When “organic” is doubly meaningless

On Wednesday, I told you that “organic” food has become little more than the latest consumer scam (“Big Food takes over the organic market”). With Big Food running the show, the term organic is essentially meaningless. But it’s not just the politics involved in organic food today that make it laughable (at best). There are also some issues just from a common sense standpoint.

You see, when it comes to foods like avocado, banana, mango, and pineapple, the term “organic” is doubly meaningless. There is simply no need for “organic” versions of things where the skins, shells, and coverings are completely removed prior to consumption.

Beyond “organic,” there are also terms thrown around such as “antibiotic-free,” “free-range,” and “natural.” These may sound like good, healthy foods for you and your family. But keep in mind, there is no real technical definition, nor any regulatory requirements when it comes to the use of these terms.

In other words, there’s no way to know what you’re really getting.

My advice is not to waste your time—or money—searching out “organic” produce. Or any other food with a trendy, yet meaningless, term on its label. And don’t pay more than you need to for healthy foods, or patronize the pseudo-health food markets and brands that just charge you more money for questionable value. Many mainstream restaurants and food markets have caught on to the need to provide healthy fresh foods to their patrons, and at competitive prices. And new requirements from FDA and USDA make them provide the information you need to make informed choices.

So read food labels and menus carefully, and let good, old-fashioned common sense guide you to the best, healthiest choices.