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What Organic Labels Mean

Shopping for organic food can be very confusing, especially when it comes to reading labels.  What do the different certifications really mean?  

100% Organic - The product must contain 100% organic ingredients.

Organic - At least 95% of the ingredients are organic.

Made with Organic Ingredients - At least 70% of ingredients are organic. 

Natural and All-Natural - This type of labeling drives me crazy.  They mean nothing.  There are no government standards to dictate what can be labeled Natural or All-Natural.  I wrote a more in-depth article about this back in August.  

Certified Naturally Grown - Don't confuse this with ones that say "natural" or "all-natural."  Certified Naturally Grown is legitimate.  Most of the items with this label are actually organic, but smaller farms will often use this because becoming certified organic is very expensive.  Read about this on the CNG website.  

Hormone-free, rBST-free, rBGH-Free - You can find this on dairy products.  It means that the cows haven't been given hormones to get them to produce more milk.  These hormones have actually been banned in some countries!

Please note that there are different types of labels in different countries, and this post is just focusing on the U.S.