In a world with ever increasing demand for organic products, it’s no surprise that producers of less than worthy goods would try to take advantage of the trend. As consumers, we are left to fend for ourselves in a sea of consumables with the constant bombardment of “organic” this and “all natural” that. In an attempt to sort this mess out for all of us, I was able to dig up some information that should clear the water. Below are USDA labeling standards for various products.
100% Organic = 100% organic. Its true! Finally a label that tells the whole story.
Organic = At least 95% of contents are organic. Still a safe bet for organic lovers.
Made with organic ingredients = At least 70% of contents are organic. I’m surprised, based on past experiences, 70% seems incredibly high for such a vague label. Now aren’t you happy you read this article?
*USDA ORGANIC seal may not be used on products that are “made with organic ingredients” (70% organic).
Read the complete explanation on USDA standards for Labeling and Marketing here.
“All Natural” Labeling
I know this is an article on organics, but I bet you are also wondering what about the “all natural” claims? In a 2009 interview with foodnavigator-usa.com, an FDA official said “the agency had not put the ‘natural’ issue on its priority list because there is not enough evidence that the current situation means consumers are being misled.” She went on to state that “even if people interpret it in different ways it doesn’t mean there is confusion out there. If there was, then we would definitely raise it as a priority”.
As a result, an “all natural” product label means absolutely nothing! Ever been misled? That’s right, if you are purchasing products based on this claim, now is the time to re-evaluate them. Products labeled “all natural” could actually contain all sorts of additives including MSG, aspartame, artificial colors, preservatives, you name it. They could actually be much worse for you than those not making that claim.
Organic Food Resources
So no help there, but if you need somewhere to turn, check out our article about Food Additives to Avoid . There you will get a grasp on what to look for and avoid in food. We want to help you move beyond the marketing.
You can also visit the Natural Products Association. They are a non profit dedicated to aiding consumers through the certification of truly natural products through established standards and research.
As always, your health is your wealth so be thoughtful, get educated and spend it wisely!