Think about when you go shopping for food groceries for you family… You rely on the labels on the products to give you an accurate description of what is actually inside, right?? Could you imagine if that organic box of pasta wasn’t ACTUALLY organic? How would you feel if you learned that the premium product you were paying for wasn’t really a premium product?
I learned quite a bit this weekend at the Gluten Free Food Allergy Fest and one of those things was the false sense of security that the USDA Organic label gives us. Sadly, the USDA does not regularly monitor products that are labeled with the official organic label, so at any time can a large company use questionable ingredients and no one would know.
We expect, or at least I EXPECT, that the USDA would have something in place to monitor these products, but truthfully, there are just TOO MANY for that to happen. This fancy label comes with a HIGH price tag which means that a lot of small companies that are truly 100% organic, usually using local ingredients are unable to get this seemingly sought after “Seal of Approval”.
Even if a company is caught with a product that is non-compliant, they are only fined $11,000 per violation. This is pocket change to a multi-million or -billion dollar company! They do not have their seal removed. They do not have to immediately takes things off of the shelf. They can go on and fool us all again with fraudulent food.
I learned about an AMAZING company this past weekend called Eden Foods. They are an amazing organic company that takes pride in what they make. They were organic before organic was “cool”. They don’t believe in slapping on a superficial label just to sell more products to a customer who doesn’t take the time to learn about their products.
The most important thing that you as a consumer can do is really LEARN about the brands that you purchase.
Talk to the owners. Find out where their food comes from. Maybe see if you can take a tour of their factory. Find out why organic food is their passion to see what really drives their company. Don’t believe everything you see in a grocery store to be true! Better yet… Grow your own!