Glossary of Tags
Certified Organic is a USDA certification that applies to Produce, meat, processed foods, and packaged foods.
- For produce, it means, it was grown on soil that avoided synthetic fertilizers and pesticides for three (or more years) years prior to harvest.
- For meat, it means the animals are raised in living conditions accommodating their natural behaviors (like the ability to graze on pasture), fed 100% organic feed and forage, and not administered antibiotics or hormones.
- For processed foods , it means the foods cannot containing artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors and requires that their ingredients are organic, with some minor exceptions.
Read more at USDA.GOV
This means the producers (typically an organic farmer and not necessarily someone with USDA certification) relies on the principles of crop rotation to retain soil fertility. Different crops have different nutrient requirements and affect soil balance differently. Some, like corn and tomatoes, are heavy feeders that quickly deplete soil nitrogen and phosphorus. By changing the location of corn each year, for example, a farmer is able to renew the plot where it grew the preceding year, so the soil does not get out of balance.
Products labelled dairy-free mean they are free of dairy products. No regulatory definition exists for the term, dairy-free. That means that the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has not established any regulations regarding use of that terminology on package labels. Of course, the FDA does not allow the use of false and misleading terms in general on food labels. But without a regulatory definition in place, there can be no assurance that foods labeled as "dairy free" are in fact free from any milk proteins. We encourage shoppers to look at individual websites of producers to decide for themselves.
Gluten FreeGluten is a protein found naturally in wheat, rye, and barley, and sometimes added to other foods as a thickening agent. Gluten free means, the products do not contain any of those grains, and must not have a detectable amount of gluten. This label applies typically to items in Baked goods, Pantry, and Quick meals. Read more from conumer reports.org
Grass fed beef simply means that the cattle were allowed to forage and graze for their own fresh food. They may be given close substitutes like alfalfa during the winter, but unlike grain-fed animals, the emphasis is still on providing the closest thing to a natural diet as possible. Grains are higher in calories, and encourage the cows to grow much faster and cheaper, but grass is much higher in key nutrients like Omega-3s and B vitamins, and result in steaks that are leaner, healthier, and much more flavorful.Grass fed does not imply organic or certified organic. Read more from Foodrevolution.org
Locally GrownLocal food is a movement which aims to connect food producers and food consumers in the same geographic region; in order to develop more self-reliant and resilient food networks, improve local economies, or for health, environmental, community, or social impact in a particular place. Our local food is typically sourced with 250 miles of Madison.
Multi AnimalsThis means the producer has a bio diverse farm incorporating sustainable farming practices of raising multiple animals. Typically such farms are more environemntally friendly and better for the planet. There is no official certification for this that we are aware of.
Non GMO label means best practices for GMO avoidance are voluntarily adhered to by the producer. Some of the producers may be officially "Non-GMO Project Verified" which is a certification done by the nongmoproject non-profit organization. We encourage shoppers to read through producer pages. Read more from nongmoproject.org
Pasture RaisedPasture-raised refers to where animals get fed. Pasture raised animals receive a significant portion of their nutrition from pasture and stored dried forages. Unlike 100% grass-fed cows, pasture-raised cows may receive supplemental grains, both during the grazing season and into winter months.
VeganVegan is defined as containing no animal ingredients or by-products, using no animal ingredients or by-products in the manufacturing process, and not tested on animals by any company or independent contractor. Certified Vegan is a label provided by vegan.org. On Square Harvest, the Vegan filter will show you products that are vegan, even if the producer does not have certification from vegan.org.
VegetarianThis means the commonly held meaning of vegetarian.