Seattle Holistic Pet Care Examiner
June 8, 2012
We have all seen the terms “contains natural ingredients”, or “All Natural Ingredients” proudly displayed on food labels. This applies to our pet food labels as well. In spite of the large print placement and prominent display on the label, all natural doesn’t actually mean anything. It is nothing more than a marketing term. There are no standards organizations to help define it or enforce it or support it. Often times, people looking for an organic item who are not familiar with what the organic standard provides, will think that all natural is the same thing, but it is not.
The definition of Organic, according to the USDA National Organic Program Website:
View slideshow: Labels to look for
Organic is a labeling term that indicates that the food or other agricultural product has been produced through approved methods. These methods integrate cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity. Synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, irradiation, and genetic engineering may not be used.
How Do I Know if My Food Is Organic?
Look at the label. If you see the USDA organic seal, the product is certified organic and has 95 percent or more organic content. For multi-ingredient products such as bread or soup, if the label claims that it is made with specified organic ingredients, you can be confident that those specific ingredients have been certified organic.
A complete listing of the Organic Regulations can be found here. Use of the organic label and definitions apply to pet food labeled Organic as well...
One other important label to look for is Certified Humane®. Certified Humane® is the gold standard for animal welfare because it requires humane treatment of farm animals from birth to slaughter.
It is more important than ever to read your food labels as well as your pet food labels. Buying organic ensures there will not be any pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, antibiotics, hormones or Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s) in the food. Certified Humane® ensures the animal is treated well throughout their life.
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