Many people are realizing that a more natural lifestyle and diet is a better choice for their health and the health of their families. The quality and purity of the food we eat is the key factor to maintaining a healthy body. Eating food grown naturally makes all the difference. Here are some diet descriptions to help you choose a diet that’s a fit for you.

Organic

Organic products are grown using a system of farming that maintains and replenishes the soil fertility without synthetic, toxic pesticides and fertilizers. 

100% Organic

Only products using exclusively organic methods and ingredients can state 100% organic on its label. The label mus also state “certified by” and the certification agency. It can also display the USDA Organic seal.

USDA Certified Organic

This means that 95 percent of more of the ingredients by weight (excluding salt and water) have been organically produced and processed. These foods are also eligible to display the USDA Organic seal.

Made With Organic Ingredients

Products with at least 70 percent organic ingredients may be labeled in this way and list up to three organic ingredients on the front panel.

Organic

Products with less than 70 percent organic ingredients are only permitted to list organic items on the ingredient information panel.

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) requires all manufacturers of organic products to comply with the new organic standards. These standards ban the use of synthetic pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers and genetically engineered organisms and irradiation in any product labeled “organic”.

When buying certified organic, it’s useful to know the difference and what the labels really mean.

Organic Trade Association www.ota.com

Natural

These foods are minimally processed and contain no artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners or preservatives.

Vegetarian

Vegetarian foods are derived from plant sources such as fruits, vegetables and legumes. Some animal protein such as eggs or other dairy products are allowed.

Vegan

A vegan diet is derived solely from plant origin. It excludes animal foods such as meat, eggs, dairy products and honey.

 

 

Kosher

The kosher certification process can be just as thorough as organic. The purpose of Kosher food is to prohibit the contamination of one food type by another focusing on  cleanliness and safety.  Reasons for food not being kosher include the presence of ingredients derived from nonkosher animals or from kosher animals that were not  slaughtered in the ritually proper manner, a mixture of meat and milk, wine, or grape juice (or their derivatives) produced without supervision, the use of produce from Israel that has not been tithed, or the use of non-kosher cooking utensils and machinery.

Halal

Halal foods are foods that Muslims are allowed to eat under Islamic dietary guidelines. The criteria specify both what foods are allowed, and how the food must be prepared. The foods addressed are mostly types of meat/animal tissue. Muslims must ensure that all foods, particularly processed foods, pharmaceuticals, and non-food items like cosmetics, are also halal. Frequently, these products contain animal by-products or other ingredients that are not permissible for Muslims to eat or use on their bodies.

A variety of substances are considered as harmful (haraam) for humans to consume and, therefore, forbidden as per various Quranic verses: 

  • Pork
  • Blood
  • Animals slaughtered in the name of anyone but God.
  • Carrion (carcasses of dead animals)
  • An animal that has been strangled, beaten (to death), killed by a fall, gored (to death), savaged by a beast of prey (unless finished off by a human).

 

Where Does Your Food Come From?

 

Find out at the Global Grocer courtesy of Food and Water Watch.

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