Reading the label on the back of a can is no longer a simple task. Over the past years, reading labels on the back of a can or on a package of meat has become increasingly more complicated. These labels are more difficult to read because many major players in the food industry are trying to mislead and confuse consumers about the food that they are buying.
While the medical community is trying to educate consumers about the hazards of eating processed foods and foods with harmful chemicals, many giants in the food industry are trying to avert these efforts by changing the way their labels read. As a result they are making it hard for the average consumer to identify organic foods, since this is one of the major initiatives of many professionals in the health and medical field. These initiatives promote organic foods as the healthiest alternative. Organic foods are better for the human body because they are made without chemicals and other additives that extend the shelf life of different types of foods.
These two fields are also discouraging the consumption of foods that are made with technological intervention methods. According to the health and medical industry, non-organic foods are responsible for many of the illnesses and diseases that large amounts of the United States population are experiencing today.
Based on all of these facts, it is important for the average consumer to know how to read and interpret these misleading labels. Although most people are catching on to the terms organic and non-organic and their meanings, they can often be misled or confused by all of the other terms that the industry is placing on the packaging today. Therefore, to ensure the consumer knows what they are buying when they are shopping for their groceries, there are a few things that they should know that will help them to make better-informed choices. Some of the most basic information includes knowing the differences between the most commonly used terms in the food industry. (i.e. natural, organic, organics, USDA organic, and quality assurance international certifications).
What are organic foods? Organic foods can be described as foods that have been produced by methods that do not utilize synthetic inputs like chemical fertilizing and pesticides. These methods can be compared to similar or the same organic agricultural methods that were used on the family’s farm. The foods were fresh and straight from the garden and no one on the farm had concerns about getting sick from any chemicals. In fact, fresh organic foods promoted good health in many ways instead of harming the body.
Another term used in the food industry that relates to organic foods is USDA Organic foods.Based on the United Stated Department of Agriculture official site. USDA organic is a term that is used when they are certifying organic food products. The label the consumer reads indicates the food is 100% organic. However, this certification processed is based on specific standards that must be met before it can be certified. The criterion in this process, however, will allow a specific amount of processing aids in the foods. For instance, five percent of the foods ingredients do not have to be organic. This five percent must be listed on a national list if they are going to pass inspection requirements.
Find Out More About USDA Organic Standards By Watching This Video
Quality Assurance International
In addition to the USDA Organic certification, there is a global certification that certifies organic foods and it also have specific requirements that must be met. The name of the certification is Quality Assurance International. This certification is based on a National Organic Program. Based on these standards, a food manufacture will have to meet the requirements that have been set before their foods can receive their approval. The guidelines that apply to these foods is listed on their site. While the USDA Standards require the foods to be 95% organic, Quality Assurance International standards are substantially less. If the manufacture wants their foods to receive this certification the organic percentage rate is 70%. Which means, people who are purchasing foods with this certification are eating foods that contain ingredients that are non-organic and it is a large percentage of what they are eating.
Natural food is on many food labels today. For the average shopper, this one is left open for interpretation because it is not say anything about organic. Therefore, this is one of the terms that can be very confusing, especially because most people equate the terms naturally made with organically made. Unfortunately, this assumption is not true. These foods can contain additives and chemicals and there is no standard or limited amount. In fact, the natural labels that are being placed on the food packaging do not go through a government backed assurance process and they are not regulated. This means the foods can also contain antibiotic, growth hormones and other harmful ingredients that many people are trying to avoid eating.
Other Terms Used To Mislead People
There are other terms that have been popping up lately that the consumer has to watch out for as well. There are beauty products labeled Organix that are better but not organic. There are food companies using the label Organics. These labels are not regulated and they could mean anything. When at the store the consumer actually has to look at the labels to see what is in them to see if they are any better then any other product. If there is no label like some produce I have seen labeled Organics then you really have no clue if there is anything different but the price.
Knowing the difference between all of these terms and what they mean will help the consumer make the right choices. For those who are concerned about their health and what foods they should or should not consume, this basic information is crucial. While the medical and the health industries are trying to arm their communities with the latest health information in order to avoid these different diseases and illnesses, the food industry is attempting to delay or stop their efforts by the verbiage on the label.
Due to all of the health problems being reported on a daily basis, many people are concerned about their own health because they do want these serious illnesses or diseases. Therefore, based on information from the health field, they are reading labels to see what is contained in the food products. Many food manufactures are aware of these new trends but they do not want to change their methods of producing their foods. Therefore, some of the food manufactures are choosing to mislead consumers by using similar verbiage that most people will not understand.
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