If you’ve been eating organic for a while, you’ve likely seen these labels posted on the sides of packaging.
With the boom in demand for organic food, many companies have tried to cash in and take advantage of the system. Many of these products will claim to be “made with natural ingredients.”
And while there might be some natural ingredients, it’s the rest of the ingredients you have to worry about!
When selecting organic foods, look for certification from the USDA and FDA that the food isn’t just Organic but 100% Organic.
You might also look for additional state certifications, which can have higher standards than the FDA.
Where the food comes from is another great way to tell if the product is organic or not. Foods from big chain stores or distant states are likely to have preservatives and other agents.
Look for foods grown close, especially from local farms.
Also, take the packaging into consideration: many truly organic companies take pride in living a green lifestyle and incorporate their commitment to using recycled materials into the packaging.
Look for labels like PET, PETE 1 and BPA to ensure that the packaging is free of Phthalates and Bisphenol A.
Companies whose commitment to green living extends into their packaging are more likely to be trustworthy.
Look at the ingredients on the label, check for chemical names and dyes and look up those ingredients. Usually the presence of these two means the product isn’t organic. Most truly organic foods will have ingredients you’ll know.
Searching out 100% organic foods isn’t as difficult as finding a needle in a haystack. You’ve just got to practice good skepticism and know what to look for on the labels and packaging. If you’re at a farmer’s market without those labels, ask about the farming practices—you’ll know the organic farmers by the zeal with which they talk about them.