Health – Natural vs. Organic, Is There a Difference?

Two words, natural and organic, are very confusing and many health conscious persons may be fooled by failing to understand the difference between the two. The following excerpts are very informative.

Natural vs. Organic Cereals

Federal law requires that organic food products be produced promoting ecological sustainability, without the toxic inputs and genetically engineered ingredients common in the conventional food system. Increasingly, organic products are forced to compete with products that claim to be “natural.”

There are no restrictions for foods labeled “natural.” … Unlike the organic label, no government agency, certification group or other independent entity fully defines the term “natural” on processed food packages or ensures that the claim has merit. … Our analysis reveals that “natural” products—using conventional ingredients—often are priced higher than equivalent organic products. This suggests that some companies are taking advantage of consumer confusion.

Company Definitions of “Natural”

[One company] fails to mention that “all natural” does not mean the absence of toxic pesticides and other synthetic inputs in the farms and processing plants that produce the “high-quality ingredients.” … definition of “natural” also does not mean the absence of genetically engineered ingredients.

Corporate “natural” definitions vary widely. Generally, “natural” means the absence of artificial ingredients, commonly referencing preservatives, but does not signify that the ingredients are grown and processed in ways that avoid such “unnatural” inputs as synthetic pesticides and genetically engineered organisms. Various companies’ definitions of “natural” highlight its inferiority to the organic label.

“Some manufacturers continue to use artificial and synthetic ingredients in their granola, and instead of putting the word “natural” on the box, recently have changed the packaging to give the impression of being “natural.” …

[…] granola’s ingredients are anything but wholesome and natural: whole oats, brown sugar, whole grain wheat, corn syrup, rice, almonds, modified corn starch, partially hydrogenated cottonseed and/or soybean oil, high-fructose corn syrup, cinnamon, salt, nonfat dry milk, natural and artificial flavors, poly-glycerol esters of mono- and di-glycerides, malt flavor, niacinamide, zinc oxide, guar gum, sodium ascorbate and ascorbic acid (vitamin C), reduced iron, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin A palmitate, folic acid, thiamin hydrochloride (vitamin B1), BHT (preservative), vitamin B12 and vitamin D.”

Rapid Growth of “Natural” Foods Industry

The organic market has been growing rapidly for years, reflecting increased consumer awareness of the importance of pure and sustainably produced food. The strategy of multinational corporations to profit from this consumer interest with their “natural” marketing appears to be successful, according to a report by the research firm SPINS.

… companies shifted toward cheaper “natural” options during the recession, allowing them to market their products to the same concerned consumer target audience, while using cheaper conventional ingredients that they could source at conventional prices.

The word natural may not have the same meaning to you and me as it would to a corporation. We need to be on our guard at all times; so do a little research before you buy and also read carefully the ingredients on packages.

God has provided us with one body to watch over and to care for so that the Holy Spirit may work in and through us to reach others. Satan would love to destroy this temple and looks for opportunities to do so when we are least observant.