When it comes to the different labels on your food it’s easy to get confused, there are plenty of words that look like they should mean the same thing. Natural, Organic, Non-GMO; while these three terms often play together, they mean very different things. Knowing how to read your label and understanding the differences can help you choose the right items for you and your home.
While a “natural” food label is often quite appealing, when used on a label the term is essentially meaningless. There are no Food and Drug Administration regulations regarding the term natural, and it can be used without any regulations or oversight. While some companies are using the term to indicate that they are making an effort to use less man-made ingredients, artificial colors, or additives, many use it as a marketing tool. Studies have shown that most consumers have a high opinion of products marketed as natural regardless of what they are.
Unlike a natural label, when you choose a product labeled organic, you can be sure of what you’re getting. To have an organic label, all products bearing an organic label must show documented proof and go through an intense oversight process to gain the symbol. There are some issues with organic labeling; a product only needs to be 95% organic (often this accounts for the water content), and can still use exempted ingredients that may not be completely earth friendly. However, organics cannot use synthetic fertilizers, industrial pesticides, antibiotics, growth hormones, or artificial food ingredients; which makes them a definite step up from natural.
Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s) have become a hot-button item in the last few years. With ¾ of consumers believing that GMO’s should be avoided and 90% thinking that they should be labeled, it’s clear that many consider them to be an issue. While the FDA and science back the safety of GMO’s, it’s important to note that the subject is tricky. The development of GMO’s has allowed for farmers to grow healthier produce easier, without the use of as many pesticides and chemicals. However, there is concern about the long-term effects products with GMO’s may have, particularly in how they may affect and influence food allergies.
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Baywater Farms is a sixth-generation family-owned and operated farm servicing Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Hyattsville, Salisbury, Maryland, Delaware beaches, and the Eastern Shore. Baywater Farms is capable of meeting the demands of your produce distributor, restaurant produce supplier, CSA produce supplier, or wholesale produce supplier while maintaining the integrity and character of a small farm. Baywater Farms is about more than just hydroponic lettuce—we also grow heirloom beefsteak tomatoes, shishito peppers, hydroponic custom-blended spring mix, custom grows, radish mix, Maryland’s own fish peppers, and more. When you work with Baywater Farms, you work with an experienced, ethical, and local farm dedicated to providing the highest-quality heirloom produce possible.