The Meaning Of Organic Food Labels
What is organic?
The term “100% Organic” is used to identify foods that meet the USDA’s guidelines for food that has been produced by methods that integrate cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity
This means that organic food cannot be grown with the use of synthetic fertilizers, irradiation, sewage sludge, and cannot be genetically modified. The “USDA Organic” can be used to identify food products in this group.
Fudging What Is Organic
Food that contains multiple ingredients and are 95% organic can use the “USDA Organic” seal. The remaining 5% may only be foods or processed with additives on an approved list.
“Made With Organic Material” Label
Food that contains at least 70% organic ingredients can use the label “Made with Organic Material” and can list up to three of the organic ingredients on the label.
This can mislead some people to think that the item is totally organic, and the three organic ingredients listed are the only ingredients that make up the item.
Food that contain less than 70% organic ingredients cannot use either label, but individual ingredients can be labeled as being organic.
There is controversy over how the USDA handles the labeling of organic foods because of the influence of major food producers. BUYER BEWARE!