Wednesday, May 21, 2008

What Does Organic Mean?

You know that you should be buying more organic foods, but why? What does organic really mean?

Organic produce is grown without any herbicides, pesticides, or synthetic fertilizers. Organic meat and dairy animals receive no antibiotics or hormones and are raised on organic feed. Organic products cannot be genetically engineered or irradiated. Farming with organic practices improves soil quality, conserves water, increases biodiversity, and reduces chemicals in our earth, water, and air. Organic food is known to contain 50% more nutrients, minerals and vitamins than produce that has been intensively farmed.

The USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture) strictly enforces the use organic labels, so be sure to look for the USDA Organic symbol on organic products you purchase. Here's some guidelines on organic food labels:

100% Organic - all ingredients are produced organically

USDA Certified Organic - products contain 95% or more organic ingredients

Made with Organic Ingredients - made with 70-95% organic ingredients

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