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Well and Good: Organic Labeling – Hype or Help?

Navigating the aisles here at FRESH with health in mind can be overwhelming. With labels like “made with organic ingredients”, “natural”, “sustainable” and “Non-GMO”, it can be difficult to decide how to feed your family and spend your grocery dollar.

Let’s take a look at the labeling guidelines for organic products. These labels and claims are regulated by the government.

“100% Organic Ingredients” and “Organic”
In order for a product to claim it is “made with 100% organic ingredients”, it must be completely organically grown and processed, not including water and salt. Some organic produce farmers do not use the label; look for the “100% organic” signs and ask your FRESH produce partner if you have any questions.

Products certified to be “organic” can also use this label. In this case, the product and its ingredients are at least 95% organic. The remaining 5% is also regulated; this remainder must meet criteria set by the government. Again, produce farmers may choose to not use the label; look for the “organic” signs with the product and ask your FRESH produce partner if you have any questions.

Products that Cannot use the USDA Organic Seal
Some products are partially organic, and even though some of the product has been grown and processed organically, it doesn’t contain enough organic ingredients to use the USDA Seal.

“Made with Organic Ingredients”
Products that use this claim must be made with or contain a minimum of 70% organic ingredients. In addition to the claim, they can also list up to three of the organic ingredients used on the product’s front panel. These products cannot use the USDA seal; they may use an icon like the one above or just the “Made with Organic Ingredients” claim on the product’s front panel.

Products that contain less than 70% organic ingredients cannot use the term organic or the USDA seal anywhere on the package except for the ingredient list on the nutritional panel.