Understanding Organic Food Labeling Video

Sarah Davis explains what you need to know to read food labels, and discusses organic food labeling.
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Sarah Davis: Hi, I'm Sarah Davis with the Institute of Food Technologists and today we're talking about how to read Food Labels. Right now, I'll talk a little bit more about Organic Labels on products. The USDA organic seal can be found on organic food products. This seal is often found on the front of a food product right next to what the product is, so that you know it's organic. To be organic, that means a product has been processed according to national organic standards. These standards specify the methods, practices, substances, that are allowed in organic production and also a USDA accredited inspector goes to farms and operations to certify that they are indeed organic and following all the organic specifications. Organic food products are not necessarily safer or more nutritious than conventionally produced foods according to the USDA. However, they do follow the strict standards that do not allow for the use of hormones, antibiotics, pesticides, irradiation or bioengineering in organic foods. The USDA organic seal is only found on a 100% organic or organic food products and a food that will be labeled a 100% organic is typically a single ingredient such as a fruit, a vegetable, milk, meat or cheese. While organic would be found on a multiple ingredient food product that has 95-100% organic ingredients. Now, if it's the 95%, that other 5% of ingredients may come from the National List of Approved Substances and while these substances aren't organic themselves, they have been approved for use in organic products. If you find a product that's labeled Made with Organic Ingredients, then that would have 70% or more organic ingredients. If you find a product that contains organic ingredients, then this typically is 70% or less organic ingredients. So that's a little bit about organic food labels and next we're going to talk about reading natural food labels.

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