ORGANIC Food Labeling

The term “organic” refers to the way agricultural products are grown and processed. Specific requirements must be met and maintained in order for products to be labeled as “organic”. Organic foods are produced without pesticides & chemical fertilizers. They don’t have genetically modified organisms (ORGANIC CERTIFIED = NON-GMO), are not processed with irradiation, industrial solvents, or with chemical food additives.

USDA Organic Certificationeurope organic farming logo

For meats and dairy, organic implies that the livestock has been raised in a healthy, humane environment, with fresh air and outdoor access, no antibiotics, or growth hormones. The livestock is fed organically grown feed.  To see the USDA’s exact definition & regulations, you can check out the National Agricultural Library  and the USDA’s National Organic Program.

Misleading: All natural Ingredients

Where organic food has legal definitions & standards,  the word “natural” in food labeling does not. There are no official standards for “natural food”.  The FAO (Food & Agricultural Organization) does not recognize the term “natural”. The FDA and USDA both do not have any rules for “natural” labeling. In a perfect world, food manufacturers would not call their food or ingredients “natural” if they weren’t – but as there is no legal meaning to “natural”, it means almost free reign to call foods “natural” even if they are not.
The The Food, Drug, & Cosmetic Act that prohibits labeling food that is false or misleading, however, it doesn’t give any specifics.

4 levels of organic labeling:

  1. 100% Organic: This means that the food can only contain organic ingredients. That means no hormones, genetic engineering, antibiotics, radiation, or synthetic pesticides or fertilizers.
  2. Organic: This means that the food contains 95% organic ingredients.  In order to be labeled “organic”, the remaining 5% of ingredients can’t be found in an organic form.
  3. Made With Organic Ingredients: This means the food has at least 70% organic ingredients. Three of these ingredients must be listed on the package.
  4. Foods that contain less than 70% organic ingredients will not display the USDA seal but may list specific organic ingredients on the information panel of the package.

What does “Wild-crafted” mean?

You might have read “Wild-crafted” and wondered what it means? In herbal medicine it describes the practice of collecting medicinally beneficial plants directly from their natural habitat as opposed to cultivating them in a greenhouse or on a farm. When “wild-crafting” is done sustainable with proper respect, generally only the fruit, flowers or branches from plants are taken and the living plant is left, or if it is necessary to take the whole plant, seeds of the plant are placed in the empty hole from which the plant was taken. 

In the United States, wild-crafted plants are regulated by the Organic Food Production Act of 1990. Harvesters must designate the area they are harvesting and provide a three-year history of the area that shows no prohibited substances have been applied there. A plan for harvesting must show that the harvest will sustain the wild crop. No prohibited substances can be added by processors.

Wild-crafted herbs are stronger by nature than organic produced ones, they withstand weather and environment without regular care or watering. Professor Fritz Albert Popp discovered about 30 years ago that Biophotones, the strength of their light and living energy is highest in wild-crafted herbs, followed by organic, and the lowest energy in conventional produce.

I will post an article about it shortly, as i have given talks about this interesting area of nutrition over the last 25 years, and it is not well known here in US.

Links:

The “Dirty Dozen”, The “Clean 15”

http://www.helpguide.org/life/organic_foods_pesticides_gmo.htm

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