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Whole Food Center



Often times foods have certain labels, claims or marketing seals that lead people to believe things about a product that may not necessarily be true. 



There is no regulation of the term non-GMO. This can be placed on any product, without any penalty or actual testing. In fact many products labeled non-GMO are actually made with GMO ingredients but the company is just saying the finished product tested negative for GMO proteins. In a refined product, like white bread with vitamins added, the vitamins could be made with GMO bacteria or the bacteria fed GMO corn sugar, and the final product would test negative for GMOs even though it was made with GMOs. Most people, and rightly so, assume that when it says non-GMO the product is actually non-GMO from start to finish, unfortunately that is not the case.




What about the non-GMO project seal?

According to the Non-GMO Project's own standards:

“Growth Media for Certain Vitamin and Supplement Inputs Based on demonstrated lack of commercial availability, the growth media for probiotic microorganism inputs and microorganisms that produce enzyme inputs to vitamin and supplement products are temporarily outside the scope of evaluation.”

“Labeling claims must be accurate and truthful and must not mislead the consumer about the GMO content of the product. Any reference to the Non-GMO Project or use of the verification mark must be approved by a written agreement with the Non-GMO Project. Examples of claims that are not acceptable are “contains zero GMOs,” “GMO-free,” and “GE-free.”

They state companies may not claim that their products are GMO-free even though they use the non-GMO project seal, which consumers are led to believe means the product is GMO-free.




This term has no regulation. Companies can put this on any product, no matter what the manufacturing process or how the product was made, even if the product was heated to a high temperature and devoid of all naturally occurring enzymes and co-factors. 



Most people believe organic means grown without the use of pesticides, herbicides, and other chemical inputs. It actually just bans the use of certain synthetic pesticides and other synthetic chemicals. You can see from this list, there are still lots of chemicals and synthetic ingredients still allowed in organic farming, including chlorine products, cupric sulfate and ethylene gas.



The FDA has not put forth a definition of the word natural or the phrase "all-natural". You can put the term on food items containing synthetic vitamins and it is completely fine. 

"Made with whole grains":

This is usually found on a lot of bread products. It really does not mean anything. It could be made with 1% whole grain and 99% refined ingredients and say made with whole grains.


"Trans-Fat Free":

Products can still contain .5mg of trans-fat per serving. With many products having unrealistically low serving sizes, trans-fat consumption can add up fast, even from so-called trans-fat-free foods.


ORAC Value:

Many products contain phrases like “over 16,000 ORAC value”. ORAC is just a measure of antioxidant effect in a test tube, it does not represent what happens in the body in any way. Ignore this number and focus on eating real, whole foods and you will get plenty of antioxidants.


"Doctor Recommended":

You could get one doctor to say they liked something and you could say it was doctor recommended. Who says it is even a medical doctor and not a doctor of the arts? Since the term has no meaning, any kind of doctor will do.



Yea, all livestock are raised on farms, but it does not say anything about the quality of the product or the conditions on the farm. 



"Grass-Fed" & "Pasture Raised"

Pasture-raised has no regulated meaning and can be put on any product. While "certified organic" is a regulated term, it does not mean that an animal is grass-fed. 

As of 2016, grass-fed is no longer a regulated term, it can be put on basically any product as well. Cows are supposed to eat grass and other plant material like hay and alfalfa. They are not meant to eat corn and other grains. It is incredibly bad for their digestive systems and creates a whole host of problems.


There are a few independent organizations who produce a grass-fed certification label:

American Grassfed:
If you see this symbol on a product, you can be sure it is actually grass-fed. You can read about their standards here.














A Greener World:
If you see this symbol on a product, you can be sure it is actually grass-fed. You can read about their standards here.




PCO Certified Grass-Fed:
In order to get this symbol, farms must also be certified organic. If you see this symbol on a product, you can be sure it is actually grass-fed. You can read about their standards here.












These organizations also include standards for animal welfare and other important parts of raising animals, like taking care of the pastures where the cows graze and the environment. Truly grass-fed meat is healthier for the animals, healthier for you, more omega-3, less omega-6 and much better for the planet. 

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