What's In a Word?
A Glossary for Buying Organic
Organic produce fruits and vegetables grown in soil that hasn't been treated with toxic chemicals for at least three years.
Transitional a grower is converting to organic but hasn't hit the three-year mark yet.
Organic meat and dairy products animals raised without hormones or antibiotics and fed only organic feed.
Certified organic examined by an outside agency to ensure organic authenticity.
Free-range animals have access to the outdoors; doesn't necessarily mean organic.
Pesticide-free a marketing myth. Agricultural chemicals are already in rain and groundwater. But organic crops are grown without synthetic pesticides.
Natural usually means that the food contains few or no additives such as preservatives or coloring, but there aren't any standards (FDA defines natural as "minimally processed") so take it with a grain of salt.