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Is Your Product Really Organic?
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Is Your Product Really Organic?

Following a vegan diet is healthy for you, but don’t ruin its potential by eating foods that claim to be nutritious but are actually bad for you.

If fruits and vegetables are called organic, it means that they were grown according to government organic standards. If a product contains many other ingredients in it, then you will see various labels on it, such as '100% organic'.

  • '100% organic' means exactly that: all the ingredients have been sourced organically, which means no harmful ones have been used in the making of the product. 
  • 'Organic'. This means the product contains 95% of organic ingredients. Be sure to check the ingredients list on the product to find out what synthetic ingredients have been used in the 5%.
  • 'Made with organic ingredients'. In this case, the produce contains at least 70% of organic ingredients.

Choosing organic products as much as possible means that they do not contain as many chemicals as non-organic varieties. This is especially important when it comes to fruits and vegetables. If they are grown organically, it means that they have not been treated with pesticides that can be harmful to the environment as well as your body. Some of the produce that has been listed as being highly treated with pesticides include celery, peaches, blueberries, strawberries, spinach, bell peppers and potatoes. Always make sure you choose organic produce so that you don’t ingest all the toxins.

Be careful of goods listed as 'natural'. These products might have some natural ingredients in them, but this does not mean that they are organic. Even 'all natural' could be misleading. Only foods that are grown and processed according to the USDA organic standards are labelled organic.

  • What about GMOs?

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are genetically engineered (GE) foods that have had their DNA altered. In most countries, products that are organic do not intentionally contain GMOs, but in the United States you can still be sure that a product has not been genetically modified by taking a look at its PLU (price lookup) code on the label that is added to grocery store produce. Usually genetically modified foods will contain a 5-digit code starting with #8, whereas an organically-grown item will have a 5-digit code starting with #9.

*Image courtesy Flickr creative commons.

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