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The Green Life: Green Your Gastronomy: Differentiate Organics

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July 27, 2011

Green Your Gastronomy: Differentiate Organics

Organic label The days may be long and sweltering, but your meals can still be light on the stomach — and the Earth. This week's tips will help make your summer fare a bit greener.

Tip #3: Investigate!

A popular greenwashing tactic is to manipulate the "organic" label and its language. Companies with earth-friendly images like Horizon Organic and Aurora Organic fall into the category of "industrial organic": farms that still employ many of the same environmentally unsound tactics. To avoid products with labels that sound green but aren't, watch for words like "natural," which mean essentially nothing. Even "made with organic ingredients" means that just 70% of the product's inputs are organic. "Organic" means 95%, and only "100% organic" means what it sounds like. Know, too, that the organic label also allows some pesticides in. For more on this, read Julie Guthman's Agrarian Dreams: The Paradox of Organic Farming in California.

Tell us: Have you fallen for organic-sounding tricks?


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