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What Does “Organic” Mean These Days?

Understanding Organic Certification

Over the years the term Organic has evolved into a more complex system than when it started. Products are labeled Organic based on a percentage system – from 100% Organic ingredients down to less than 70% Organic ingredients.

A common mistake made by “newbies” is to equate the word "natural" with "organic". Organic identifies how food is grown. “Natural” refers to foods that have been minimally processed or contain no artificial ingredients. “Natural” ingredients are usually grown with pesticides and herbicides.


How to tell if your products are Authentically Organic

Look for the word "Organic" on the product label. Basic guidelines for different labels according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) are as follows:

100% Organic
- Pure organic ingredients processed, packed, handled and transported in full compliance with the USDA standards for organic agriculture.

Organic -
 At least 95% organic ingredients, provided the remaining 5% ingredients are not commercially available in organic form and not produced using specifically prohibited methods such as irradiation.

Made with Organic Ingredients
- Contains between 70% - 95% organic ingredients, listing up to 3 of them on the front of the package.

Less than 70% Organic Ingredients - The label will list the organic items in the "ingredients" panel only and the term "Organic" may not be used anywhere else on the package. 


Genetically-modified foods (GMOs) are fast becoming a major threat to the well-being of everyone on the planet. GMO seeds do not sprout - they are devitalized! GMO foods are created from articially manipulating the DNA of natural food and are designed to produce lifeless seeds.

Certified Organic products are NOT allowed to contain GMO's. You KNOW you are eating safe, natural food by eating certified organic. See Top 10 Reasons to Support Organic.

Look for the organic certification logos. Here are a few of the over 400 certifiers (government & private). 

Look for labels that identify products as authentically certified by a recognized 3rd-party certifying body who verifies the claims of the producer and the marketer. You can be assured that the product is produced according to the organic standards after it has been certified by a professional certifying body.

Organic Certifiers of Ventura California (CCOF) verifies all of Sun Star Organics’ organic products every year. Sun Star Organics, Inc has been certified organic since 2007.  

What is Driving the Organic Movement?

Organic certification is expensive and time-consuming. Why would anyone go to the expense? What is the motivation behind growing organic food?

Some growers and marketers who believe in right livelihood honestly believe their efforts make a difference to the current and future condition of planet Earth. They are deeply connected to the Earth and are willing to do what it takes to preserve it, no matter what the cost. Supporting these growers supports a healthy, symbiotic relationship with Earth.

What does certification mean to you, the consumer?

Organic certification gives you confidence that the money you spend on buying organic food is truly organic and the food your family eats is vital and life-giving. See Why Organic Certification Matters.

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