Understanding what food labels, claims, and catchphrases mean is an important aspect in the world of healthy eating. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides all organic agricultural products with the official USDA Organic Seal. It assures consumers that the organic agricultural products they purchase are produced, processed, and certified to consistent national organic standards.
These simple facts will help you understand what you are really getting when you purchase raw, fresh products and processed products that contain organic agricultural ingredients.
Agriculture products labeled as “100% Organic” or “Organic”
◊ 100% Organic: must contain (excluding water and salt) only organically
produced ingredients and processing aids
◊ Organic: must consist of at least 95 percent organically produced ingredients (excluding water and salt)
◊ Products with these claims cannot be produced using excluded methods, sewage sludge, or ionizing radiation
◊ USDA Organic Seal: Yes
Processed products labeled “Made with Organic Ingredients”
◊ Must contain at least 70% organic ingredients
◊ Products cannot be produced using excluded methods, sewage sludge, or ionizing radiation
◊ USDA Organic Seal: No
There are no restrictions on the use of other truthful labeling claims such as “no drugs or growth hormones used,” “free range,” “natural,” or “sustainably harvested.”
To check out more information about food claims and labeling, check out USDA.gov and this handout: