Food labels are everywhere today and can be quite confusing. Knowing what a label means is difficult especially when companies are constantly changing them up to get you to buy their products.

And meat is the worst so.....

We have put together some meanings and what to look for to better help give you an idea. And always remember, if a word looks unfamiliar or new to you, you should always research it first.

Healthy.....labels stating that is healthy must be low in saturated fat and contain limited amount of cholesterol and sodium. Certain ones must contain 10% of Vitamins and Minerals like Vit A or C, iron, calcium, protein, or fiber. Without reading the label, you could be getting gmo's, high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavoring, dyes, etc.

Natural....there are no current standards for this type of labeling except on meat and poultry products. They are minimally processed and can not contain artificial colors, flavors, preservatives or other artificial ingredients per USDA guidelines however natural foods are not necessarily sustainable, organic, humanely raised, or free of antibiotics or hormones.

Fair Trade....this label means the farmer's and worker's, often in developing countries, receive a fair wage and work in acceptable conditions while growing and packaging the product.

Fair Trade....this label means the farmer's and worker's, often in developing countries, receive a fair wage and work in acceptable conditions while growing and packaging the product.

Antibiotic Free....means that no animal was given antibiotics in their lifetime. Other terms could be "no antibiotics administered" and "raised without antibiotics."

Grain Fed....check the label for 100% vegetarian fed. Claim to use no animal by products. And, YES, corn is a grain.

Cage Free....this means the birds are not raised in cages. It doesn't claim whether they are raised in pastures or indoors in overcrowded facilities. If you are looking to buy eggs, poultry, meat that were raised outdoors, look for the label that says "pastured" or "pastured raised".

Free Range....The use of the terms “free-range” or “free-roaming” are only defined by the USDA for egg and poultry production. The label can be used as long as the producers allow the birds access to the outdoors so that they can engage in natural behaviors. It does not necessarily mean that the products are cruelty-free or antibiotic-free or that the animals spent the majority of their time outdoors. Claims are defined by the USDA, but are not verified by third-party inspectors.

Pasture Raised....“Pasture-raised” indicates that the animal was raised on a pasture where it was able to eat nutritious grasses and other plants rather than being fattened on grain in a feedlot or barn. Pasturing livestock and poultry is a traditional farming technique that allows animals to be raised in a humane manner. Animals are able to move around freely and carry out their natural behaviors. This term is very similar to “grass-fed,” though the term “pasture-raised” indicates more clearly that the animal was raised outdoors on pasture.

Grass Fed....This means the animals were fed grass, their natural diet, rather than grains. In addition to being more humane, grass-fed meat is more lean and lower in fat and calories than grain-fed meat. Grass-fed animals are not fed grain, animal by-products, synthetic hormones, or antibiotics to promote growth or prevent disease; although they may have been given antibiotics to treat disease. A “grass-fed” label doesn’t mean the animal necessarily ate grass its entire life. Some grass-fed cattle are grain finished, which means they ate grain from a feedlot prior to slaughter. Look for “grass-fed and grass-finished.”

Hormone Free....The USDA has prohibited use of the term “hormone free,” but animals that were raised without added growth hormones can be labeled “no hormones administered” or “no added hormones.” By law, hogs and poultry cannot be given any hormones. If the meats you are buying are not clearly labeled, ask your farmer or butcher if they are free from hormones.

Heritage....A “heritage” label describes a rare and endangered breed of livestock or crops. Heritage breeds are traditional livestock that were raised by farmers in the past, before industrial agriculture drastically reduced breed variety. These animals are prized for their rich taste and usually contain a higher fat content than commercial breeds. Production standards are not required by law, but true heritage farmers use sustainable production methods. This method of production saves animals from extinction and preserves genetic diversity.

GMO FREE, NON-GMO, or NO GMO'S....GMOs, or genetically modified organisms, are plants or animals that have been genetically engineered with DNA from bacteria, viruses, or other plants and animals. Products can be labeled “GMO-free” if they are produced without being genetically engineered through the use of GMOs.

Non Irradiated....This label means that the food has not been exposed to radiation. Meat and vegetables are sometimes irradiated (exposed to radiation energy) to kill disease-causing bacteria and reduce the incidence of foodborne illness. No thorough testing has been done to know if irradiated food is safe for human consumption.

RBGH-FREE or RBST-FREE....Recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) or recombinant bovine somatotropin (rBST) is a genetically engineered growth hormone that is injected into dairy cows to artificially increase their milk production. The hormone has not been properly tested for safety and is not permitted in the European Union, Canada, and some other countries. Milk labeled “rBGH-Free” is produced by dairy cows that never received injections of this hormone. Organic milk is rBGH free.

#AlternativeHealthinfo #healthyforeveryone #health #wellness

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These statements have not evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The opinions, ideas, and concepts expressed are intended for education purposes only. This website is not intended for medical advice of any kind nor is it intended to replace medical advice nor to treat, diagnose, prescribe, or replace medical advice. If you have a serious medical condition, please see a medical physician.