Definition of Organic
The term “organic” refers to the way a product was grown. A product is organically produced if it was grown without the use of any fertilizers, herbicides, or synthetic pesticides. If something has the USDA organic seal (as shown) it was also grown without the use of any genetically modified ingredients.
How To Read Organic Food Labels
|What Does Organic Mean||Definition|
|“USDA Organic“||95% or more of the ingredients were grown organically.|
|“Made With Organic Ingredients“||70% of the ingredients were grown organically.|
So, now that you know what organic means, why should you choose to consume organic products? If you’re concerned about the environment then you may want to choose organic to help limit crop spraying which releases chemicals into the air. If you’re concerned about ingesting pesticides (chemicals that kill small bugs) then you may also choose to reach for products labeled “organic”. It should also be noted that the organic label has nothing to do with other things like fat or calories in the product.
One last thing to consider with the organic label is the pricing. Carrying the organic label gives the product an exclusivity. It’s almost like an elite status in the grocery market and usually demands a higher price as such.
As with all food labeling, watch the wording if eating organic is important to you. If something is labeled “made with organic ingredients” then only 70% of the ingredients in that product meet the organic standard. Are there enough pesticides in 30% of the product to negate the clean 70%? That’s left to ponder and may vary by product.
To understand other labeling terminology, see how to read food labels.