Decipher secret code of organic labels – get the good stuff!

Watch the video at The Organic Eye.


“Unless you are eating local, fresh, unprocessed, whole organic food, it isn’t enough to just look for the USDA Organic logo—you must become a label reader!

Federal law requires all certified organic products to state which USDA accredited certifier has inspected and overseen the process. The Organic Foods Production Act passed by Congress in 1990 requires there to be one organic standard. But some certifiers are partnering with their agribusiness “clients” to bring you food produced with a conventional model under an organic label.

Mark Kastel, helps decode what to look for on organic labels, so you can shop like a pro at your local co-op or supermarket.

Federal law states that organic livestock must be out on pasture every day (with “temporary” exceptions for animal health or to protect the environment). But USDA and certain certifiers are approving factory farms, which are principally confining livestock, as “organic.”

Maintaining or improving fertile soil to ensure superior nutrition in food is a legal prerequisite for organic growers. But again, USDA and certain certifiers think that organic tomatoes, peppers, greens, berries, and other produce can be grown in giant industrial buildings, under near-sterile conditions and artificial light, and in a liquid fertilizer solution instead of organically-managed soil.

Now that corporate agribusinesses own most of the popular organic name brands, many industrial-scale farms and corporations are practicing “organic by substitution.” What to do? Start with the brand (watch the second installment of Kastel’s Kitchen to ID the best in the business under Resources at and then look to see if the certifier is creditable.”

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