to buy absolutely, 100% organic food products when you shop, it helps to educate yourself on the language used in organic labeling so that you know what you’re really getting.

Products labeled “100 percent organic” are single-ingredient foods, like fruits, vegetables, milk, meat, etc. These products are allowed to carry the USDA Organic Seal. Multiple-ingredient, packaged foods may also carry the USDA Seal, but they are allowed to contain up to 95% inorganic ingredients (by weight).

Products made up of 70 percent organic ingredients can carry the label “made with organic ingredients,” but can’t carry the USDA seal. And finally, the least organic products of them all (anything less than 70 percent organic) may tout the label “contains organic ingredients,” but again no USDA seal.

Actually, if it’s really important to you to eat organic, your best bet is to look for foods labeled with the USDA Organic Seal. These foods are the most natural alternatives available.

Other Posts

Organic food really is healthier
What is allicin?
Benefits of juicing
Methionine is an essential amino acid that helps the body process and eliminate fat
Many of the important herbs and medicinal plants contain substantial amounts of germanium


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