Decode Non-certified Food Labels
Apart from certified food labels, there are also various other non-certified labels. Not certified or validated by any third-party body, these are labels based on farmer and processor information supporting specific claims.
Let’s take a look at some of the prominent ones.
HORMONE-FREE / RBGH-FREE
This label reflects that livestock farmers did not artificially put growth-induced hormones or steroids in the bodies of the livestock. The use of growth hormones is very rampant in this industry. Hence, if you want cruelty-free food, then maybe you can check this out.
RAISED WITHOUT ANTIBIOTICS
Farms, especially industrial ones, often feed their chickens, pigs, and cattle regular dose of antibiotics for faster growth and compensation for the overcrowding and unsanitary living conditions.
GE-FREE / NON-GMO
Individual companies use this label. The percentage of GE or GMO-free might vary from product to product — from 100% free to various trace levels.
Usually, companies require farmers to produce documents for validation.
This label can be tricky: many products in the market use this, but there is no established definition for this.
Free range can be an ambiguous term. It usually refers to farms where chickens have access to the outdoors, but the time is not defined. Even five minutes of access to the outdoors is labeled as free range.
Animals are not kept in cages but don’t guarantee access to sunlight and can be in crowded spaces.
TIPS FOR SHOPPING
While browsing through the shelf of available eggs, spend some time reading the labels. In case of confusion, spend a little bit of time reading about the specific food label. The terms are not always self-explanatory; there are various nuances involved.
Author: Somrita Ganchoudhuri
Image source: unsplash.com