In the United States, the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) sets the growing, processing, and handling,and labeling regulations and/or standards of both imported and domestic agricultural products.
But, What Do All Those Organic Labels Mean?
Products labeled “100% Organic” or “Organic” –
Products labeled as such must only contain organically produced ingredients and use 100% organic processing aids (with the exception of water and salt). Under no condition and/or circumstance should any other additives, preservatives, or ingredients be added.
Products using this standard may display the “organic” label along with the percentage of “100% organic” ingredients used.
Organic products with such labels are handled and processed without the use of fertilizers, synthetics, pesticides, and bioengineering (GMOs).
Made With Organic Ingredients –
A product displaying such a label contains at least 70% organic ingredients, and may display up to three of the organic ingredients on the principle display panel.
Similar to the 100% organic ingredients, processed products displaying the “made with organic ingredients” may not be produced using any methods prohibited by the NOP. While, the percentage of organic ingredients maybe displayed on the principle panel the USDA seal cannot be used under these circumstances.
Contains Organic Ingredients –
A product labeled as such contains less than 70% of organic ingredients, and the term “organic” may not be used anywhere on the principle panel. Specific organic ingredients maybe labeled as such on the ingredients statement and/or list.
Other “Natural” and/or Organic Labeling Claims –
You may be surprised to learn, the NOP does not have any restrictions on the use of other “truthful” labeling processes. I.E “free range”, “all-natural”, “no drugs or growth hormones”, and “gluten-free” just to name a few. These labeling claims are separate from those required by the NOP for organic food labeling.
So, the next time you’re shopping or eating out (may we recommend Thai Street Kitchen) first, decide if eating organic is really better for you. Next, familiarize yourself with the labeling process.
After all an educated consumer is a healthy consumer!
Don’t see what you’re looking for? All you have to do is ask.
Finally, sit back, relax, and enjoy your (Thai) meal – where we strive to keep it fresh, organic, and whenever possible all natural at Thai Street Kitchen.