Sunday, August 7, 2011

How to understand Organic Labels

Official seal of the National Organic ProgramImage via Wikipedia
Have you ever been in a Whole Foods Supermarket or other store and found yourself bogged down with a mountain of terms relating to natural and whole foods?  Many have-including myself.

This post will present information as to how to decode all the health food jargon and make healthier choices for your family and yourself.

Making sense of it all

All products labeled as organic must be certfied by a USDA accredited agency.  These may be state,non-profit or private agencies that have been approved by the USDA.

Below is a list of the three designations applied to foods.

100% Organic

These are products that must contain only organically produced material, excluding water and salt.  Use of the USDA organic seal is optional.

Organic

95% of the product must contain organically produced ingredients.  The remainder must consist of nonagricultural substances approved on the USDA's National list of non-organically produced products that are not commercially available in organic form.  The label should also list the percentage of organic ingredients.  The name of the certifying agency must be listed on the package.


Made with Organc Ingredents

Product must contain at least 70% organc ingredients.  The remainder can consist of conventionally grown agricultural ingredients or approved nonagricultural substances from the USDA National list.

Product may display the label, "Made with Organic.." and then list up to three of the product's organic ingredients or types of food.

The name of the certifying agency must be on the package.  Use of the seal is optional..

As more and more people opt to go with  whole foods, more designations will be forthcoming..

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