Thursday, June 18, 2009

Organic Food Shopping Tips For The Grocery Superstore

By Ricardo Lawrence

Scores of people are becoming more and more anxious about consuming a diet that is healthier and purer and in the quest they are buying more organic food and organic products. Organic products are grown without the use of chemical fertilizers, synthetic pesticides or genetically engineered ingredients.

Organic farming helps to keep the air, the soil and the water cleaner by not using man-made pesticides or chemical fertilizers. Buying organic is a "green" choice as it also helps to save the natural world.

"Organic" refers to the approach that foods and agricultural products are grown and processed. Organic production refers to a farming practice that maintains and replenishes the soil naturally and without the use of toxic fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides. Organic farming is based on working with the natural environment in a completely natural way.

When you eat organic foods, you limit your exposure to dangerous chemicals, man-made herbicides, fungicides and insecticides. You also restrict your intakes of antibiotics and growth hormones. Genetically modified foods are also prohibited from carrying the "organic" label.

The USDA put the national organic standards into place back on October 21, 2002. This ensures reliability for all organic harvest that are marketed in the United States. Precise labeling rules help the everyday customer to know the strict organic content of the food that they see on the shelf. The "USDA Organic" seal can only be used on products that contain at least 95 percent certified organic ingredients.

There are four labeling categories to look for when purchasing organic foodstuffs as a buyer:

1. 100 percent Organic. All of the product's content is certified to be organic. These products may show the USDA Organic seal on the label.

2 Organic. At least 95% of the product's content is certified organic. There may be insignificant amounts of inferior ingredients that are not certified organic. These products may also exhibit the Organic seal.

3 Made with Organic ingredients. At least 70% of the product's contents are certified Organic.

4 Products that contain less than 70% Organic contents can only classify the organic ingredients on the ingredient listing on the label.

Some grocery stores have gone through a rigorous test to be "certified Organic". This requires broad research, planning and commitment to the organic process and the stores must provide proof of how the food is transported, stored and sold.

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