Your Go-To Guide For Food Quality
By Janet Early
Eating whole, nutrient-rich and chemical-free foods is essential for a healthy body, mind and spirit. But with all the misleading labeling there is out there, choosing the most optimal food can be really tricky.
Here is a cheat sheet to help make healthy shopping a breeze and get you closer to your goals!
Breaking Down The Terms
Pasture-Raised: Comes from animals who were allowed to roam freely in a natural environment, plentiful with the grasses, plants and/or bugs that made up their natural diet.
Cage-Free: Comes from animals who were not kept in cages, but likely didn’t have access to the outdoors. They were typically allowed to wander around in barns or warehouses and were vulnerable to beak cutting.
Organic (the definition of “organic” can vary):
- “100% organic” means that the product is completely free of any pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, GMOs, ionizing radiation, antibiotics and growth hormones.
- “Organic” means that the product is made with at least 95% organic ingredients (i.e. mostly rid of the above chemicals).
- “Made With Organic Ingredients” indicates that at least 70% of the ingredients are organic and the remaining 30% are strictly regulated to contain no GMOs.
Local: This term can be vaguely used, as some define it as food made within a 400-mile radius, others a 200-mile radius and others within 100 miles. The best way to ensure a food product is truly local is to shop at local farmer’s markets – there, you can speak with the distributors directly and ask questions about food sourcing.
Free-Fange: The chicken or bird was able to roam outside at least 51% of its life. There are no regulations regarding the animal’s’ diet and beak cutting and starvation are allowed.
Wild-Caught Fish: A “wild-caught” fish was captured while in the wild, as opposed to a “farm-raised” fish which typically would have spent its life in cramped tanks.
Kept Cold: Nuts and seeds that are kept in colder environments retain their freshness better.
How do the animals’ living conditions affect your health?
Simply put, animals that spent their lives in cramped, bacteria-infested spaces were more susceptible to disease and toxins. These animals were also more likely to have been chemically tampered with in order to boost their size and increase manufacturer profits.
Keeping track of your food and where it’s coming from is super important and a crucial factor to your ultimate health! Always remember to check your labels and be sure you are getting the best of health options that you can get.
Have a question or tip about Food Sourcing? Please ask or share below!
Janet Early is a health enthusiast living in Los Angeles and working as a researcher for a major television company. An aspiring writer, Janet discovered her passion for wholesome nutrition and natural healing while navigating the struggles of balancing food sensitivities in a modern world. In addition to nutrition, she enjoys traveling, storytelling and embarking on daily adventures.
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