What does it all mean?

Blackberry Farm
by Danielle Kallbrier

Buzzwords are huge in the organic & natural food industry. So much so that it can get rather confusing and time-consuming to determine what each term means. We are here to help you break it down!

Additive

This is a substance added to something in small quantities, typically to improve or preserve it.

All-Natural

This term is quite possibly the most common label used in food marketing, with a variety of definitions. The term is often assumed to express minimal processing in foods, but there is a lack of standards or requirements for such a label. In very few countries, the term “natural” is defined and enforced. In others, such as the USA, it has no legal meaning. This means any food developer can use the term with no legal recourse.

Antioxidant

Any of many chemicals that can shut down oxidation, which is a biologically damaging reaction within the body. They do this by donating an electron to a free radical (a reactive molecular fragment) without becoming unstable. Many plant-based foods are good sources of natural antioxidants, including vitamins C and E.

Conventional (food)

This is an agricultural term referring to a method of growing edible plants (such as fruit and vegetables) and other products. It is opposite to organic growing methods. This may include the use of pesticides and so on.

Gluten-Free

A gluten-free diet is a diet that excludes gluten, which is a protein composite found in wheat and related grains, including barley and rye. Gluten causes health problems in those with celiac disease and some of those cases of wheat allergy.

GMO (Genetically Modified Organism)

A GMO is an organism whose genome has been altered by the techniques of genetic engineering, so that its DNA contains one or more genes not normally found there – very often corn or soy are genetically modified.

Nutrients

Nutrients are vitamins, minerals, fats, carbohydrates and proteins that are needed by organisms to live.

Farmer's Market

Organic

This is an often-used adjective.

In terms of chemistry, this indicates something is carbon-containing – a term that relates to the chemicals that make up living organisms.

In terms of your food, “organic” means farm products grown without the use of non-natural and potentially toxic chemicals, such as pesticides.

The USDA National Organic Program (NOP) defines organic as follows:

“Organic food is produced by farmers who emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations. Organic meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products come from animals that are given no antibiotics or growth hormones. Organic food is produced without using most conventional pesticides; fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge; bioengineering; or ionizing radiation. Before a product can be labeled “organic,” a Government-approved certifier inspects the farm where the food is grown to make sure the farmer is following all the rules necessary to meet USDA organic standards. Companies that handle or process organic food before it gets to your local supermarket or restaurant must be certified, too.”

Further, there are different types  of “organic” labels. We covered most of these in a previous blog post, viewable here.

Pesticide

This is a chemical or mix of compounds used to kill insects, rodents or other organisms that are typically harmful to cultivated plants.

Pollutant

A pollutant is a substance that taints something , such as the air or water, our bodies or other products. Some pollutants are chemicals, such as the aforementioned pesticides.

Superfood

This is a nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being, such as acai berries or salmon.

Synthetic

This is an adjective that describes something that was not produced naturally. Instead, it was created by people. Some synthetic products may, however, have a chemical makeup and structure identical to the original.

Vegan/Vegetarian

Vegan is a diet of food and a lifestyle strictly without the use of any animal product. Vegetarian is a food and/or diet without animal meat.

We hope this list has cleared up any and all confusion. JustOne Organics™ is proud to claim 100% organic ingredients – in fact, you only get what is on the label: 100% fruits or vegetables. No additives!

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