Organic Food Labels – “Please Help Me Translate!”


Ever wonder how to decipher all those organic food labels? They appear to have such similar meanings, but which one is better? I’ve got a list here to help you sort it all out.

100% Organic: This means the fruits and vegetables are raised only with botanical or non-synthetic pest controlling.

USDA Organic: At least 95% of the product’s ingredients are organically produced. But if, say, 80% of the chicken feed is organic, it gets marked as “organic” too. There is no USDA standard for seafood. Antibiotics and other drugs may sometimes be used for animals with this label.

Made with Organic Ingredients: 70% of the ingredients in the food are organic.

Free Range/Free Roaming: These are interchangeable labels and are used only on poultry and eggs. This means the chickens’ cage doors were left open for an unspecified amount of time each day.

Natural/All Natural: There are no government standards or restrictions for this label. Food manufacturers simply decide whether or not they choose to use it. It implies there are no artificial ingredients used, but this is not a guarantee.

There you have it! Print it out, hang it on your fridge, or better yet, carry it to the store with you. Once you’ve learned to understand the organic food labels, you can make more informed and healthy choices with confidence.

3 thoughts on “Organic Food Labels – “Please Help Me Translate!”

  1. Food packaging seems to have it’s own language. It’s tough to decipher when you are trying to run in and out of the food store between Brownies and dance class.

    Thanks for clearing up some of my confusion with organic and natural labels!

  2. That’s very useful information. I did not know there were so many distinctions, and now I will be better able to read the labels. Thanks!

Comments are closed.