Organic vs Natural Products
Marketing can be very misleading. A lot of times words that trigger some emotional response are used to target the consumer. Like natural, cage free, free range – these are all words that sound nice, but what do they really mean? Today were going to take a look at a comparison between Organic vs Natural. And what each of those actually entail!
Definition: produced or involving production without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or other artificial agents.
So organic products don’t have harsh chemicals that conventional products have. However, this can be misleading because even organic products can (and usually do) have fertilizers or pesticides that are organic.
Now why might organic be better?
Well, even though organic pesticides and fertilizers are used, there are never any GMO (genetically modified organism) ingredients in organic products. Studies have shown that GMOs can have adverse effects on the body and are actually banned in countries like Italy.
Also, organic farming is so much better for the soil. Just how your choices at the grocery store dictate your health, they also dictate the health of the earth. Non organic foods are sprayed with extremely toxic chemicals that kill everything other than the crop itself. This includes the living organisms that a plant needs to grow and make the soil nutrient rich. Once those organisms are killed off they are replaced with synthetic fertilizers made up from you guessed it, more toxic chemicals. Which is incredible hard on the soil and after a few years can make the soil impossible to grow out of.
Organic farming also supports the pollinators. Recent studies have found that the bees are the most important animal on the planet. If the bees were to die out everything else would as well, including humans. Chemical Herbicides and Pesticides do not differentiate between good and bad bugs, it simply kills them all. Organic farming practices healthy growing techniques that aim to maintain that necessary level of biodiversity.
Unlike organic products, the FDA and USDA do not have any standards or requirements for labeling products as natural or all natural.
So, what does natural mean? Well, not much. At least in the U.S. anyway. In some places in Europe the word is defined and enforceable, but not here in the united states. So all in all it is a marketing term meant to appeal to consumer.
But still, lets take a look at some potential meaning of the word “natural” in our products.
The truth is almost all foodstuffs are derived from the natural products of plants and animals. Yes. Almost All. Natural foods are very often assumed to be foods that are not processed, or do not contain any food additives, hormones, antibiotics, sweeteners, food colors, preservatives, or flavorings that were not originally in the food. In fact, many people (63%) when surveyed showed a preference for products labeled “natural” compared to the unmarked counterparts, based on the common belief (86% of polled consumers) that the term “natural” indicated that the food does not contain any artificial ingredients. However, this is untrue. All it means is that somewhere down the line it was derived from plants or animals.
Natural doesn’t really mean anything special when it comes to food or ingredients. It is truly a marketing term meant to entice consumers. Organic, however, is regulated and products don’t have any GMOS or chemical fertilizers, pesticides or artificial agents. This doesn’t mean organic pesticides aren’t used. If we are truly looking for the purest form of ingredients we want biodynamic. Stay tuned for our next blog on biodynamic farming.
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