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Decoding organic food labels


Last updated 6/5/2008 at Noon

So, you’ve made the commitment to eat more organic food, (you smart, health-and-eco-minded person, you) and are actively searching for items labeled as “organic.” But what does “organic” mean on a food label, and how do you know what you’re getting? The answer is both simpler, and more complicated, than it may appear.

The USDA set up standards for the labeling of organic food in 2002. “Organically grown” is defined as being grown without chemical pesticides, added hormones or antibiotics and not genetically modified (GMO).

An item labeled “organic” must contain a minim...

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