Here is a little information regarding the buzzwords on labels that you might find interesting.  I had no idea the difference between some of these different labels and just assumed that if it said cage-free or all natural –it was a good product to buy.  Wow–I did make an ass out of you and me on that one.

1.  Cage-Free

There is no legal definition of this term.  If hens are labeled cage-free, the do have more space than caged hens but they can still be crammed inside barns or houses etc.  It also doesn’t tell us anything about the hen’s diet.  The best bet is to buy pastured eggs.

2.  Free-Range

The USDA doesn’t have defined standards for free-range.  The hens simply have access to the outdoors but, it doesn’t mean they actually see the light of day.  This also doesn’t tell us anything about the hen’s diet.

3.  Grass-Fed

Meat and dairy can be labelled grass-fed if they were fed grass for the majority of their lives.  However, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t tie grains, soy, or other farming byproducts during their lifetime.  You are better off looking for grass-finished products which are required to be fed grass 100% of their life.  Look for grass-finished and organic on those labels.

4.  Natural

The USDA allows this label to be placed on any minimal processed product without artificial sweeteners or additives.  It does not refer to how the animal was raised and it could still be fed additives and or antibiotics.  So don’t be fooled by the term “Natural”

5.  No added hormones

The USDA prohibits added hormones in poultry and pork so this label may give you false confidence in the quality of the product.  Beef hormone use is up to the farmer–so an organic label is a little more promising.

For more information on label reading and buzzwords visit

Posted on by Angela in Body, Diet, Nutrition, Organic, Weight Loss, Whole Food Leave a comment

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