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The Language of Organics

December 21, 2010

The following post was written by nutritioulicious™ intern Megan Kian

Yesterday I pondered the benefits of organic produce — whether it’s worth the added dollar signs, what it actually means for a piece of fruit or a vegetable to be organic, and how to make an educated decision in the supermarket. What it means for produce to be organic is different than the rest of the items on the grocery store shelves. Since food labels are already challenging to understand, here’s a quick guide to understanding what’s what:

  • 100% Organic — All of the ingredients in the food or beverage must be 100% organic. A “100% Organic” product can display the USDA Organic seal.
  • Organic — At least 95% of the ingredients are organic. The remaining ingredients may not be organic. An “Organic” product can display the USDA Organic seal.
  • Made With Organic Ingredients — At least 70% (and up to 94%) of the ingredients are organic, and up to three of the organic ingredients may be listed on the package. These products cannot display the USDA Organic seal.
  • Contains Organic Ingredients — Less than 70% of the ingredients are organic. These products cannot display the USDA Organic seal.

Tricky, huh? So be sure to read package labels carefully!

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