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What Does Organic Really Mean?


Some hear the word organic and think that what they are consuming or using is 100% organic and natural. This can hold true for some products that tout being organic, such as in the food industry. However, there are varying degrees of organic in the food we eat. So, you may be asking; where does that leave other products like vitamins or soaps that claim to be organic? Organic labeling regulations allows you to say organic, but it is how the term organic is used that makes all the difference. Therefore, it is important to purchase your organic products and foods from a reputable store, farmer, or online boutique.

Sample Pack of Organic Soap

Organic and the Food Industry

The USDA NOP (National Organic Program) sets the regulations of what and how organic foods, as well as other products, can be labeled. This means that foods with the word organic may not always mean 100% true organic only. Knowing the difference in wording helps to separate them and know what you are paying for.

  • 100% Organic – This means there can be no other ingredients, which are non-organic.
  • Organic – These food products may contain 5% or less of their ingredients that are non-organic and non-agricultural, such as hydrogen peroxide and alcohols.
  • Made with Organic Ingredients – These foods only have to have 70% of their ingredients be organic.
  • Containing Organic Ingredients – This cannot be placed as part of the label, but manufacturers are allowed to indicate the ingredients that are organic on the list of ingredients.
  • Cage-Free, Free-Range, Hormone-Free, and others – These have no regulations, but are considered under the organic food labeling

As you can see, knowing about labeling regulations when it comes to the foods you and your family consumes, is highly important. This is equally true when it comes to the personal care products, like soap, you put on you and your family's body.

 

Organic and the Soap Industry

Organic soap crafters must follow the NSF's guidelines before being allowed to bear organic labeling. Organic soaps may be 100% natural, but none are 100% organic. Therefore, when looking for a shop or online boutique to purchase from, be sure you look to see the percentage of organic ingredients in their soaps. Not being 100% organic is not misleading in any way, it is simply the active ingredient such as lye that causes it to fall short. 85 to 90 percent is the highest amount of organic ingredients you can find in organic bar soap. 

If you are looking to change from the harsh chemical filled soaps from the grocery or big box stores, look for organic soaps that are made with no less than 85% organic ingredients, like the following for example:

With a new sense of understanding of the labeling regulations and guidelines, you will be better armed to pick the right products, from food to bar soaps, for you and your family's needs. Knowing what you are purchasing and knowing how it will benefit your family, always leaves you with a renewed sense of pride and accomplishment. Everyone wants to feel good about his or her purchases.