If you’re looking for a better class of food, organic food usually fits the bill. But you need some specific health food information, like how you define organic food.
The USDA defines organic food like this:
“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.”
Check For The Organic Label
There are various “shades” of organic when it comes to labels, and it can be confusing and misleading. A product labeled as “natural” for instance, is not the same thing as one labeled organic.
Only foods labeled “100% Organic” contain 100% organically produced ingredients.
If the label merely says “Organic”, that means only 95% of the ingredients listed must be organically grown. The remaining 5% must consist of substances on an approved National List.
If a product has at least 70% organic ingredients, it can have a label that says, “made with organic ingredients.” Usually there is a list of the organic ingredients included.
The USDA makes a point to re-emphasize that none of the foods with “organic” in the labeling may be produced using sewage sludge or ionizing radiation. Of course, none of the excluded methods such as those listed in the above USDA definition of organic food are allowed.
If you’re looking for organically grown food, it helps to understand how to define organic food and what the various labels mean so you know what you’re getting and if it’s worth what you’re paying for it.