The New Year brings new health goals. Trying to shop healthy is a challenge in itself. As you start your health food search you are bombarded with labels. Whether it’s on the box of crackers or the deli meat, labeling can be misleading.
Deception seems too often embedded in these foods instead of nutrients. It is crucial to understand which labels are regulated and which are just marketing gimmicks to ensure you reach your New Year’s Resolution.
So… is the food you’re buying truly healthy or just smoke and mirrors? Let’s find out!
This is the least controlled label on the shelves. To become natural a product has to contain no artificial ingredients according to the USDA. This means antibiotics, hormones, and other chemicals may still be present.
This label has the exact same meaning as natural. There are no regulatory differences between calling something ‘all natural’ and just ‘natural’.
Made with Organic Ingredients
This label cannot contain the official organic seal. The foods contain at least 70% organic ingredients that are not produced with sewage-sludge based products.
These products contain 95% organic ingredients with strict USDA regulations on the remaining 5%. The products contain no antibiotics, pesticides, petroleum or sewage-sludge based fertilizers, hormones, or ionizing radiation. If the food aligns with these rules then the USDA’s official organic seal may be placed on the product.
The food contains all organic ingredients and production materials.
FDA recommends foods labeled whole grain should have flour ingredients from purely whole wheat flour. No enforcement or penalties occur if product is falsely marketed.
“Helps Maintain a Healthy Heart”
“Helps Support Immunity”
No Trans Fat
Made with Natural Goodness
This is just the beginning of the unregulated labels. It’s important to know the rules behind the regulations in order to recognize what you’re truly buying. Next time you’re at the supermarket don’t be tricked by fancy wording. Get down to the nitty-gritty by knowing the FDA regulations.
This video is a great start to understanding FDA labeling requirements!
For the specifics go directly to http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/GuidanceDocumentsRegulatoryInformation/LabelingNutrition/ucm2006828.htm