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Debunking Product Labels for a Chemical Free Diet

Organic, Natural, Free Range, Grass Fed …. Chances are you’ve run into a few of these words or phrases when doing your weekly grocery shopping, but do you know what they mean? These labels are great clues to help us choose foods that are free of dangerous chemicals, like pesticides that are disrupting to the body. Toxicity in the body looks like many different things, whether that’s brain fog, weight gain, hormone issues, or even sleep disruption. It’s important to know what is in your food in order to live your healthiest life!

So what do we need to choose versus avoid?

Organic: CHOOSE! The word, “Organic,” is your number one label to look for when choosing clean foods. Organic means the product has undergone a certification by the Department of Agriculture (USDA) to guarantee that the food contains no chemical fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, hormones, drugs, or genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Foods especially important to choose organic would be your fresh produce, especially those on which the outer peel will be consumed. For a great quick guide, check out the Dirty Dozen list from the Environmental Working Group.

Natural: AVOID! Foods labeled “natural,” are still potentially filled with chemicals, because there is no certification process that a food must undergo to be called “natural.” Therefore, it is often a marketing technique that is used to trick naive shoppers into spending more. So steer clear and save a few bucks!

Free Range: CHOOSE! “Free-range” would apply to poultry and beef products, and means that chickens and cows are given access to open, outdoor spaces. This gives them the chance to eat bugs, grubs, and grass to be much more nourishing for their and our bodies. After all, you are what you eat...eats! *For even better quality and safety, choose Free Range, Certified Humane products. Check out Greener Choices for more information.

Cage Free: AVOID! Cage free is a marketing term that means although chickens are not kept in cages, they may have little to no access to outdoor spaces and may also be crowded into open structures. There is no nutritional value to chickens who live in crowded indoor spaces, so it is best to avoid the products labeled “Cage Free.”

Grass Fed: CHOOSE! Grass fed beef is the beef to choose because the animals were raised on open pasture and fed only grass and forage. 100% grass fed animals means there was no grain or corn feed in the diet. This is important in the nutrient content and fat content of the feet that we consume!

Vegetarian Fed: AVOID! Vegetarian fed meat resulted from a push years ago to feed animals real food instead of letting them eat waste. However, a vegetarian diet for an animal like a chicken who naturally should eat bugs and worms, means the animal is being fed grains that may or may not be genetically modified- which influences your health!

There are a dozen other code words that deserve debunking, such as Gluten Free, Fat Free, etc. To learn more, talk to me in the office or schedule a consultation! [email protected]