food-001When you walk down a grocery store aisle you will see the words  “Organic”, “100% Organic”, “Contains Organic Ingredients” … and the list goes on. What does this labeling mean?

There are laws in place that determine how a manufacturer can use the word “organic” to label their product. Following is a quick summary of some of the more common labeling terms and what they mean. If you would like to delve deeper into food labeling visit http://www.usda.gov.

Guide to Organic Food Terms

When you buying organic foods, look for the “USDA Organic” label. Only foods in the categories “100% organic” and “organic” may display the USDA Organic Seal. Other foods with varying levels of organic ingredients may be labeled as follows:

  • “100% organic” – single ingredient such as a fruit, vegetable, meat, milk and cheese (excludes water and salt).
  • “Organic” – multiple ingredient foods which are 95 to 100% organic.
  • “Made with organic ingredients” – 70% of the ingredients are organic. Can appear on the front of package, naming the specific ingredients.
  • “Contains organic ingredients” – contains less than 70% organic ingredients.

If a label or sticker on produce begins with the # 9 (the five digit code on the label) then the product is organic.

If a label or sticker on produce begins with the # 4 (the five digit code on the label) then the product is conventional.

Remember, if a product is labeled “Organic” it doesn’t mean the ingredients used are necessarily healthier for you. If that were the case I would live on Organic Cream Filled Chocolate Cookies!

Have a great day.

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