- No added growth hormones: Using growth hormones in poultry or pork is against U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulation, but some producers will use antibiotics, which has the same result. Growth hormones are permitted in beef and dairy products but if you see the “no added growth hormones” label there, you just have to take the marketer’s word for it, because there’s no third party validation to ensure it’s true.
- Natural: “Natural” is word that has no official meaning. Even genetically modified food, which is pretty much the opposite of natural, can be labeled “natural.”
- Grass-fed: No farm inspections are required to prove that animals are grass-fed. And beware the label on chicken or pork; those animals can’t survive on a grass-fed diet.
- Anti-biotic free: This term is illegal to use on packaging and again, (are you sensing a trend here?), the phrase “anti-biotic free” has no official meaning.
- Nutrition Facts: Under FDA regulations, manufacturers are allowed to use averages when computing the amount of calories per serving, and salt and fat content. But watch out label-reader: those averages can be off by as much as 20 percent and still meet FDA guidelines. Trans fats are also given a pass, with products containing 0.5 grams permitted to indicate zero percent, even though .5 grams is one-quarter of a day’s limit.
- Gluten-free: Here’s another term with no definition or standard set by the FDA. Some products with a “gluten-free” label are wheat-free, but not all are free of barley and rye, which is what would be required to actually make the product gluten-free.
- Multi-grain: Can you guess what the problem is with this label? Once again, the FDA has no guidance that the label a product “multi-grain” that it needs to contain the full grains. Your “multi-grain” bread could simply be multiple refined grains, which are not any healthier for being mixed together.
- Front of Package Labeling Systems: Developed by food manufacturers as a marketing tool, these labels tout the qualities of the product that the manufacturer wants to advertise, like “no trans fat!,” without providing any information about what might not be so healthy inside the box.
- BPA-free: While many cans are BPA-free, Rodale points out that cans are lined with plastics, which leach out other chemicals into your food. The one exception is Eden Foods, which has developed a plastic-free resin for its can liner.
- Pesticide-free: Don’t be confused! Pesticide-free does not mean “organic.” Indeed, “pesticide-free” certification may simply indicate that they’ve detected the same amount of pesticides on those foods as has been found in conventional foods.
Archive for January 18th, 2012
A hero of social conservatives, Santorum claims he’s a blue collar sort of guy, too. The ex-senator and congressman from Pennsylvania promises he can make factories boom again.
Where he really stands is very different than the image he cultivates. From The Union Review website: http://unionreview.com/santorum-crazy-about-unions-iran