If you are confused by what is "natural" and how that is different than an organic product, you are not alone. We are here to help you understand the difference.
What is Organic?
100% Organic—Made with 100% organic ingredients and usually has the USDA Organic seal.
Organic—Made with 95-99% organic ingredients by weight. All other ingredients are not considered organic. These products are permitted to use the USDA Organic seal.
Made With Organic Ingredients—Made with 70–94% organic ingredients. All other ingredients are not considered organic. Products are not permitted to use the USDA Organic seal, but are allowed to list 3 organic ingredients on the front of the packaging.
Products with less than 70% organic ingredients may only list organic ingredients on the products information panel. Products are not permitted to use the USDA Organic seal.
In the case of animal products such as beef, chicken, turkey, eggs, and milk, "Organic" refers to the feed the animals are fed. Organic milk means the cow is fed organic feed and if the cow is grass-fed, the farm uses organic practices.
What is Natural (All Natural)?
The product has only been minimally processed and contains no artificial ingredients. Most times you will notice far fewer ingredients listed on the dietary panel than a conventional version of this product.
What is conventional?
Conventional foods are traditional foods in the market place. They may contain pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, GMO's (Genetically engineered foods), use treated sewage sludge (from human waste facilities). They also used man-made chemicals and ingredients for sweeteners, coloring, flavor, etc.
What are Raw foods?
Raw food is anything that has not been refined, canned, or chemically processed. Raw foods have not been heated above 118 degrees Fahrenheit.
Aside from the obvious fruits and veggies, are raw milks and raw cheeses. Those have not been pasteurized.
Pennsylvania is one of only 11 states that permit raw milk to be sold in-store. (20 states across the U.S. do not allow any sales of raw milk - even by farmers.)
All cheese transported across state lines must by law either be made from pasteurized milk or aged at least 60 days. The rule has been in place since 1949.
How does this apply to what is sold at The Healthy Grocer?
The Healthy Grocer focuses on only selling food made with all natural and organic ingredients. This extends to the Wellness, Personal Care, Pet, and Household departments, as well as The Healthy Deli. Some examples of major departments in the store are:
Most produce comes from Four Seasons Distributors Organic Division
Some produce comes from the Lancaster Farm Fresh Co-op Organic Farmers
Some produce comes from Carlisle's Earth Spring Farms (not certified organic, but organic by practice)
Dutch Meadows Beef:
Growth Hormone Free
Grass-fed on an organic farm
Cows graze outside for most of the day
Cows raised in Paradise, PA in the heart of Lancaster County.
Farms tended by the Stoltzfus family for 3 generations
Organic farming practice for 20+ years.
Growth Hormone Free
Vegetarian Non-GMO Feed
Sustainable practices, Renewable resources, near zero waste
Turkeys are raised here in Oxford, Pennsylvania
Supplemented as needed with vegetarian diet
Raised on family farms in the rolling countryside of Pennsylvania’s Amish Country
Partner with Global Animal Partnership’s 5-Step Animal Welfare Rating Standards program