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Nutrition Labels Deciphered

There is some common terminology you will see on product labels in the grocery store but may not necessarily understand.  Here is a little guide to help you on your next grocery trip.

Terms:

NATURAL – This is a meaningless term that has no FDA guidelines for its use.  Therefore, anyone can put the word “natural” on their product label for any reason.
FRESH – This term can be used on a label and the product can still be subjected to any of the following:  waxes or coatings, post-harvest pesticides, chlorine or acid washes, and ionizing radiation.
100% ORGANIC – This term can be used only when there are no non-organic ingredients in the product.
ORGANIC – This term can be used when 95% of the ingredients are organic; the other 5% of ingredients cannot contain any growth hormones.
MADE WITH ORGANIC INGREDIENTS – This term can be used when at least 70% of the product’s ingredients are organic.
GOOD SOURCE OF…/CONTAINS…/PROVIDES… – These terms can be used when at least 10% of the RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) of a vitamin or nutrient has been added to the product.
HIGH SOURCE OF…/RICH IN…/EXCELLENT SOURCE OF… – These terms can be used when at least 20% of the RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) of a vitamin or nutrient has been added to the product.

PLU Codes:  When you buy fresh fruit or vegetables, each item has a PLU code.

4-digit code:  Signifies conventional produce.  Can be subjected to pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, irradiation, etc.
5-digit code that begins with a “9”:  Signifies organic produce.  Organic produce is not genetically modified or subjected to pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, irradiation, etc.
5-digit code that begins with an “8”:  Signifies GMO (genetically modified) produce.