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Understanding the different kinds or types of food labels :: Importance or value of food labels

Updated on March 23, 2013

The value or importance of food labels

Shopping and reading an assortment of labels of stuffs you just purchased can give delight to some buyers but for others this can be tiresome and time-consuming. The vast majority of food products that are available in groceries and supermarkets may have labels on them. You may take hold of a product that may look like healthy but in reality it is not. You may even come across with products that bear labels such as “natural” or “made with natural ingredients.” Ah the experience can be overwhelming especially when you are not expert with regards to food labels.

There is a wide confusion among the consumers about what foods they buy. A lot of people may mistake that the word, “natural,” may imply it is healthier than those that are “organic.” So what do the food labels that bears the words like “organic,” “all natural,” “free range,” and “non-GMO” means? Understanding these terms may give you an idea on how to buy the right food products that are suited to you and your family.

Keep in mind that by reading food labels you will able to know:

  • Where your food were made from
  • How the animal was raised and treated
  • What the animals were fed
  • If it meet standards
  • If the claims of a product is certified by a third party


Here are the meanings of food labels found on various food products:

Natural – This label will imply that the produce or dairy products are minimally processed and it is free from food coloring, artificial flavors, preservatives or among other artificial ingredients. Bear in mind that even raw cut of meat of animals that are treated with antibiotics or growth enhancers are still considered natural since they are not processed.


Grass fed -This terminology will imply that the animals are fed only with grass or hay. The animals also have access to the outdoors. Cattles have the tendency to be healthier and leaner when fed this way. Moreover, grass fed cattle is proven to have more omega-3 fatty acids content.


Free range – This implies that animals are not kept in cage have access to the outdoors. The animals move freely and may eat anything they can find such as bugs, seeds and among others.

Cage-Free – Hens are not kept in house cages but may not have access to sunlight.


No hormones added – In the United States and some well-developed countries the use of growth of hormones is allowed. The term implies that the animals are grown without using growth hormones. This is valuable with beef and dairy products, but it is unlawful if it is used to poultry and pigs. Do not waste your time on looking for this label on pork and poultry products since you will never find any.


Genetically Motivated Organism (GMO) – GMOs are wide group of plants, animals and bacteria that are genetically engineered for a wide-array of uses that range from agricultural production to scientific research. The term is used for living organism. The plant’s genetic code is altered to come up with a better version. Nowadays, the only genetically modified product type are permitted for human consumption are plants but are normally nor regulated.


Basically, companies use labels to sell their products and will not tell you what it contains. With food labels, you will able to distinguish which food products are healthy and nutritious and the same time gives interpretations on its ingredients.

Keep in mind that packaging will not tell you nutritious the products are, but rather it condition your mind to think about the health benefits that you can get from the products

There are still answer on which is better between natural or organic food, but it is certain that organic foods may cost more.

Motivated to catch up... Thanks a lot for the read and dropping. My 3rd Hub in the March 2013 HubChallenge,


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