Hey GIRLS & GUYS!! Today I have a fantastic guest post from James Kim, who is a writer for foodonthetable.com. He contacted me and asked if he could do a guest post on what food labels TRULY mean…
Food Labels and You
Most people try to be quite conscious of the content and quality of their food. Food packaging and labels are made to inform the consumer about the food they are buying. Here are some food labels to look out for in your meal planning.
Local – Local food is usually defined as food that has been grown within 100 miles from a certain place, without any official certification, inspection, or standards involved. These local foods, which do not have an official local seal, may be found in a specific area of a grocery store. Although some local farm companies are able to pass the inspection exam technically, many lack sufficient funds to get the organic certification.
Organic – Organic food, as described by the USDA, is food “produced without using most conventional pesticides; fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge; bioengineering; or ionizing radiation.” Food and farm handling companies are inspected by a government approved facility first in order to pass as “organic.” Some certified food labels include “100% organic,” which is made with at least 70% organic ingredients. Another one is “organic” (95% organic ingredients), and “contains organic ingredients” (less than 70% organic ingredients). This is the best food term to look out for as it has passed the necessary inspections.
Fair Trade – Fair trade standards are made to alleviate poverty and are applicable to both producers and traders. Offering better trading conditions, fair trade standards contribute to more effective sustainable development. The FLO-CERT Company is responsible for the “fair trade certification.”
Natural – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s website explains that, “It is difficult to define a food product that is ‘natural’ because the food has probably been processed and is no longer the product of the earth . . . The agency has not objected to the use of this term if the food does not contain added color, artificial flavors, or synthetic substances.” Therefore, it is best not to rely on this food term. Check the food nutrition facts on the back of the package and decide for yourself whether it is “natural” or not.
Certified – The Food Safety and Inspection Service (which is under the USDA) states that “certified” means that any meat product of “grade, class, as well as other quality characteristics” has been evaluated by them. This definition is rather vague for the process of certification for a meat product. However, definitely use “certified” meats by the USDA especially when buying from a grocery store.
Do not be misled by enticing food labels. Get to the bottom of this dilemma by researching your food. Know the nutrition facts as much as possible before buying a food item because, in the end, “you are what you eat!”
Thanks so much James! If you have any questions, just leave them in the comments!
Upcoming posts from me…
1. Seven Links
2. Day’s Worth of FOOD (I recently tried a day of MINI-MEALS after seeing the idea on Carrie’s blog, you’ll hear my thoughts on that, too!)
3. Updated Workout Routine (+ Bodypump 78)