Garden and food labels: Fact or Fiction

Urban Ag Guru

As we prepare to celebrate Earth Day on Friday, many take time to celebrate a more earth-friendly garden practice.

Many garden products claim their contents are “environmentally friendly,” and many websites share recipes to do certain things “without chemicals.” Are these claims true?

If you peruse a garden center, farmers market or grocery store, you’ll see a whole bevy of different labels — “chemical free,” “natural,” “organic,” “certified organic” or “GMO free.” What do these labels mean, or do they mean anything at all?

One of the easiest labels to understand is “natural” or “all-natural.”

It is simple to understand because it doesn’t have an official meaning. None of the agencies that regulate labeling of food or garden products has such a designation. The “natural flavor” many processed food products contain just had to come from a natural source at some point — many of them are derived from base…

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