Articles, Food

Food Jargon Decoded

I want to eat “healthy.” And I don’t just mean low-calorie, blah, blah, blah. I want to put good fuel in my bod that is going to give me energy, but there is so much health-food jargon these days, that I didn’t know where to start….do I buy organic apples or local apples? Is there really a difference? To get to the bottom of this hot topic so I don’t accidentally poison myself, I interrogated one of my bestie’s (and Graye Note health contributor), Tara Felice.

  • Natural- This essentially means NOTHING. There is not currently strict regulation on using this term, and according to the FDA, pesticides and irradiation (being exposed to radiation) could be used in the production of foods labeled “Natural.”
  • Non-GMO (genetically modified organism)- Animals and plants are being genetically modified, and the U.S. government is not requiring food labels to inform consumers if they are buying a product that has gone through this process. The safety of consuming these products is in question. The Non-GMO Project reports that the U.S. government has approved the use of GMO’s “based on studies conducted by the same corporations that created them and profit from their sale.” That sounds suspicious to me.
  • Organic- According to the USDA, the following are NOT allowed in any food labeled organic: synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, irradiation, and genetic engineering. I say, “thank God!” because who the heck wants any of that in their food?!
  • Local- This term refers to food being produced in the same geographical region it is consumed. Oftentimes, this food is technically organic, but due to reasons such as financing, the farmers have not gone through the official process to be able to label their food as such.

So, in conclusion, Tara instructs me that my top choice should always be “Local.” It’s a good option because it supports our local farmers, the food is fresh, and it is probably totally organic.  And, it’s so fun and festive to hit up your local farmer’s markets!


Andrea Graye :)