Food Labels, Decoded
Real Simple translates common label terms to help you make the wisest choices.
What it means: Items that are “100 percent organic” are certified to have been produced using only methods thought to be good for the earth. “Organic” means the item contains at least 95 percent organic ingredients.
The health implications: Research has yet to show that organic foods are nutritionally superior, but they are typically made without potentially harmful pesticides, fertilizers, antibiotics, synthetic hormones, or genetic engineering.
Keep in mind: Organic foods can cost up to 50 percent more than nonorganic products. If that cost is prohibitive to you, it’s better to eat healthful choices, like fruits and vegetables, that are conventionally grown, rather than skipping them.
Bottom line: Going organic never hurts, especially when it comes to avoiding pesticides, which are linked to several health issues. Produce most affected by pesticides includes peaches, apples, peppers, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, lettuce, and pears.
Get more tips on how to read food labels.