Organics

USDA organic

The USDA’s National Organic Standards went into effect on October 21, 2002. The standards, established by the National Organics Standards Board with the help of thousands of industry and public comments, were written over a period of twelve years. Only foods that meet specific standards can display the national label.

The National Organic Program (NOP) has four classifications of certification for labeling.

100% Organic

  • Foods must be produced and processed according to specific USDA guidelines
  • Guidelines preclude the use of pesticides, chemical fertilizers, antibiotics, hormones, genetically modified ingredients, and irradiation, among other practices
  • Foods certified to meet these requirements may display the USDA Organic label and/or the statement “100% Organic”

Organic

  • Foods must be made with 95% organic ingredients
  • The remaining ingredients may be non-agricultural or not commercially available in organic form
  • Foods certified to meet these guidelines may display the USDA Organic label (but not the statement “100% Organic”)

Made With Organic Ingredients

  • Foods made with 70-95% organic ingredients can state “Made With Organic Ingredients” on the label (and list up to three organic ingredients), but cannot display the seal

Less Than 70% Organic Ingredients

  • Such foods may list organic ingredients in the packaging information panel only (not on the principal display panel)

Diners are increasingly hyper-focused on high-protein and plant-based foods. Alongside all of the new-fangled, lab-based, cell-cultured options out there is the humble bean. A staple food for millenia, beans are being re-examined as a healthy, versatile ingredient worthy of menu inclusion.

  • Retro and heirloom recipes—like Southern succotash, French cassoulet, and Cajun red beans and rice—fit the bill for those in search of authenticity.
  • Most world cuisines incorporate some type of bean in their classic dishes. Think feijoada in Brazil, black beans and rice with plantains in Puerto Rico, and garbanzo beans in Israel. Modern interpretations of these recipes are packed with produce and herbs.
  • The creamy texture of mung beans is proving an ideal substitute for those that are eliminating soy from their diets.