You make a list, you drive to the super market and then you are drowned in a host of very confusing labels as you walk down the aisle. From meat, to pasta to vegetables and fruits all of them sport a variety of labels that can indeed become extremely confusing.
However, in order to be sure of what you put in your shopping cart, it is important that you do not take these at the face value and learn what each of these labels mean.
Find below an explanation of what most of these labels mean. When you are aware of what they mean, you can be sure that you will choose well and keep yourself and your family healthy by only purchase the right produce for your needs.
When you see a USDA Organic seal, you can be sure that it is good for you. This means that the product has been produced using no synthetic fertilizers, irradiation, sewage slug and genetic engineering.
Products that are ‘100 % organic or have been made with organic ingredients have to be certified by the USDA. For products that have been made with less that 70% organic ingredients, it is important that the manufacturer detail, which specific ingredients are organic, and which ones are not. Organic Standards of the USDA also specify that antibiotics and growth hormones cannot be used for meats that are labeled organic. The feed for livestock should have been 100% organic.
Cage-Free or Free-Range
If products have been labeled ‘cage-free’ or ‘free-range’ it means that the animals have the freedom to move around. Cage-Free in most cases is reserved for eggs, and free-range can be applied to anything from chickens to pigs to cows. The only issue here is that there is no certification from the government for this label and there is no real guarantee that the labeled meat was from humanely treated and free roaming animals.
This label too is not certified by the USDA, but it means that the products labeled ‘grass fed’ is from animals that have eaten nothing else except the mother’s milk, hay and grass.
Food products that have the certification form the USDA, are pesticide free. However, this is not a guarantee. It is known that certain foods that are organically produced, may have pesticide residue. If you truly wish to consume pesticide free food, you should look for a pesticide free label.
Hormone-Free and Antibiotic-Free
Hormone filled meat are known to come with a host of health hazards with them. These may be problems linked to puberty and infertility. The best way to find hormone free and anti-biotic free products is to look for products that are certified as being organic.
Natural or All-Natural
The label natural comes with no guarantee and no certification. It is a very loose term that is used for products that are made using no artificial sweeteners, synthetic preservatives and other additives.
When you are aware about these labels, you can take the right call for the health of your family. Choose to buy products that are certified by the USDA, and you will not go wrong. You can choose to speak with a Registered Holistic Nutritionist or a Homeopath if you wish to learn how you can lead a natural life, with a natural diet that is good for you!