Thursday, January 28, 2010

What do your food labels really mean? 'Free-range,' 'natural,' 'non-toxic,' and other myths

Excerpts from WalletPop article today I thought apropos to my blog...hope you enjoy.

Organic. Any multi-ingredient product bearing the USDA Organic seal must contain at least 95% organic ingredients. But the federal certification process is voluntary -- and not every product that claims to be organic undergoes such scrutiny.
Made with organic ingredients. At least 70% of the ingredients must be organic. The product cannot carry the USDA Organic seal.
Non- or -free. Must have less than the following per serving: fat (0.5 gram), sugar (0.5 gram), cholesterol (2mg), or sodium (5mg).
Low-. Generally, the product must have less than the following per serving: fat (3 grams), cholesterol (20 mg), or sodium (140 mg).
Reduced. Generally, the product must have at least 25% less of the given component than is typically found in that type of food.
Light. If at least half of the product's calories come from fat, fat must be reduced by at least 50% per serving. If less than half of the calories are from fat, fat must be reduced at least 50%, or calories reduced at least 33%, per serving.
Reduced, Added, Extra, Plus, Fortified, Enriched. These claims can be made relative to a similar representative product.
High, Rich In, Excellent Source Of. All designate products with at least 20% of the recommended daily amount per serving.
Good Source, Contains, Provides. The product must have more than 10% but less than 20% of the recommended daily amount per serving.
More, Fortified, Enriched, Added, Extra, Plus. For vitamins, minerals, protein, and fiber with at least 10% of the recommended amount per serving.
Lean. Generally, less than 10 grams of fat.
Extra lean. Less than 5 grams of fat.
Certified Humane. A label for products made by non-profit organizations dedicated to humane treatment of animals. To use the label, animals must have been given no growth hormones or antibiotics, or lived in cages, crates, or stalls; and must have had "access to sufficient, clean, and nutritious feed and water."
Naturally raised. A recent USDA standard for animals raised without growth hormones or antibiotics.
Natural. A term regulated only for meats and poultry -- containing no artificial flavors, colors, or chemical preservatives -- and otherwise meaningless.

The entire article can be viewed by CLICKING HERE!