By Cody Frank
We have all strolled down the grocery aisle or seen a label on a food that states organic. Do you know what this label represents? Are you cynical or do you actually believe in it? Well, here’s the breakdown for you, Flygyal. You have the right to know what is really behind this label.
The USDA National Organic Program (NOP) defines organic as food that is produced by farmers who use renewable resources and strive to preserve the environment quality of soil and water for future generations. Meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products that are organic are produced from animals that are not given antibiotics or growth hormones.
Organic food is made without using the majority of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, genetically modified organisms or ionizing radiation. Government-approved certifiers inspect every farm (where the food is grown) that want to label the food as organic. These certifiers check to see if the farmer is following all the rules that meet the mandatory USDA organic standards. Companies that handle or process organic food before it gets to your local supermarket or restaurant are checked by government-approved certifiers too.
Why’s this label look different than the other label? You may have seen more than one kind of organic label. This can be confusing and below is an explanation of what each category represents. If the food has a label such as hormone-free, free-range, or all natural; it does not mean it’s organic.
– 100% Organic = Produced with 100% organic ingredients
– Organic = Produced with at least 95% organic ingredients
– Made With Organic Ingredients = Produced with a minimum of 70% organic ingredients with harsh rules on the remaining 30%. (This includes no GMO’s which are genetically modified organisms).
When labeling with the USDA organic seal, meat must be 100% organic and multi-ingredient products marketed with the seal must contain 95% or more certified organic content.