Organic vs. Natural – Which is better?

This question continuously comes up.  Which is better – organic or natural products?  Let’s define what each means and then lay out a few things you can expect in each category that will make your decision easier.

The term “organic” is strictly defined in the US by uniform, Federal regulations in strict detail.  While the term “natural” has no clear definition nor enforceable standard within the food industry.  My advice – stick to organic when you have a choice.  If you’re still not convinced, check out these facts and claims:

Organic – Expect and Trust:

  • No toxic synthetic pesticides, herbicides, or fumigants
  • No chemical fertilizers or sewer sludge used as fertilizer
  • No planting of genetically engineered crops or use of cloned animals
  • No synthetic hormones or antibiotics
  • No artificial preservatives
  • No artificial colors or synthetic flavors and sweeteners
  • No trans fats
  • No irradiation

Natural – Claims:

  • No pesticides or artificial chemicals
  • No artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, preservatives, or other additives
  • “Family farm” raised
  • “Only natural ingredients”
  • “Whole ingredients” or “natural” foods
  • “GMO free”

In addition, “natural” produce may be grown using synthetic pesticides, including several posing risks to people and the environment, manufactured from crops grown with conventional, energy-intensive fertilizers, and frequently contain one or more products derived from genetically engineered corn or soybeans.  Due to the lack of enforced regulation regarding “natural” produce, choose organic whenever possible.

Similar Posts