There are so many eco-labels on food that it’s hard to keep track, but it’s important to know what is in your food and how it is being processed. To help make it easier, here is a list of some good labels that we look for when shopping and eating out:
USDA Organic - Means that it is produced without synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, artificial
growth hormones, antibiotics, sewage sludge, genetically engineered crops, irradiation, or artificial processing aids and food additives.
100% Organic - All ingredients in the product are certified organic and processed without synthetic materials.
Organic - At least 95% of ingredients grown on a certified organic farm. 5% can be non-organic or artificial ingredients that are on an approved list.
Made With Organic - 70% of ingredients are certified organic and the other 30% of ingredients can come from conventional farms.
Fair Trade Certified - This label is granted to products from trading partners whose goods are grown and produced in a manner that respects workers and the environment. Like USDA Organic products, fair trade certification is monitored and verified by a third party.
Certified Humane - This third party certification ensures the compassionate treatment of farm animals from birth to slaughter.
Food Alliance Certified - Producers that earn this third party certification must abide by sustainable management practices that include fair working conditions, the humane treatment of animals, and environmental stewardship.
Seafood Watch - Categorized list of best choices for seafood including alternatives as well as fish to avoid.
SmartCatch - Sustainability rating for restaurants based on species of fish, where it was caught, how it was caught, and when it was caught. Participating restaurants have their menus assessed and chefs work together using the Seafood Watch as a guide to modify what they offer.
Salmon Safe - This certification ensures healthy land management practices on farms, vineyards and other natural areas to help protect agricultural and urban watersheds.
Marine Stewardship Council - This seafood label recognizes and promotes sustainable fishing
based on health of the stock and the impact on the ecosystem.
Non-GMO Project Verified - This third party certification ensures that labeled products are free of any genetically modified organisms.
Rainforest Alliance - Trains farmers, foresters, and tourism operators in sustainable practices that conserve land and waterways, improve livelihoods, and protect workers and communities.
American Grassfed - Animals eat grass and forage for their entire lifetime. They never eat grain
feed, always have access to pasture, and if they get sick and need antibiotics, they are removed from the system.
Biodynamic Demeter Certified - Biodynamic ensures holistic farm management approaches such as crop rotation, composting, and homeopathic sprays to promote healthy soils.
Bird Friendly - Ensures that coffee beans are grown under ideal conditions for migratory bird habitat. This means that it is 100% percent organic and shade-grown under a rainforest canopy, which is good for the birds and people. Developed by the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center.