If you’ve been in a grocery store and looked through the organic food section, sometimes it might be confusing in regards to what organic food labels mean. Especially when some of them are so similar like certified organic, organic, or 100% organic. So today we’re going to talk about how to understand organic food labels and hopefully clear up some confusion in regards to what each one means.
One of the first things to understand is that just because something is labeled organic does not necessarily mean that is organic. So what’s the difference with organic food labels?
* Certified Organic: The “certified organic” label means that the product has been produced adhering to the organic standards mandated by the government of the United States.
* Organic: The label “organic” means that the product contains at least 95% organic materials. Foods that are imported from abroad, for example, may be labeled “organic” if they meet the organic standards of their country of origin. But that doesn’t mean that those standards are as stringent as the standards of the United States. There is a big variation between organic standards from country to country.
* 100% Organic: This is a label that is sometimes put on single-ingredient products like apples or oranges. It simply means that the fruit or vegetable was grown without the use of chemicals.
* Made with organic ingredients: This term means that 70% of the ingredients are organic. The claim can appear on the front of package but must name the specific ingredients.
* Contains organic ingredients: This term means that the product contains less than 70% organic ingredients.
Seems simple enough, right?
So what makes a product organic? Organic foods are held to stricter restrictions and regulations.
So, for example, for a product to be certified organic products must be grown and manufactured in a way that abides by the standards set by the country they are sold in and those “standards” do vary from country to country.
In the United States, the regulations for being deemed “certified organic” are basically that no chemical fertilizers, toxic pesticides, or drugs of any kind are used or have been used for a period of time in the production, processing, packaging, or serving of food.
In the simplest terms, you can think of organic as being grown without toxic pesticides, fertilizers, or drugs. But, just because it’s grown in your backyard doesn’t automatically make it certified organic by the U.S government.
Hopefully this clears up organic food labels a bit!
Do you buy organic foods?