5 Food Labels and What They Actually Mean
Photo: Brett Jordon
When it comes to a Serene diet, it’s crucial to be able to read labels. After all, your diet has a lot to do with the way you feel and your overall happiness. If there’s one simple change to make this year, start reading and understanding labels.
USDA National Organic Program (NOP) sets national standards labeled with the USDA Organic Certified Label. If you see the USDA organic seal, the product is certified organic and has 95 percent or more organic content.
-Organic crops are grown without synthetic fertilizers or genetic engineering. This is healthier for consumers who avoid ingesting pesticide residue and GMO food products.
-Organic livestock is free of antibiotics, growth-promoting hormones, feed must be certified organic, and animals must have free range to roam.
This is not certified but the USDA. It means no artificial ingredients are added but really in the past few years it’s become little more than a marketing gimmick because it’s really not natural at all. Synthetic fertilizers are allowed and so are GMO ingredients.
It’s organic farming that emphasizes the holistic relationship of the soil, plants, and animals in a self-sustaining system using manures, composts, and adding nothing new to the soil.
4. NON GMO Project
Since 2008 the NON GMO Project has labeled GMO-free foods. The NON GMO Project scientifically tests all of the individual ingredients that make up a product using a third party testing facility. Products that have been certified are labeled with a NON GMO Project Verified label.
5. Nutritional Labels
The Nutrition Labeling and Education Act requires all foods carry a U.S. Food and Drug Administration mandated nutrition facts label. The information found on the top of the label, i.e., serving size, calories, fat, cholesterol, and sodium, vary from product to product. On the lower edge of the nutrition facts label is a nutritional footnote, which is the same from product to product and only appears on larger packages of food. The nutritional footnote informs consumers of the amount of certain nutrients needed per day based on a 2,000 calorie diet and a 2,500 calorie diet.
Read More: Understanding Nutritional Labels
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