Labels can be misleading
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By KAREN FERNAU
GANNETT NEWS SERVICE
The label “natural” doesn’t mean “all natural.”
The label implies food as close to nature as possible.
But, according to government regulations, “natural” for meat, poultry and dairy means that the food does not contain ingredients, colors or preservatives considered artificial and not natural to the product. It has nothing to do with how the animal was raised or what it ate.
“Organic” is the only label certified by U.S. inspectors, and certified products must carry a United States Department of Agriculture organic seal.
Other common food labels — “all natural,” “cage free,” “range free” — are simply unregulated guidelines. That said, experts recommend consumers pay close attention to labels before buying.
Here are a few of the most confusing label categories: