Food & Recipes

What Does Organic Mean Exactly?

by Stephanie Wood

What Does Organic Mean Exactly?

What it takes for food to earn that organic label

1) Before a food can be labeled “organic,” it must meet certain standards set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.


2) It must be produced without the use of any of the following: conventional pesticides; fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge; bioengineering; or ionizing radiation.


3) Meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products must come from animals that are not given antibiotics or growth hormones.


4) Government-approved certifiers must inspect the farm where the products are grown or raised to make sure the USDA organic rules are being followed.


5) Companies that handle or process organic foods before they get to your store must be certified, too.


Keep in mind that foods labeled as “natural,” “hormone-free,” and “free-range” are not always organic, though these may all be truthful