100% Organic, USDA Certified Organic, All Natural - What do they all mean?

-Products "Made with Organic Ingredients" means the product may include as little as 70% organic ingredients.

-Products made with less than 70% organic ingredients may list the organic ingredients as being organic on the ingredient label.

-“Earth Friendly” products minimize any negative impact on the environment.  Examples include products that are biodegradable, chemical-free, or made of post-consumer recycled waste.

-“All Natural” products are minimally processed and contain no artificial colors, flavorings, preservatives or sweeteners.

-“Vegan” products are made solely from plants.

-“Vegetarian” products are derived from plants.  Examples include vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes and nuts.  Vegetarian foods may contain egg, honey or dairy products.

-Because of possible contamination from sprayed pesticides, buy organic fruit and vegetables when the skin of the produce is consumed.  In fact the following are the top 10 organic items you should buy: peaches, apples, bell peppers, celery, nectarines, strawberries, cherries lettuce, grapes, and pears.  Because onion, banana and orange peels protect the fruit from sprayed pesticides, buying these organic items isn’t as important.  Visit http://www.foodnews.org/walletguide.php for the extended list.

-A four-digit PLU label stuck on your fruits and veggies means it's conventionally grown.

-A five-digit PLU label beginning with "9" stuck on your fruits and veggies means it's organically grown.

-A five-digit PLU label beginning with "8" stuck on your fruits and veggies means it's genetically altered.

For more tips, or to learn more about sustainability at St. Petersburg College, contact Jason Green at [email protected].  Then visit http://www.spcollege.edu/sustainability, join the facebook group and follow us at http://twitter.com/sustainableSPC.

If you don’t understand the definitions of each of the terms, you may not end up buying what you are looking for!

Here's what you need to know...

The USDA enforces proper organic production and categorizes the terms in the following manner:

-Products with the "100% Organic" seal include products with 100% organically produced (raw and processed) ingredients.

-Products with the “USDA Certified Organics” seal are made with 95% or more organic ingredients.

Scroll to read more Food News articles


Join Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.