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What is Organic all about?

Nutrition

For a food to carry the “organic” claim or seal it must be certified and meet strict government guidelines.

Consumer demand for organic products in the United States continues to grow. Organic products are available in nearly 3 out of 4 traditional supermarkets and in 2012, accounted for about 4 percent of total U.S. food sales. Although produce is the highest selling organic food, other food categories like packaged/prepared foods, breads and snacks are gaining sales.1 According to the Organic Trade Association’s 2013 U.S. Families’ Organic Attitudes and Beliefs Study, 81% of U.S families now report buying organic products at least sometimes, and note buying more than the previous year. Why? According to the above noted study, almost half of consumers who buy organic do so because they believe they are healthier for their families.2 As consumer demand for organic products increases, so does availability, variety and interest in what organic is all about.

What does organic mean?

For a food to carry the “USDA ORGANIC” seal it must meet strict standards established by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) organic certification process. Organic foods are those that are produced without the use of man-made fertilizers, pesticides, irradiation, or genetic engineering. These standards require the incorporation of practices that promote conservation of natural resources and protect the environment (for example, improve soil and water quality).3 Part of the certification ensures that the product is protected from prohibited substances from raw to finished product.

What are the requirements for organic labeling of products?

Many products can be considered for the organic certification—think beyond the produce aisle. Crops, wild crops, livestock, and processed/multi-ingredient items can all be considered for organic certification.1

Categories of “Organic” LabelingRequirements/DescriptionLabeling Notes
100% OrganicAll ingredients must be certified organic.Any processing aids must be organic.Product labels must state the name of the certifying agent on the information panel.May include USDA organic seal and/or 100 percent organic claim.Must identify organic ingredients (e.g., organic dill) or via asterisk or other mark.
OrganicAll agricultural ingredients must be certified organic, except where specified on National List.Non-organic ingredients allowed per National List may be used, up to a combined total of five percent of non-organic content (excluding salt and water).Product labels must state the name of the certifying agent on the information panel.May include USDA organic seal and/or organic claim.Must identify organic ingredients (e.g., organic dill) or via asterisk or other mark.
Made with OrganicAt least 70 percent of the product must be certified organic ingredients (excluding salt and water).Any remaining agricultural products are not required to be organically produced but must be produced without excluded methods.Non-agricultural products must be specifically allowed on the National List.Product labels must state the name of the certifying agent on the information panel.May state “made with organic (insert up to three ingredients or ingredient categories).”Must not include USDA organic seal anywhere, represent finished product as organic, or state “made with organic ingredients.”Must identify organic ingredients (e.g., organic dill) or via asterisk or other mark.
Specific Organic IngredientsMulti-ingredient products with less than 70 percent certified organic content (excluding salt and water) don’t need to be certified. Any non-certified product:Must not include USDA organic seal anywhere or the word “organic” on principal display panel.May only list certified organic ingredients as organic in the ingredient list and the percentage of organic ingredients. Remaining ingredients are not required to follow the USDA organic regulations.
Chart Source: LABELING ORGANIC PRODUCTS

What does Campbell have to offer?

Campbell works hard to add more options to your pantry and fridge so that you can enjoy a variety of foods and flavors. In addition, Campbell values the opportunity to responsibly manage our agricultural resources and promote sustainable growing practices. Campbell’s large portfolio includes numerous organic options. Check out Swanson® Organic broths and stocksPlum® Organics, Pepperidge Farm® Made with Organic Wheat Goldfish® and Pace® organic salsa, to name a few. Whether you buy organic products or conventionally grown products, or a combination of both, embrace each eating occasion an opportunity to try something new and fuel your body with nutritious and delicious foods. Keep in mind all foods in moderation can fit into a healthy lifestyle.

Try Something New!

Kate

  1. http://www.ers.usda.gov/topics/natural-resources-environment/organic-agriculture/organic-market-overview.aspx   Organic Market Overview. Accessed Sept 15th, 2014
  2. http://www.ota.com/organic-consumers/consumersurvey2013.html  Organic Trade Association. Accessed Sept 16, 2014.
  3. http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/getfile?dDocName=STELPRDC5101547  Organic Certification of Farms and Businesses Producing Agricultural Products. Accessed Sept 15th, 2014
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Nutrition

Kate Williams, RDN

Nutrition Consultant

Kate received her bachelor’s degree in dietetics from the University of Delaware and completed her dietetic internship at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. She has over ten years of experience in a variety of nutrition-related practice areas including clinical nutrition, weight management counseling, health and wellness and nutrition education. Kate has worked as a nutrition consultant to the Campbell Soup Company since 2005.  

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