beefbee asked: If words such as "pure" and "natural" on food labels are often incomplete/inaccurate/misleading reflections of the product, what key words or labels should consumers look for on food packaging to ensure quality natural goods?
Hi Brit!! Or is this Natalie? : ) The key is really to read the labels. Don’t stray from purchasing products that are “natural” or “pure”, just understand that you might have to turn the bottle over to read the ingredients for yourself. Some companies often use third-party entities to confirm the quality of their products, for example USDA organic or non-gmo certified. Here is a breakdown of some terminology:
- “100% Organic”: Can only contain organic ingredients, meaning no antibiotics, hormones, genetic engineering, radiation or synthetic pesticides or fertilizers can be used. Can display the USDA organic logo and/or the specific certifying agent’s logo.
- “Organic”: Contains 95% organic ingredients, with the balance coming from ingredients on the approved National List. These products can also display the USDA organic logo and/or the certifier’s logo.
- “Made with Organic Ingredients”: Must be made with at least 70% organic ingredients, three of which must be listed on the package, and the balance must be on the National List. These products may display the certifier’s logo but not the USDA organic logo.
Also, check out what the labels on some individual products mean: http://www.greenerchoices.org/eco-labels/
Hope that helps!