Know Your Food
There’s a lot of food terminology out there, some of it confusing or vaguely defined. Here’s a quick guide to some of those terms you’ll see at Union Market, and elsewhere:
Food produced without artificial fertilizers or pesticides, antibiotics, growth hormones or other genetic modifications. Producers using the organic label must be certified by a USDA-approved certification agency. Manufactured products must contain a minimum of 95% organic ingredients in order to be certified organic. Products that are 70% - 94% organic can be labeled, “Made with Organic Ingredients.” Anything below 70% gets no certification, but can list those ingredients individually as organic.
Not the same as "organic." There’s no official government standard for "all natural," so producers don’t need to be certified. The USDA defines “natural” products as free of any artificial or synthetic coloring, flavoring or preservative, with only minimal processing of the product and its ingredients.
The highest grade of beef available, representing only 2% of all the beef produced in the U.S. It shows abundant marbling that is evenly distributed throughout the meat, adding flavor and tenderness to those steaks and chops. Veal and lamb can also be graded Prime, but because they’re young and tender to begin with their fat distribution doesn’t impact flavor as greatly as it does with beef.
Still very high quality, but has less marbling than Prime. Choice roasts and steaks from the loin and rib will be very tender, juicy, and flavorful and are, like Prime, suited to dry-heat cooking, such as broiling, grilling, roasting or pan-searing.
Cheeses and dairy products produced exclusively from the milk of the farm’s own herd.
Food from small-scale producers, generally made by hand using traditional methods, with particular attention to quality, taste and appearance.