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The nature of the food that we eat is something that we have become more and more concerned about.  Where did it come from?  Is it pure?  Has it been processed?

To Avoid pesticides, chemical fertilizers, and other "un-natural" chemicals you might look for labels that say "organic", "Natural", "All Natural", contains organic material, or other similar descriptions on the package. 

What do those labels really mean? 

What does the word organic on the food label really mean?

Organic on a food label may not mean what the word organic means to you. For those of us who make the extra effort to find food and products that are safe and provide the maximum benefits for our families, organic signifies that the product is natural, free of chemicals such as pesticides, fertilizers, or hormones. We think of foods that have not been genetically altered.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture ( USDA), labeling requirements for products using the word "organic" are governed by the terms of the Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA) and the National Organic Program. (NOP)

The folowwing labeling requirements are set by the NOP and apply to raw, fresh products and processed products that contain organic agricultural ingredients.

"100% organic"

"Products labeled as 100 percent organic must contain (excluding water and salt) only organically produced ingredients and processing aids."


"Products labeled "organic" must consist of at least 95 percent organically produced ingredients (excluding water and salt.) Any remaining product ingredients must consist of nonagricultural substances approved on the National List including specific non-organically produced agricultural products that are not commercially available in organic form."


"Made with organic ingredients"

"Processed products that contain at least 70 percent organic ingredients can use the phrase "made with organic ingredients" and list up to three of the organic ingredients or food groups on the principal display panel. For example, soup make with at least 70 percent organic ingredients and only organic vegetables may be labeled either "soup made with organic peas, potatoes, and carrots." or "soup made with organic vegetables."

"Processed products that contain less than 70 percent organic ingredients"

These products cannot use the term Organic anywhere on the principal display panel. However, they may identify the specific ingredients that are organically produced on the ingredients statement on
the information panel.

Except for operations whose gross income from organic sales totals $5,000 or less, farm and processing operations that grow and process organic agricultural products must be certified by USDA-accredited certifying agents.