Know your la­bels

Eating Naturally - - Publisher's Note -

Do you ever find your­self in the mid­dle of the gro­cery aisle, scratch­ing your head as you try to make sense of the plethora of food la­bels out there? Pon­der no more: Let us be your guide. AN­TIBI­OTIC-FREE: In this case, no an­tibi­otics were ever used to pre­vent or treat dis­ease in this par­tic­u­lar an­i­mal. The Na­tional Dairy Coun­cil says that a sick cow can be treated with an­tibi­otics; how­ever, the milk won’t be used from that cow un­til tests show there are no an­tibi­otics present. CAGE-FREE: Birds were raised with­out cages, but it doesn’t guar­an­tee they were able to go out­side. You’ll see this a lot when shop­ping for eggs. The term is lightly reg­u­lated. FREE-RANGE: This in­di­cates that poul­try—chicken, turkey, quail, etc.—have free ac­cess to the out­doors. The guide­lines are loose on how long the an­i­mal can be out­doors and the size of the area. NON-GMO: A fruit, veg­etable, or grain has not been ge­net­i­cally mod­i­fied—or a pack­aged food has no GM foods in­cluded. Many com­pa­nies that are GMO-free will la­bel their foods as such, and in most cases, or­ganic foods and pro­duce from your lo­cal farmer are non-GMO. GRAIN-FED: This la­bel ap­plies to beef prod­ucts es­pe­cially and means the cat­tle was raised on a grain diet (pos­si­bly with added sup­ple­ments) in­stead of their nat­u­ral grass diet. Stud­ies have shown that meat from an­i­mals raised on grain-fed di­ets con­tains less vi­ta­min E, vi­ta­min C, beta-carotene, and omega-3 fats. Of­ten GMO grains and soy are in­cluded. GRASS-FED OR PAS­TURE-FED: These an­i­mals have grazed on the pas­ture and eaten grasses with no other sup­ple­ments. NAT­U­RAL: This one gets a lot of peo­ple. The term

is open to in­ter­pre­ta­tion by food com­pa­nies and doesn’t guar­an­tee that the food is healthy or en­vi­ron­men­tally con­scious. Usu­ally it means these foods un­dergo min­i­mal pro­cess­ing and don’t con­tain ar­ti­fi­cial col­ors, fla­vors, and other syn­thetic in­gre­di­ents. How­ever, there is no le­gal def­i­ni­tion of the word in la­bel­ing. NO ADDED HOR­MONES AND HORMONEFREE: These an­i­mals were raised with­out re­ceiv­ing growth hor­mones. If beef is USDA-cer­ti­fied or­ganic, it con­tains no hor­mones. OR­GANIC OR CER­TI­FIED OR­GANIC: These foods were grown with­out con­ven­tional pes­ti­cides, fer­til­iz­ers, her­bi­cides, hor­mones, or an­tibi­otics and are GMO-free.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.