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Certified USDA Organic Food vs Organic Food Buyouts

With all the information pouring out from research labs, doctor’s offices, and pundits with online platforms, the consensus is clear: USDA organic food is the type we should consume.

For many years, we were in the dark about the dangerous side effects the pesticides used on the fruits and vegetables we eat caused us. We also did not know about the effects of eating grass-fed beef versus eating genetically modified corn-fed beef.

As you may have heard, the more you know the more you don’t really know. Sadly, this could be the case but at least you can aim to be well informed.

Certified USDA Organic vs Organic Foods Decoded

“Organic” means the farmed food avoids using man-made fertilizers, pesticides, growth hormones or any other livestock feed additives.

The USDA organic food legislation prohibits genetically modified organisms (GMOs) or any food produced by genetically engineered seeds or from GMOs.

Companies were forced to respond to the new questions customer had about their food preparation and preservation methods, and this led to the organic and non-GMO labels we look for in our food today.

So how do you know if your food is truly USDA organic? Here are some of the requirements the USDA has to be certified USDA Organic food.

USDA Organic Food Requirements

The USA is very regulated in this area or so they claim (1) and has many requirements for farmers and others involved in the food industry. The following must be achieved to receive a USDA certified organic label:

USDA Organic Regulations on How Food Is Grown:

  • No toxic and persistent pesticides
  • No synthetic growth hormones
  • No petroleum-based fertilizers
  • No cloning

USDA Organic Regulations on How Food Is Processed:

  • No artificial colors
  • No artificial flavors
  • No artificial preservatives
  • No irradiated products/ingredients
  • No GE or GMOs

Top Organic Food Company Buyouts

Here are some of the major corporations that now own many of the organic foods created by known companies you may recognize.

  • ConAgra owns: Lightlife and Alexia Foods
  • M&M Mars owns: Seeds of Change
  • Cadbury owns: Green and Black’s
  • Hershey Foods owns: Dagoba
  • Kraft owns: Boca Foods and Back to Nature
  • Dean owns: White Wave/Silk, Alta Dena, Horizon and Organic Cow of Vermont
  • Nestle owns: The Mediterranean Foods
  • Coca-Cola owns: Honest Tea and Odwalla
  • Pepsi owns: Naked Juice
  • Kellogg owns: Bear Naked, Wholesome & Hearty, Kashi, Morningstar Farms and Natural Touch
  • Cargill and Heinz jointly own: Walnut Acres, Spectrum Organics, MaraNatha, Garden of Eatin’, Earth’s Best, Celestial Seasonings and Rice Dream
  • General Mills owns: Cascadian Farm, Muir Glen, and Larabar.

Organic food purchasing is not meant to be an overwhelming task. To keep it simple, you are choosing to eat the best food to produce the best results from your body. That’s a great thing! This goal requires some due diligence on your part. You are not a pest when making sure a family is getting the best bang for its buck buying organic; and nor should you be eating what a pest is expected to eat.


  1. The Organic Watergate – White Paper. Connecting the Dots: Corporate Influence at the USDA’s National Organic Program https://www.cornucopia.org/USDA/OrganicWatergateWhitePaper.pdf

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