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This article was published April 18, 2014 at 1:46 a.m.

DEAR HELOISE: Could you please reprint what “organic” means?

  • A Reader, via email

DEAR READER: According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, for crops to be considered certified organic, it means that no synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, prohibited pesticides, irradiation or genetically modified organisms were used.

For livestock, no growth hormones or antibiotics can be used, and they have to meet certain health and welfare standards.

There are three labels you might come across: “100 percent organic,” “organic” and “made with organic ingredients.”

“100 percent organic” is just as the label says - 100percent of it was made using organic ingredients. “Organic” means at least 95 percent of it was made with organic ingredients, and “made with organic ingredients” means at least 70 percent of its ingredients are organic.

If food has a “USDA Organic” seal, it means that it has been certified organic and has met the standards required when a government-approved certified inspector inspected the product.

DEAR HELOISE: When traveling, I pack a plug-in night light and a couple of medium-size binder clips. I plug in the night light in the bathroom so I can find my way in the middle of the night. I use the binder clips to hold window curtains closed if there’s a gap or to hang slacks or skirts if no pants hangers are available.

  • Pam LaRoche, Dover, N.H.

DEAR HELOISE: I keep the flat, square boxes that sticks of butter come in. When I pack a sandwich for lunch, I slide it into the empty box before putting it in my lunchbox. The cardboard keeps the sandwich from getting smashed.

  • A Reader in Illinois

DEAR HELOISE: I wear aprons when cooking. When I would wash them, the straps would get tangled up. Now, before I put them in the laundry, I fold up the straps and rubber-band them.

  • Rhea in Tennessee

DEAR READERS: Here are travel essentials to take on your next trip:

A pillowcase.

A first-aid kit.

A travel alarm clock.

A small sewing kit.

A flashlight and batteries.

Send a money- or time-saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000; fax to (210) 435-6473; or email

MovieStyle, Pages 34 on 04/18/2014

Print Headline: HELPFUL HINTS


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