More About Organic, Non-GMO, Fair Trade

Food shopping can be confusing, but learning the language doesn't have to be an exercise in frustration. View this helpful glossary to identify marketing jargon and lists common terms you’ll find on everyday food labels so you can get to the bottom of what you’re buying and eating. When in doubt, ask your co-op staff about how your food was produced, or contact the producers to find out more about their methods.


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all about organic

When it comes to food, organic is a delicious way to eat well and support the environment. The key principle behind organic food is healthy soil. By acting as responsible stewards of their land, organic farmers create a cycle of healthy soil, growing healthy food for healthier people. And it’s clear from the tremendous growth of organic food—$1 billion in sales in 1990 to $43 billion in sales in 2016—that more and more people appreciate its value. Organic foods meet all government safety standards that other foods must meet, plus the specific requirements outlined for organic certification. 

 

certified organic: Non-gmo and so much more

When it comes to food labels, the USDA Certified Organic seal is the gold standard and indicates so much more than just “pesticide-free food.” The label represents a sustainable, transparent and ecologically sound system of food production that not only produces abundant, nutritious, delicious food but also speaks to one of today’s hottest food topics: genetically modified organisms (GMOs). GMOs have never been allowed in organic production and remain excluded from organic certification to this day.

 
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What is a GMO?

Genetically modified organisms (GMOs)—foods produced in the laboratory to meet precise individual specifications—may sound like something the Jetsons would serve. In reality, they’re making their way to our tables today. So if we are what we eat, what exactly is a GMO?

 

Avoiding GMOs: Four Easy Tips

A new labeling law will provide consumers with more information about GMO ingredients, but the law’s regulations are still being developed. In the meantime, if you want to pass on GMOs, here’s what you can do.


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Just label it

Why Label? Studies show that more than 90% of Americans support mandatory labeling of genetically modified foods (GMOs). Ever since GMOs entered the market 20 years ago, we’ve been kept in the dark about whether foods we feed our families contain GMOs. While our reasons for wanting to know what’s in our food may vary, what unifies us is the belief that it’s our right.

 

Understanding Food Labels

Choosing new foods and flavors for your family can be fun. But when faced with a shelf full of look-alike cans and packages, do you know how to identify the foods that best fit into your balanced diet? If not, learning your way around a Nutrition Facts label can help. 

 
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fair trade: a primer

We all want to feel good about our food choices, and buying produce from a local farmer makes it easy. But what about food that comes from afar? In some communities around the world, impoverished workers are paid low wages while their land is depleted by industrial agriculture. Luckily, the Fair Trade Certified label can help us steer clear of foods grown under such conditions.