Welcome Back! Our warehouses are now OPEN! We are happy to be back in business, serving our customers with Eco, Green and Natural Products. Products you can’t find in a store. June special: Use coupon code “WELCOME BACK” at checkout to receive 15% off.
Believe it or not, you don’t need to be a rocket scientist or brain surgeon to read organic food labels.
You may find that statement somewhat surprising at first because those labels are loaded with reader-unfriendly language.
Unless you come into contact with organic language daily, or if it’s a part of your profession, you understandably don’t know what the various terms mean.
So, here’s a quick crash-course on organic terminology:
1. “Organic ingredients noted on the ingredients statement”
This means the food item you’re looking at is made of less than 70% organic ingredients. As a result, the manufacturer must identify each such ingredient individually.
2. “Made with organic ingredients”
More than 75% of the product’s ingredients must come from organically grown foods.
95% of the product’s ingredients are certified to be organic.
4. “100% Organic”
No tricks here! 100% organic means exactly as it says.
By the way, the designations mentioned so far all come from the USDA. So, you can trust them.
5. “Natural” (Meat Only)
Natural means the meat may not have any artificial colors, artificial flavors, preservatives, or any other artificial ingredients.
However, it does not refer to the conditions in which the animal was raised in any way. It doesn’t mean the animal was raised free-range or that cows were allowed to eat mostly grass and hay. Cows, for example, can be fed primarily grain, which isn’t what they naturally prefer to eat.
6. “Organic” (On Meat Products Only)
When you see the word “organic” on a meat product, it has a special meaning. It means the animal was allowed to graze for at least 120 days. It also means the animal did not get any antibiotics.
7. “Grass Fed” (On Meat Products Only)
Grass-fed animals are allowed to eat grass, hay, and forage. They are not fed grains.
Theoretically, that makes their meat more natural and healthy.
However, this term also leaves open the possibility that pesticides were used on the grasses or hay. And it also could be that the cow got antibiotics or hormones.
8. “Animal Welfare Approved” (Usually for Poultry)
This term refers to the best all-around treatment for poultry. They aren’t kept in cages and they have unrestricted access to the outdoors.
They can engage in all their natural behavior, and beak-cutting and forced molting (which happens through starvation) aren’t used.
9. “Cage Free” (Usually for Poultry)
This sounds good at first. However, it can mean the poultry are kept indoors all the time, without any outdoor access.
So, they do get the benefits of not living in a cage. But they don’t have a life as good as “Animal Welfare Approved” poultry.
Now you have a better understanding of organic language. We don’t blame you for the confusion, by the way.