What’s in a Label?

“I eat local!”
“I don’t eat GMOs.”
“I only buy USDA organic!”
“I eat exclusively certified humane, grass fed, free range, no-spray, fresh and seasonal.”

I hear this stuff a lot. It’s great that people are thinking about their food, it’s just that all these labels can be misleading at best, and plain old criminal at worst. For example, did you know that meat from factory confinement farms (yes, the ones with the horrible conditions for animals) can be labeled USDA Organic? (Source: §205.239(b) and (c))

As we plan our farm venture we’re going to have to pick a path to follow regarding organic certification, and of course, it’s a tangled web of bureaucracy and paperwork. But the research has taught me a lot about the food that I buy and how easy it is for producers to misrepresent their food with labels. On the flip side, if you’re dogmatic about labels you’re going to miss out on a lot of great food because small farmers can’t or won’t jump through the hoops of the food police. Here’s a little of what I’ve learned:

4colorsealJPGUSDA Organic: The big one, you probably recognize it. Has a lot of good intentions, but a lot of loopholes. Given the choice of two products equal in every way but one labeled USDA Organic I’d buy it the organic one every time, but I don’t treat this designation as gospel because it’s difficult and expensive for small farmers to be USDA certified. I’d rather buy from a local producer that doesn’t abide by the letter of the organic law than a big monoculture farm that’s figured out how to evade the regulations.

cngCertified Naturally Grown: This is from a third-party, non-government organization, and the onus of policing is on the customer and other farmers. Its’ code is based on the USDA Organic regulations, but calls for a specific minimum number of days on pasture, while the USDA’s is full of loopholes. CNG certification is tailored for the small farmer that can’t afford USDA certification but still raises plants and animals responsibly: “To be granted the CNG certification, farmers don’t use any synthetic herbicides, pesticides, fertilizers, antibiotics, hormones, or genetically modified organisms. CNG livestock are raised mostly on pasture and with space for freedom of movement. Feed must be grown without synthetic inputs or genetically modified seeds.”

I treat CNG products as equal or better to USDA Organic products, simply because I’d rather buy from the little guys and take them at their word.

awaAnimal Welfare Approved: The “gold standard” for meat and animal products according to their website, AWA is a great option if you can find their food at a reasonable price. Their slaughter standard is particularly stringent, as well as their free range requirement, but the big difference here is enforcement. While CNG is community-policed, AWA conducts regular audits.

nongmoNon-GMO Project Verified: This is a somewhat creative workaround to the “Label GMOs!” campaigns that have failed in the past few years, but again it doesn’t tell the whole story. Just because something doesn’t contain GMOs it doesn’t mean that the product is healthy or good. In fact, I just ate far too many GMO-free potato chips and now I’m feeling a little nauseous.

A somewhat obvious question is: why should the responsibility of labeling be on the producers that don’t include GMOs, rather than those that do? Should we accept food with GMOs as the norm? In this case, telling me what isn’t in a product is counter-productive.

I could go on all day, but you get the point. There are a lot of labels being thrown around in this arena and its tough to know who to trust. But! (There’s always a “but”) The answer is simple and easy: see for yourself. Buy directly from the farm or go to a market and talk to your farmer. Look her in the eye and ask the questions that matter to you. I think you’ll learn a lot, and find some really tasty, nutritious food.

Share this!
    1. home says:


    2. home says:


    3. home says:


    4. home says:


    5. home says:


    6. home says:


    7. home says:


    8. home says:


    9. home says:


    10. home says:


    11. home says:


    12. home says:


    13. home says:


    14. home says:


    15. home says:


    16. home says:


    17. home says:


    18. home says:


    19. home says:


    20. home says:


    21. home says:


    22. home says:


    23. home says:


    24. home says:


    25. home says:


    26. home says:


    27. home says:


    28. home says:


    29. home says:


    30. home says:


    31. home says:


    32. home says:


    33. home says:


    34. home says:


    35. home says:


    36. home says:


    37. home says:


    38. home says:


    39. home says:


    40. home says:


    41. home says:


    42. studentKt says:

      Would you be excited by exchanging hyperlinks?

    43. shanyeyaKt says:

      SГ­ usted el cuentista

    44. I simply want to mention I am just all new to blogging and honestly enjoyed this web blog. Very likely I’m going to bookmark your blog . You absolutely have tremendous articles. Bless you for sharing your blog site.

    45. Hands down, Apple’s app store wins by a mile. It’s a huge selection of all sorts of apps vs a rather sad selection of a handful for Zune. Microsoft has plans, especially in the realm of games, but I’m not sure I’d want to bet on the future if this aspect is important to you. The iPod is a much better choice in that case.

    46. An impressive share, I just now given this onto a colleague who was doing a little analysis on this. And hubby actually bought me breakfast since I ran across it for him.. smile. So let me reword that: Thnx to the treat! But yeah Thnkx for spending enough time go over this, Personally i think strongly regarding this and love reading more on this topic. When possible, as you grow expertise, does one mind updating your site with an increase of details? It is extremely useful for me. Big thumb up with this short article!

    47. Hello. impressive job. I did not anticipate this. This is a great story. Thanks!

    48. Technology says:

      I¡¦ve been exploring for a bit for any high-quality articles or blog posts in this kind of house . Exploring in Yahoo I at last stumbled upon this web site. Studying this information So i¡¦m glad to convey that I’ve an incredibly just right uncanny feeling I came upon just what I needed. I such a lot indisputably will make sure to don¡¦t put out of your mind this website and provides it a look regularly.

    49. Business says:

      I savor, cause I found exactly what I was taking a look for. You’ve ended my 4 day long hunt! God Bless you man. Have a great day. Bye

    50. You are a very capable individual!

    51. Sports says:

      My brother recommended I might like this website. He was totally right. This post actually made my day. You can not imagine simply how much time I had spent for this info! Thanks!

    52. Business says:

      Excellent read, I just passed this onto a friend who was doing a little research on that. And he actually bought me lunch because I found it for him smile Therefore let me rephrase that: Thank you for lunch!

    53. bereniceKt says:

      Que palabras adecuadas… El pensamiento fenomenal, magnГ­fico

    54. As I web-site possessor I believe the content material here is rattling excellent , appreciate it for your efforts. You should keep it up forever! Good Luck.

    55. Business says:

      Wow, fantastic blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your site is magnificent, as well as the content!

    56. I have been reading out a few of your posts and i can state nice stuff. I will make sure to bookmark your blog.

    57. I was recommended this blog by my cousin. I am not sure whether this post is written by him as nobody else know such detailed about my trouble. You are wonderful! Thanks!

    58. Excellent website. Plenty of helpful info here. I¡¦m sending it to a few buddies ans also sharing in delicious. And naturally, thanks on your sweat!

    59. I have to convey my passion for your generosity in support of folks who actually need assistance with this important topic. Your special dedication to passing the message across became rather beneficial and has continuously encouraged regular people much like me to achieve their endeavors. Your amazing warm and helpful information means a lot to me and substantially more to my mates. Regards; from everyone of us.

    60. Thank you for the auspicious writeup. It in fact was a amusement account it. Look advanced to more added agreeable from you! However, how can we communicate?

    61. Law & Legal says:

      Needed to write you one little bit of note just to thank you so much again just for the great tricks you’ve shown above. It’s really incredibly generous of people like you to supply freely just what numerous people could possibly have offered for sale as an e-book to generate some profit for themselves, specifically since you could have done it if you ever desired. These guidelines additionally acted as the good way to be sure that some people have the same passion similar to my very own to learn a great deal more when it comes to this issue. Certainly there are millions of more enjoyable moments up front for people who read through your site.

    62. Pets says:

      Hi there, I discovered your web site by way of Google whilst looking for a similar subject, your web site got here up, it seems great. I’ve bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

    63. I would like to show my admiration for your generosity supporting persons that should have help with in this issue. Your real commitment to getting the solution around appeared to be extremely good and have truly enabled guys like me to reach their dreams. Your important recommendations means this much to me and further more to my fellow workers. Thanks a ton; from everyone of us.

    64. Emery EPS says:

      It is usually appropriate time to get some goals for the near future. I have read this posting and if I may just, I desire to encourage you handful intriguing recommendation.

    65. Emeryeps says:

      Exceedingly informative details that you have remarked, thanks a lot for setting up.

    66. Healthy Life says:

      You have remarked very interesting details ! ps decent website . “Do not quench your inspiration and your inmagination do not become the slave of your model.” by Vincent Van Gogh.

    67. We are a group of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community. Your web site offered us with valuable information to work on. You have done a formidable job and our entire community will be thankful to you.

    68. Law & Legal says:

      hello there and thank you for your information – I have definitely picked up anything new from right here. I did however expertise several technical points using this web site, since I experienced to reload the site a lot of times previous to I could get it to load correctly. I had been wondering if your web host is OK? Not that I’m complaining, but sluggish loading instances times will often affect your placement in google and can damage your quality score if advertising and marketing with Adwords. Well I’m adding this RSS to my e-mail and could look out for a lot more of your respective fascinating content. Make sure you update this again very soon..

    69. Law & Legal says:

      It¡¦s really a nice and helpful piece of information. I¡¦m happy that you shared this helpful info with us. Please stay us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.

    70. divorcemind says:

      Divorcemind.com is a online divorce resource for divorce attorney, attornies and lawyers. You will find the best divorce information online. Divorce Mind will make your divorce or separation a quick, convenient and private.

    71. imscseo.com says:

      IMSC SEO is a Singapore SEO Company. They provide comprehensive Singapore SEO services to help SG businesses to gain traffic from search engine. Their SEO agency has many years of experiences working with overseas companies on more competitive grounds. They are the best seo company in Singapore you can find. Their SEO expert and consultant understand exactly what search engine optimization your company need to gain search engine traffic.

    72. Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wished to say that I’ve truly enjoyed surfing around your blog posts. After all I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again soon!

    73. SacramentoCremation.us is one of the leading crematorium services in the Sacramento area. Feel free to contact us regarding any questions on Sacramento Cremation Services or concerns you might have. Our staff will respond to you as soon as possible.

    74. attorney says:

      Divorcemind.com is a online divorce resource for divorce attorney, attornies and lawyers. You will find the best divorce information online. Divorce Mind will make your divorce or separation a quick, convenient and private.

    75. sacramento says:

      SacramentoCremation.us is one of the leading crematorium services in the Sacramento area. Feel free to contact us regarding any questions on Sacramento Cremation Services or concerns you might have. Our staff will respond to you as soon as possible.

    76. Emeryeps is a SEO(Search Engine optimzation) and Internet Marketing company. They help businesses to get traffic from various search engine and online community. They have seo experts and consultants with many years of SEO Experiences. No matter where your business is located, EmeryEPS.com can help your business to secure your highly convertible leads online.

    77. MichaelJemery.com is a site with many hypnosis downloads. Whether you are looking for free hypnosis downloads, self hypnosis download for mp3, video and any audio files, Michael Jemery has the downloads for you. You can download hypnosis from apps, audio, mp3 and even youtube !

    Visit Us On TwitterVisit Us On FacebookCheck Our Feed