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USDA Organic – What does it mean?

What does it mean to be USDA Organic?

Single-Ingredient Foods
On foods like fruits and vegetables, there is a small version of the label on the product.  You can also look for the organic signs in your produce section that display the organic emblem.

The word “organic” and the seal may also appear on packages of meat, cartons of milk or eggs, cheese, and other single-ingredient foods.

Multi-Ingredient Foods
Foods such as beverages, snacks, and other processed foods use the following classification system to indicate their use of organic ingredients.

100% Organic—Foods that have this label are made with 100% organic ingredients* and may display the USDA Organic seal.

Organic—These products contain at least 95–99% organic ingredients by weight. The remaining ingredients are not available organically but have been approved by the NOP. These products may display the USDA Organic seal.

Made With Organic Ingredients—Food packaging that reads “Made With Organic Ingredients” must contain 70–94% organic ingredients. These products will not bear the USDA Organic seal; instead, they may list up to three ingredients on the front of the packaging.

Other—Products with less than 70% organic ingredients may only list organic ingredients on the information panel of the packaging. These products do not bear the USDA Organic seal.

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  1. Dianne says

    Interesting post on the variations of organic. I’d like to know the guidelines for what qualifies as organic. Is it only the lack of pesticides?

  2. Elizabeth C. says

    I try to remember to shop locally! They won’t have the organic USDA “Seal”, but just ask the seller! It can be fresher and truely organic!!

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