Types of Organic Food

Fresh produce and meat that is labeled “certified organic” have been produced under conditions that comply with the laws of the United States of America. This applies to all fruits and vegetables in the produce section of your local grocery store as well as to fruits and vegetables sold at local farmer’s markets. “Certified Organic” is a label that assures you that the fresh produce and meat doesn’t contain any pesticide residue or leftover chemicals from fertilizer or any antibiotics or growth hormones. Vegetables and meats that are imported from other countries can be labeled “organic,” but they may not be labeled “certified organic.”

The thing is, we don’t just buy fresh fruit, vegetables, and meat. We buy processed food products – all kinds of processed food products. We buy sugar, flour, cooking oils, seasonings, spices, breakfast cereals, health bars, milk, bread, cheese, and on and on. So how can we tell if these processed products are organic?

You need to read labels and understand precisely what the labels mean. Read the fine print:

* “Organic”: means that the product contains at least 95% organic materials.
* “Made with organic ingredients”:  means that 70% of the ingredients are organic.
* “Contains organic ingredients”: means that the product contains less than 70% organic ingredients; how much less does not have to be specified.

These are labeling guidelines to help you determine whether the product is in fact organic, and whether the product is worth the additional cost to you. You have to decide if a product that is labeled “contains organic ingredients” is worth more than a similar but less expensive product that does not contain any organic ingredients. Worth, like beauty, is in the eyes of the beholder. Only you can decide whether it is worth it to you to pay a little more for products that have organic elements.

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