What to Look for on a Food Label

Guest Post by Teresa Jungling – Owner of Living Natural Today

What to Look for on a Food Label

Shopping for food today can be difficult. Food labels can be so confusing! The main items I look for on a food label are the list of ingredients, the USDA Organic seal and the Non-GMO Project Verified seal.

Why Look for the USDA Organic Label?

The USDA Organic label is either a green and white, or black and white circle. Farmers have to adhere to many standards and approved methods in order to become certified organic.

For organic crops, the seal verifies that “irradiation, sewage sludge, synthetic fertilizers, prohibited pesticides, and genetically modified organisms were not used.” It also means that no artificial preservatives or dyes are used. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want those things in my food!

There are a few different levels or variations of organic, but if you see the round USDA Organic seal on the front of the product you are purchasing, the contents are verified to be 95% or more certified organic.

What are GMOs?

GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organism. They were introduced into our food supply in the mid 1990’s. According to the Institute of Responsible Technology, “GMO is the result of a laboratory process where genes from the DNA of one species are extracted and artificially forced into the genes of an unrelated plant or animal.”

GMOs were designed to be resistant to certain herbicides and to produce a toxin which kills pests.

A couple crops which are genetically modified the most are corn and soy. Both of these foods are typically found in most processed foods.

 

What is the Non-GMO Project Verified Label?

The Non-GMO Project is “North America’s only third party verification and labeling for non-GMO (genetically modified organism) food and products”.  They are a non-profit organization. In addition to verification, they also educate consumers and build awareness about genetically modified products.

The Non-GMO Project Verified seal on a label assures that the product you are purchasing has gone through their verification process. The process confirms that the product was produced to avoid GMOs, according to consensus-based best practices.

It is worth noting that this process only tests for GMOs, not for pesticides and herbicides. Therefore, it is best to find products with the USDA Organic seal in addition to the Non-GMO Project Verified seal.

If you can only find one of the seals on a label, I recommend the USDA Organic seal. That will limit your exposure to GMOs, pesticides and herbicides. Happy shopping!

 

Author Bio:

Teresa Jungling – Teresa is the owner of Living Natural Today.  She shares information about organic food, nutrition, healthy living, chemical sensitivities and toxins.  She is also an Independent Mission Marketer with Beyond Organic.  She is passionate about sharing resources and helping others live a more healthy and natural lifestyle.

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** Married mommy of two beautiful girls , residing in San Diego. Practice manager/Veterinary nurse working in the field for 11 years.

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