What do all those package labels really mean?

Discussion in 'Living A Healthier Life' started by bugface711, May 30, 2013.

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  1. bugface711

    bugface711 Mod Of The Month Dec. 2010 <BR> Sǝɔᴚǝʇɐᴚʎ ʇo ʇɥǝ Q Trader Group

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    When you are making the switch to healthier food options, it is very easy to trust the front of the package. It says natural, so it must be, right? Knowing how food products get those labels helps you make better choices.

    Organic ~
    *Organic food is produced by farmers who emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations. Organic meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products come from animals that are given no antibiotics or growth hormones.

    *Organic food is produced without using most conventional pesticides; fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge; bioengineering; or ionizing radiation. Before a product can be labeled "organic," a Government-approved certifier inspects the farm where the food is grown to make sure the farmer is following all the rules necessary to meet USDA organic standards. Companies that handle or process organic food before it gets to your local supermarket or restaurant must be certified, too.

    Non GMO ~ This certifies that the product contains nothing that has been genetically modified. This labeling is not mandatory, but is in the news quite a bit right now. Genetically modified food is food that has been scientifically altered to produce a desired quality that cannot occur in nature. Genetically modified foods are banned in many countries.

    Free Range ~ According to the humane society, this is not an offical term for eggs. It usually means they are "cage free". In some cases, they may be given access to outdoors. In meat poultry, producers of the meat must show that the poultry has had access to the outdoors.

    Cage Free ~ Hens must be cage free inside their barns, this label does not require access to the outside.

    Natural ~ Does not mean the product is truly "natural". USDA allows the use of the term "natural" to be used in meat and poultry labeling on products that contain no artificial ingredients or added color. This means added after the fact, does not refer to how it is raised or what that meat product ate. If it is the ingredient list, it just means that one bit of natural flavor/color was added. This does not mean that the whole product is natural.

    No rBST ~ This label is found on some dairy products. BST is a natural bovine growth hormone. The r is a synthetic version of this hormone that adds about 1 gallon of milk production per cow per day. If you are avoiding products with man made additives look for this label.

    No Antibiotics ~ This label may be used if the producer of the meat can show the animal was raised without the use of antibiotics.

    Organically grown ~ This one can mean different things depending on where you are. At the farmers market, a farmer may tell you his food is "organically grown" but not certified. This usually means he uses organic practices, but cannot afford to, or does not want to go through the process of being officially certified as organic.
    According to the EPA, to be labelled as such, "Organically grown" food is food grown and processed using no synthetic fertilizers or pesticides\

    USDA meat & poultry food labeling fact sheet

    USDA Organic Program fact sheet
  2. doutsane

    doutsane New Member

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    Food labels will make it easy for us to compare foods and find out if the those comply with FDA standards. We will know also the nutritional value and can help us to make healthy choices about the foods we are getting.
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