In order to be an informed consumer, it pays to read labels.
Most food labels use the terms Organic and All-Natural interchangeably. The products containing these labels often appear in the same grocery isle. What is the difference?
By law, products that are organic must be grown and processed according to strict government standards. The companies that produce organic products are subjected to rigorous announced and unannounced inspections by 3rd party inspectors to ensure that the product is preserved and protected from the farm to your family's home. This is why organic products cost more.
When the USDA Organic label appears on a product, it must have been grown and processed without any pesticides, antibiotics, growth hormones and genetically modified organisms (GMO's) or artificial ingredients. The soil they are grown must not have been treated with toxic chemicals and pesticides for 3 years prior to harvesting.
As far as organic meat is concerned, federal regulations require that the animals are raised in living conditions that accommodate their natural behaviors; such as grazing on pasture and being fed 100% organic feed. They must not have had any antibiotics or growth hormones administered to them.
The term All-Natural assures the consumer that the product has had minimal processing and contains no artificial ingredients such as: preservatives, nitrates or nitrites, added msg, added hormones or sodium erythrobate.
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