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As a company that proudly offers “Certified Organic” products and includes the term as one of our most sought after values, shopping and eating organic is something we take pretty seriously. That’s why it’s important to us that our members understand exactly what this certification means and why this information should come into play when you’re creating your shopping list. Adopting an organic lifestyle may seem like a buzzworthy trend, but it’s actually a way of life that puts our health and the health of the environment first. Here’s what you should know about shopping and eating certified organic products.
What Is Certified Organic?
For a product to be considered “Certified Organic” and receive the United States Department of Agriculture certified label, it must include more than 95 percent organic, non-GMO ingredients and contain no antibiotics or growth hormones if animal products are used. Products with just the words “natural” or “organic” on a label (without the USDA seal) don’t necessarily meet these strict standards and more research is needed to know if the product is right for you.
Benefits of Certified Organic
Is going organic really as healthy as everyone seems to think? Here’s a closer look at some of the benefits to eating a primarily organic diet:
- You may consume fewer pesticides. Pesticides can prolong the shelf life of the finished product and/or lead to more plentiful crops which is why they are used on non-organic food. But the residue that the pesticides leave behind then gets transferred to the human body once consumed, and it can lead to some serious problems.
- You won’t eat as many preservatives and artificial ingredients since many don’t meet organic regulations.
- Eating organic is better for the environment. Most organic farming works to support a healthy environment through sustainable practices while avoiding pesticides.
Tips for Shopping Certified Organic
Buying strictly organic might be a little difficult, especially if you’re just getting familiar with eating an organic diet. Instead, a good starting place might be to find organic alternatives to the food that analysts at the Environmental Working Group determined to be the foods contain the most amount of pesticides—also known as The Dirty Dozen. The list includes:
- Bell peppers
- Kale/collard greens
- Imported grapes
Top Certified Organic Brands
Clean up your shopping list with these premium organic pantry staples.
Using a temperature controlled process to preserve nutrients like fatty acids, proteins, vitamins, and enzymes, this brand delivers nut and seed butters that are a step above the competition.
Using only organic almonds, this rich and creamy butter is produced in small batches for exceptional quality without any artificial dyes, preservatives, or high fructose corn syrup.
The cream of the crop when it comes to organic milk products, this company got its start in 1988 and has since grown an extensive product line without the use of pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers.
Made using the time-honored Indian method of making ghee whereby the milk solids separate from the butterfat, this golden spread is rich, buttery, and wonderfully smooth.
Not your ordinary canned food brand, this forward-thinking company doesn’t bother with preservatives and works to support the preservation of native South American rainforests while benefiting source Amerindian communities.
Rich, creamy, and totally dairy-free, this sweet milk is made simply from only organic coconuts and pairs perfectly with soups, stews, curries, smoothies, baked goods, and more.
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