Organic Or Not?

The word “organic” is probably already familiar to you. It refers to the way farmers grow and process agricultural products (fruit, vegetables, grains, meat etc.). In theory, this sounds great. But the problem appears when you have to recognize whether some product is organic or not. After all, an organic and a non-organic apple look the same, so how do you spot the difference?

The label

All organic food must meet strict government standards. These standards regulate how such foods are grown, handled and processed. For example, the US Department of Agriculture says that any program labeled as organic must have their USDA certificate. There is one exception to this – all producers who sell less than $5000 a year in organic foods don’t need this certificate. But, they still need to follow the USDA’s standards.

If you see the USDA Organic label on a product, it means that it’s produced and processed according to the USDA standards. This label is voluntary, but a vast majority of producers use it.

Products that are completely organic (like fruits, vegetables…) are labeled as 100 % organic and they can carry the USDA seal. Products that are organic, but contain more than one ingredient, still can use the USDA seal, but they also need to use the following wording:

100 percent organic: This phrase is used if products are completely organic or made of all organic ingredients.
Organic: This word is used to describe products that are at least 95% organic.
Made with organic ingredients: This phrase is used for products that contain at least 70% of organic ingredients.

Products that contain less than 70% of organic ingredients can’t be labeled as organic under any circumstance.

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