Turns out, the term “organic” is actually quite complex. While it may seem easy to identify what’s organic and what’s not when shopping at your local grocery store, there’s more behind that label than what many of us think we know.
We’re breaking down what you really need to know about organic products, so you can make an informed choice when shopping for food and supplements.
What Does Organic Mean?
Depending on the kind of food we are looking at, the term “organic” means something slightly different. Read below, where we share the details about what classifies produce, meat, and packaged products as organic.
Organic Produce Standards
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, in order for produce to be labeled as organic, the food must be grown in soil that has not been treated with a list of prohibited substances for a minimum of three years. These substances include things like pesticides and synthetic fertilizers.
Organic Meat Standards
When looking at organic meats, the animals must be raised in conditions that are suitable for how they would naturally behave in the wild. For example, raising animals on pastures and feeding them organic foods. Organic meats must also be free from antibiotics and hormones.
According to the USDA, processed foods, or products that have multiple ingredients, must also fit into very specific criteria in order to be given that official organic stamp of approval.
This includes being free from:
- Artificial colors & flavors
- Artificial preservatives
These products must also contain ingredients that are completely organic, minus a handful of exceptions like pectin or specific enzymes.
What About “Made With Organic Ingredients” Products?
This is where the confusion comes in. Some products may have a label that says “made with organic ingredients,” but without the USDA organic symbol.
When you see this on a food or supplement label, it means that the product must contain at least 70% organic ingredients. While that remaining 30% still has to be produced without the use of genetic engineering, the remaining ingredients don’t necessarily have to be organic.
This is something to be mindful of when selecting supplement products. You want to make sure that you are getting the best bang for your buck, and ideally, a product that contains all organically sourced ingredients.
What Does This Mean For You?
Ok, so what does this mean for you? Understanding what’s 100% organic and what’s not will help you become an informed consumer.
While products that are only made with some organic ingredients may be better than no organic ingredients at all, you still run the risk of up to 30% of those ingredients not being grown or produced using the highest quality standards.
How You Can Get the Best Bang For Your Buck With Organic Foods & Supplements
If consuming organic food or using organic supplements is something that’s important to you, then being an organic foods detective can help keep money in your pocket. Plus, you can make sure that you are getting what you think you are paying for!
The easiest way to make sure that the foods and supplements you invest in are truly organic, opt for products that come with that USDA organic stamp of approval. These are all verified organic products that you can feel certain are produced using the highest standard.
You also want to stick to brands that stand behind their products and can tell you where and how each ingredient was sourced.
Here at Earth Echo, we’re all about empowering you to take steps to support your health and mother earth. This is why all of our supplements and superfoods are made with only the best organically sourced, non-GMO ingredients. Our Cacao Bliss gets that USDA certified organic stamp of approval, and our supplement products like our Collagen Peptides are free from GMOs, antibiotics, rBGH, rBST, artificial colors, and flavors!
Not only are you doing something great to support sustainable farming practices, but you’re taking a stand to say no to harmful pesticides, herbicides, and toxins that have no place in anything you are putting into your body.