Organic Food: What’s the Difference?

While they look like their “conventional” counterparts, organic foods’ differences are more than skin-deep. Organic food farmers use no petroleum-derived fertilizers, chemical pesticides or antibiotics during growth and production, and work to conserve soil and water and while reducing pollution.

These extra measures are usually reflected in the price, so it’s important to know what you’re buying. The USDA National Organic Program specifies how to use the term “organic” on packaging and advertising. There are three levels of organic claims on food labels:
• 100 Percent Organic products are completely organic or made of only organic ingredients. They qualify for a USDA Organic seal.
• Organic products contain at least 95 percent organic ingredients. They also qualify for a USDA Organic seal.
• Made with Organic Ingredients products’ ingredients are at least 70 percent certified organic. The USDA organic seal cannot be used in this case, but “made with organic ingredients” can appear on the packaging.

Find more information at the USDA Web site. Visit our main Web site to find a hospital in New York close to you or visit our Find a Physician tool to find a doctor best suited to your needs.

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