conservation, sustainable living

Foodie Friday: understanding labels

You may notice that animal fact Friday has now changed to foodie Friday. This switch up is for two reasons, 1. I love to cook, and I really love to eat; and 2. who doesn’t like to talk about food? So here we go…

I prefer to buy healthy food, except for my occasional ice cream or double stuff Oreo binge. So there’s a bunch of different labels on “healthy” food like, “natural”, “green”, “organic”, “fair trade”, etc. These all seem like awesome things, and you buy it and leave the store feeling great. But I’m about to hit you with some truths that you may or may not have known.

There are no FDA regulations for a company to slap the label of “natural” or “green” onto their product. “All natural” cheese was natural at one time about 50 processing steps earlier when it was still inside the cow. But the label makes people want to buy it more because there’s an illusion that it’s healthier. I mean, I could give you any food that has naturally occurring chemicals in it for preservation, color, etc and call it “natural”.

So here are labels to look for:

ORGANIC : Now buying organic food can be a little more expensive but you’re paying for the extra requirements that is placed behind being able to use this label. Not only are there requirements by the FDA but also the USDA with farming practices, pesticide use, etc. These organic facilities are also frequently checked to make sure they are adhering to these practices.

– FAIR TRADE : These foods can also be a little more expensive but this label ensures environmentally friendly practices, fair treatment of employees, and a whole host of other requirements that are positive for the world. These places are also heavily inspected to ensure that these requirements are being met.


So bottom line: 

The best labels to look for are “organic” and “fair trade”

To get around the confusion, buying from farmers markets is always easiest because they’re usually organic and fair trade by default

Due to finances, you cannot buy these items all the time (I can tell you this from personal experience), but trying to just do this 50% of the time will make a bigger difference than you will ever know

Perfection is not required in life, but effort is


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