In today’s world, the easiest way to stay healthy and in shape is to make careful choices when it comes to the food that
Organic Doesn’t Always Mean Organic
Food labels can be very tricky, because they do not always mean what they say. If a label says organic, that does not necessarily mean that the product is completely organic. Organic is widely considered to be a positive when you are looking for natural and healthy food choices. However, a product can have an organic label as long as it is 95% natural. Natural in organic terms often means chemical free and not stuffed with additives. However, if a product has an organic label, it can still have some chemicals and additives. The most important additive that you should look to avoid are pesticides. Pesticides have been known to cause health problems, but organic foods contain little to no pesticides and are a healthier option.
What If You Don’t Want That 5%
If you do not want to take your chances with organic products that might contain a small amount of chemicals, you can opt for 100% organic. When you see 100% organic written on a label, you know that a product is completely natural and free of any pesticides or other chemicals. 100% organic means what it says and allows you to avoid additives that can be harmful to your health. Organic foods are very popular in today’s health driven world and the cereal aisle is full of 100% organic options.
Is Natural Better?
The big question lies in how much better are organic products? There is no true way to evaluate if natural foods are better for your health, but natural and organic items often contain less sugar and fat. However, they still contain fat and sugar, which means that you still have to read the label to get the full health picture. In some ways natural products are the obvious choice for food conscious people.
Cage Vs Range
More terms that you have to be aware of when looking at food packaging involve cage and range. A cage free label on a carton of eggs simply means that these eggs have been produced under guidelines set by the US Department of Agriculture regulations. This means that the hens laying eggs are not caged up and are able to move freely. This means that the birds are treated more humanely and the eggs might be of higher quality as a result.
What Does Free Range Mean?
The free range label simply takes the traditional cage or range label a bit further. A carton of eggs with eth term free range generally mean that the hens were not caged and were able to roam around freely. However, the use of this term is not regulated, which means that you can’t trust every label.
Antibiotics and Labels
Another common phrase that you see on labels deals with antibiotics. No antibiotics added come into play when you are looking at food labels for meat. The research involving the existence of antibiotics in meat is a bit hard to determine. However, one theory is that meat products containing antibiotics are the cause for the illnesses that are on the rise and do not respond to drugs. If you are a person that is aware of antibiotic resistance and are looking to stay away from these types of products, you should look for the phrase no antibiotics added on your meat products.
How Is A Product Labeled Antibiotic Free?
The phrase no antibiotic added can only has so much substance, because currently the USDA has not given the authority of antibiotic free to be a regulated food label. Right now it is used generically and most people are not even fully aware of this issue. At some point, the term no antibiotic added will most likely be regulated by the USDA. However, right now it is not and there is no way to check the validity of labels containing no antibiotics added.
Trying to decipher food labels can be pretty difficult, but these tips should be a great start in your goal of eating healthier.