As the fear surrounding conventional and processed food increases, more people are changing to an organic lifestyle. But oftentimes it’s difficult to know what is real organic food.
Labels and ingredients are sometimes too complicated to understand, although organic labels aren’t quite as difficult to figure out as conventional labels. There aren’t so many unfamiliar ingredients and a great deal of pressure is lifted off your mind because you can be certain an organic product is 100x more healthy than a conventional product.
There are 3 types of organic products; 100% organic, organic, and made with organic ingredients.
- 100% Organic – Made with 100% organic ingredients. These are the highest quality organic products.
- Organic – Made with at least 95% organic ingredients. A close runner-up to the highest quality.
- Made with Organic Ingredients – Made with at least 70% organic ingredients. The remaining 30% comply to strict regulations and do not contain GMO’s or additives. These products are not USDA certified.
All organic products cannot be produced using sewage sludge or irradiation.
Most people are interested in optimizing their health by going organic, but they are also starting to look for foods that aren’t genetically modified. Unfortunately, there are no actual rules or regulations concerning the labeling of GM foods, and GM foods are increasingly being produced. Once there is enough consumer awareness the FDA will require mandatory labeling of all GM foods.
Genetically Modified Food
There are two descriptions to look for on products to know if they contain GM additives.
“Non-GMO” OR “GMO-Free”
Fortunately there are farmers and companies that still produce GMO-free food, and they want to let consumers know by placing it on the label. But sometimes placing a label is not enough. You’ll be delighted to know there is a little-known process to determine if your food is not only genetically modified, but also conventional or organic. Here’s how.
In order to really find out if the food you are buying is genetically modified, conventional, or organic, look for the PLU code (the 4 or 5 digit code found on the product). Here is what to look for when you find the code.
- Conventional – A 4-digit code starting with the number “4”. Ex: Conventionally grown banana: #4011
- Organic – A 5-digit code starting with the number “9”. Ex: Organically grown banana: #94011
- Genetically Modified – A 5-digit code starting with the number “8”. Ex: Genetically Modified banana: #84011
And that’s how you know.
Organic Labels – Facing an Uprising Problem
With organic food becoming increasingly prominent, it is no shock that large companies want a piece of this growing industry. Multi-national corporations, and most large corporations often don’t have the same good-nature intentions as those that small businesses have. Typically, places like WalMart, which was the largest organic retailer in the US in 2009, is not exactly trying to better the world like organic farmers, or small businesses.
Big corporations have taken the principles of organic farming and stomped all over them. Here are just a few examples:
- Selling organic milk coming from confinement factory farm dairies
- Importing cheap and low quality organic foods and ingredients from China and Brazil
- Misleading consuming into believing non-organic items are organic
As long as the business of organic food keeps rising, the quality of much of the organic food will keep dropping. Once big business gets it’s hands on it, there is no telling how organic it really is.
What should you do? Buy from local and small businesses. Support the cause and don’t give big corporations the profits they need to stay in control.
Read more: http://naturalsociety.com