Food Label Guide

Nutrition facts, health claims, various logos, proclamations of animal treatment — food packaging gives us plenty of reading material. Use this food label guide to find out what each label means.

Not all labels are created equal.

Some are clear indications that the food has been certified to meet certain requirements, such as “USDA Organic Certification” or “Animal Welfare Approved.” Some, like “Pasture Raised,” suggest certain standards were met or practices were used, but do not guarantee it. Sometimes the words themselves—as in the case of the word “natural”—have ceased to have any true meaning. That’s why a comprehensive food label guide can be so useful.

A good label guarantees that the food was produced in a way that can help you lower your “foodprint.”

Good, verifiable food labels can be your guide in the supermarket aisle and at the farmers’ market, leading you to food that has been raised and produced in a way that aligns with your values. We have organized this food label guide by product and by label so that you can find the things that matter to you most. Whether it’s animal welfare, environmental sustainability or fair wages for workers, there are certifications that can guarantee certain standards were met.

For explanations on the technical terms that go into the Food Label Guide, like “rotational grazing” or “sewage sludge fertilizers,” please visit our glossary.

Common Labels

Non-GMO Project Verified

Certified Naturally Grown

Browse all Food Labels

Top photo by Nestor/Adobe Stock.