The United States and Canadian governments do NOT allow companies to label products “100% / Certified Organic” if they contain genetically modified foods.
To put it in more detail:
100% Organic: Must contain 100 percent organically produced ingredients (excluding water and salt). This is the only label that certifies a completely organic product AND completely GMO-free ingredients.
Certified Organic / USDA Organic / Organic: At least 95 percent of content is organic by weight (excluding water and salt). The <5% remaining ingredients must consist of substances approved on the USDA’s National List. GMOs are NOT on this list, so these products are also usually GMO-free.
Made with Organic: Up to 70% of the ingredients are organic. These products can NOT carry a “USDA organic” label and are NOT typically GMO-free.” (full article here)
What is the cost?
Well, my typical weekly grocery bill, for our family of five, at Winco Foods runs around $200 (not including grass-fed beef, which we buy from local ranchers) . This weekend, I decided to purchase all organic fruits and vegetables. While Winco has a limited organic selection, I was on a time schedule (What’s new?) and decided to get it all at another store, LifeSource Natural Foods in Salem. They already carry all of the specialty foods (dairy and soy free, gluten free) that I buy each week, so I don’t have to add another stop on grocery day. When the shopping trip was all said and done, my total was just over $250. Basically, the cost of the produce was about double what I usually pay.
Is it worth it?
All the way home I was feeling bad for spending more than I should have and thinking that this organic project, while worthy, may just be a bad idea. After all, I can’t spend $200 more per month on food, can I? But once I got home and we all ate lunch and everyone (hubby included) couldn’t stop talking about how delicious the apples were, our minds were made up. On top of all of the health benefits, organic tastes better, too! If it all tastes better, we are more inclined to eat it and will choose it over other, less healthy foods. And eating more fruits and vegetables is the goal for my family, so we will make it work somehow. We need to shop around, I’m sure. Costco often has some organic produce. I’ve recently discovered the large selection at Fred Meyer, and farmer’s market season is just around the corner. And just maybe, we can move some of the budget around to give us at least some of the extra money needed to stick with it. Oh, Dave Ramsey would be so proud!