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What Does Organic Mean?

Posted by on January 20th, 2012

When we see the label organic on something, it’s hard to understand what that means. Making the choice to purchase organic is difficult when it’s not totally clear what choice we are making. So before we decide to go organic, let’s first talk about what that means.

Organic is a USDA categorization, stating that a product is made in a specific way that does not include the use of pesticides, genetically modified organisms, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge or ionizing radiation. Any animal based products (meat, dairy or eggs) must not include antibiotics and growth hormones. We also assume, when we purchase organic, that the product has been grown in a sustainable way.

In reality there are many levels of organic, all of which are clearly stated on the labels. Unless something clearly states 100% organic, it is often made of at least 95% organic ingredients. The next label, Made With Organic Ingredients, means that the product contains 70% organic ingredients with the remaining 30% being free of any GMOs.

For more information about the USDA criteria for food labeling, check out their website at www.usda.gov.


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