As we become more health conscious, food manufacturers have also started becoming smarter with how they market their products. Which means it can get really tricky to understand the complex and complicated organic food labels on the products you want to buy.
Here’s a guide to making sense of reading organic food certification labels.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has distributed organic food labels into four main categories. 100% is the first category that basically means the product was made using only organic ingredients and following organic methods entirely. So, as the name suggests, the product is 100% organic and there’s no trick in the label.
The certified “organic” label is the second approved USDA category that can be mentioned in the product description. While the product may not be as purely organic as the one in 100% organic category, an organic product is produced using at least 95% of organic ingredients.
The catch here is that USDA’s organic label guarantees that no synthetic growth hormones, antibiotics, pesticides or synthetic ingredients were used in the processing or production of the product.
So, all in all, it’s safe to believe a product using USDA’s organic label will offer many health benefits you get from consuming organic foods.
Made With Organic Ingredients
If a company wishes to use USDA’s third label “made with organic ingredients” on it products, they must ensure that the products contain 70 – 95% organic ingredients and were made using synthetic-free methods. The product will also list three main organic ingredients that are included in this percentage.
If a company’s product contains less than 70% organic ingredients, unfortunately they can’t use an organic label. What they can do is list the organic ingredients in their ingredient panel. This is why studying the list of ingredients is absolutely crucial if you’re particular about this.
The first rule you should know about is that the ingredients are listed in ascending order of the quantities they are used in. So it’s good practice to check the first three ingredients, and it can best tell you what your meal will primarily consist of.
Another thing to remember is that if the first three ingredients contain refined grains, processed sugars or even hydrogenated oils, you should know automatically that the product is not healthy for you. A product with an ingredient list exceeding three lines is also another indicator that the product is highly processed.
If you’re looking for some ultimate organic food products to purchase, start looking for organic food stores near you. At SF Mart.com, we offer a wide range of USDA and CCOF certified organic food products and we are more than happy to deliver them for you. Reach out to us on (714)256-0808 or drop an email at [email protected] and our representative will get back to you with your order details.
This content was originally published here.