The Difference Between Natural And Organic Food

natural and organic food

People have been obsessed with stocking up their pantries with natural and organic food and ingredients ever since those two words shot into the food scene.

However, we often see people buying natural or organic food without stopping to know about the difference between the two. This is probably because they might not even be aware that there is an actual difference. However there is a major difference between these two type of foods.

Companies and their products usually standout among other products of the same nature on the supermarket shelves through the use of labels. This is why we usually gravitate more towards the foods with the labels “100% natural” or “all natural”on them.

Natural Food

These words give us an image of wholesome and minimally processed foods. However, it needs to be kept in mind that a product that is labeled natural does not have to be natural. In fact, the FDA states that “the agency has not objected to the use of the term if the food does not contain added color, artificial flavors, or synthetic substances”. The ambiguity of the policy tends to give a lot of leeway to the food industry when it comes to using the label.

Sounds familiar? This is the case with natural and organic skincare products.

Foods that contain natural flavors, sweeteners, or other substances derived from plants can be labeled as natural. Other than that food containing high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and genetically engineered foods can also be labeled as natural. The FDA also allows the term natural to be applied to meat, poultry, and eggs if there are no artificial colors or flavors added. Even though these products would not have any artificial color or flavors added to them they still may have hormones or antibiotics.

Organic Food

On the other hand, the USDA is very strict, with its Natural Organic Program, keeping a close eye on the authenticity of the food. They do not just let any food item be labeled as “organic” without having it go through a thorough checkup. The foods that are certified organic should have at least 95% organic materials.

Organic food is produced using organic farm methods which are recommended. These methods “foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity”. This especially means that synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, and genetically engineered minerals are not to be included.

Since the “organic” label is backed by legal implication the companies will have to abide by them or otherwise face serious repercussions. It is the use of these labels which have increased the demand for organic food tremendously. A lot of companies and nutritionists advise the consumers to always look for the certification stamp of the FDA on the products before buying them.

All in all, between natural and organic food, you should pay close attention to whether the food really is natural. If you prefer only organic, be on the lookout for the certification stamp or words such as “100% organic” or “certified organic”, when you buy your food products.

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