Natural and Organic Labeling

organicFinding food, make-up or clothing that is organic and all natural can be tricky. Some brands use words like natural to trick people into buying their products. Dirt is natural, oil is natural, but you don’t want these on your face, or in your stomach. So how do you figure out what you should be buying?

First learning how to read labels is a good start. There is no regulation of the use “natural” or “100% natural”. Some companies take it seriously and others use it as a marketing technique. If a product says it’s natural than it’s best to do some research on the brand before you buy.

When looking at certified organic products from the USDA or Canadian Organic there are different rules depending on the percentage of organic ingredients.  If a product says it is “made with organic ingredients” than it must have at least 70% organic ingredients. Any product between 70-95% must say what percent of their product is organic in order to use the certification labels. If a product has less than 70% it is not allowed to be certified organic, but is able to list which ingredients are organic on the label.

If a product has 95% organic ingredients than it is able to be labelled as “organic” without listing the percentage of organic ingredients. If you really care about the 5% than you must look for certified products that have “100% organic” written on the label.

Next you need to do some research. Different brands will give you more or less information (I plan on braking down some specific brands in the future). The best way to find organic products easily is looking for the certification stickers. Even with the stickers you can’t be certain. Every form of certification has corruption and loopholes so doing additional research is needed.

Without the sticker products can still claim to be organic when they aren’t, so make sure you know what to look for. Some of these you can trust. At my local farmers market there is a vegetable booth with a sign that says “uncertified organic”. They don’t certify because it’s too expensive for them, but they are very honest about how they grow their veggies.