What Some Labels Really Say

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The following information is an adaptation from course material from my training this week

Ever wonder what you’re really getting when you purchase something from the grocery store, whether it’s a box of cereal, a gallon of milk / nut milks, to animal products? If you haven’t, you should!  Labels are there for us consumers, to tell us what we’re buying. Only, these days, the food manufactures are playing with HOW they label foods. Let’s face it, the food manufactures are out to make money by getting you to purchase their products. How do they do this? Through advertising and cleaver tricks of semantics (the play of words and word usage).

Let’s get some terms out there, these are the most commonly used:

Sustainable = means any waste from growing or manufacturing the product goes back into the process of creating the product, example: reuse of reclamation water.

Antibiotic-free = the animal at no time was ever injected or fed antibiotics

Free Range vs Cage Free = the animals had access to the outdoors vs the animal wasn’t raised in a cage but not necessarily allowed outside. Be sure to look for “pastured/pastured raised” if looking for eggs, birds or meat that was raised outdoors.

GMO-free/Non-GMO/no GMO = (Genetically Modified Organisms) refers to products or animals that have been engineered with DNA from bacteria, viruses or other organic matter. This labeling is used when the product or animals who’s DNA have NOT been modified

Healthy = Food must be low in saturated fats & contain limited amounts of sodium and cholesterol. They need to contain the minimum of 10% vitamins A/C, iron, calcium, protein and fiber.

Natural = There are NO existing standards for this label except when used with meat products. According to the USDA this refers to the meat can only undergo minimal processing and can’t contain any artificial colors, flavoring, preservatives or other artificial ingredients.  Note, this doesn’t mean that the product or meat is Organic!

Organic = These products and meats MUST meet specific USDA guidelines to use this labeling. No GMO’s, provide outdoor & pasture access to livestock, no hormone/antibiotic use in the animals, animals must be 100% organically fed, no use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides or sewage sludge.

Flavoring = Chemically or synthetically made substances to enhance the flavor of the product.

Humanely Raised = Animals that are treated kindly, allowed to engage in natural behaviors.

There’s tons more, I just wanted to share the ones that are more commonly used.  I’ll be offering classes on this and many other related topics………..

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