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USDA Organic and its Meaning: The Label and History


USDA Organic and its Meaning: The Label and History

We’ve all seen those little labels, all those letters squeezed in to a quarter of an inch oval. The label or logo we will talk about in this article is USDA organic. If you’re like most people you have a vague idea of the union of the abbreviation and the word organic vague being the operative word here. Asking for additional information crosses our minds at times but then we retreat suspicious of the response we may solicit.  Without further consideration, let’s just break it down into a description that offers at minimum clarity to the word organic itself.

What is USDA organic?

Presumably most of us are aware of the acronym USDA, at least the US portion of it. USDA is the United States Department of Agriculture.  The department founded by Good Ole Abe (Abraham Lincoln) in effort to establish food safety standards, support agricultural technology and encourage research and development. It's a little known fact that the United Stated Department of Agriculture also serves to reduce hunger in the United States as well as internationally.  How about that?

What does organic mean?

Webster defines organic as: relating to or derived from living organisms; a substance of animal or vegetable origin or something raised without the use of drugs, hormones or synthetic chemicals.  Additionally, organic often denotes simplistic, beautiful and close to nature; the essence of organics breaks down to a derivative of life only.

As with all things, to gain a deeper understanding of the collective arrangement one must first comprehend each individual element of the collective.  Now that the individual aspects of the collective have been examined and explained the collective arrangement of words can be restored and defined more clearly. USDA Organic is a simple label format introduced by the United States Department of Agriculture that indicates to the consumer that the product has been inspected by the governing body and has passed all criteria required to carry the label organic.

Does that not shine a bright light on that tiny USDA organic logo?

In future as you meander through the aisles of your favorite health food store or grocery stores, you can rest assured with full clarity when out of the corner of your eye you catch a glimpse of that tiny little oval label.

You’ll be fully aware that the product in sight has passed the inspection of the United States Department of Agriculture.  The label indicates that all required testing has been conducted and the conclusion is that Lincoln himself would have consumed this product had he been in search of something deliciously organic.

Conclusion

Products supporting this label must pass a national standard of production mandated by the Organic Foods Production Act implemented in 1990. National standards established a viable model to offer consumers a method of distinguishing foods that could not be otherwise separated providing a verifiable label claim upon completing inspection. That little oval label that only consist of 11 letters is fully loaded. Check out our Meal Prepping article. 

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