Foods labeled with the USDA Organic food label are not necessarily completely organic products, and may be incredibly unhealthy because even sugar can be organically grown.
Myth #1: The organic certification seal means 100% organic
Actually, there is another certification, 100% Organic, that producers can strive for. The regular USDA logo at the top of this post allows manufacturers to include up to 5.0% of non-organic content when excluding water and salt. Salt and water are not regulated under this certification. Also, be aware of the label that says “made with organic” ingredients because only those specific ingredients are organically produced.
Additionally, there is a long list of (pretty gross) products that can be used as ingredients for products labeled as “organic.” I only used the quotation marks here because the USDA does as well!
Ingredients on this extensive list of allowed non-organic ingredients in certified organic products include casings from processed intestines, many colors and extracts, gelatin, lecithin, several types of starches and seaweed. So any products labeled as organic but containing these or other ingredients from this list are probably not organic after all. There are similar lists of nonagricultural ingredients, and even synthetic substances for growing organic crops. Examples of substances on each of these lists, respectively, include: xanthan gum (derived from corn, dairy, soy or wheat using the same black bacteria that rot your broccoli or cauliflower, and which oil companies use to thicken drilling mud), biologics (vaccines) and liquid fish products.
Myth #2: Organic means healthy
Certified organic products may be highly processed and contain a high proportion of sugar or salt, or they may be whole foods. Examples of organic products vary from gummy bears to whole fruit and everything in between. This means that we should make the same choices and read nutrition labels just as carefully for organic products as with any other food.
Myths about various foods and classifications are prominent because of numerous instances of misleading marketing and public programs. Figuring out what is true and who to trust is tough, and eating right becomes even tougher. But it’s best to take an extra minute to find out whether or not our conscious choices make a true difference in what we use do fuel our bodies each day.
With organically certified products I will question highly processed foods or those that contain ingredients from the lists I cited above, because I believe that the companies that are using such ingredients are most likely to mislead consumers in other ways as well. What are your thoughts? Comment below or on Facebook to let me know!