We have all seen them. They are all over the grocery store now!
The variety of claims on food labels
Organic, Non-GMO, rBGH free, cage free, free range, grass fed these are just some of the things we see when we walk through the grocery store.
What does all of it mean? Should I really be concerned? What should I be looking for?
Here’s a little about each of these to help you make an informed decision on what you choose to buy.
Organic foods are foods that are grown without harmful chemicals or pesticides. Keep in mind, just because something is labeled organic it is not necessarily healthy. It just means that chemicals were not used.
Non- GMO labeling is probably one of the newer ones. You see it on many products, but most people don’t really know what it means. GMO stands for genetically modified organisms. This means that organisms are brought to a laboratory and through genetic engineering, they are re-creating the genetic makeup of the food. What does that mean to you? This means that the simple foods are being genetically changed (modified) to make a “new food” that could potentially cause harm. Some of the most common ones are corn and wheat. There is still much debate on how harmful GMO products may or may not be.
rBGH is a genetically modified bovine growth hormone that gets injected into cows to make them produce more milk. This label you will see on many dairy products. It’s use is currently banned in Europe and Canada
Cage Free means that the animals are not in cages. It does not mean that they are outside. It just means that they aren’t living in cages.
Free range does however mean that the animals are not in cages and are outside with room to move for at least part of the day.
Grass fed means that the animlas are being pasture raised and eating grass. They are not getting injected with hormones and they are not eating “feed”. For you this means a healthier product whether it is meat or dairy.
I hope this helps!
The most important thing to remember is that you have a choice! Yes, many of foods with the above labels may be more expensive than others, but the quality, taste and affects on your long term health can make a huge difference!
If there are other food labels or claims that you are not sure about, let me know!