Understanding Natural & Organic Food

By none on July 01, 2008

Understanding Natural & Organic Food: Naturally Savvy

Organic products differ from natural in that “organic” refers to farming methods used to grow and process our food and fiber supply without the use of pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics, additives, growth-hormones or irradiation. Organic food is minimally processed so fewer nutrients are lost and thus maintains its wholesome value. In addition, organic food is not genetically altered – a process commonly referred to as a genetic engineering or genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

In October of 2002, The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) established national criteria for food labeled “Organic” - whether or not they are grown in the U.S. – called “The National Organics Program” (NOP). These criteria are set in place to ensure you, the public, that the organic food you are buying upholds the highest standards for production and handling in the world. For the USDA’s definition of “Organic” and to learn more about The National Organics Program, Click Here. Understanding the definition of organic food is essential to differentiate between natural and organic products.

Natural refers to the ingredients used in the products. Presently, there’s no legal definition for “natural” products in the U.S. – with the exception of fresh produce, dairy and meat. However, industry organizations have petitioned the FDA to create one. Because you can’t guarantee that the products you are shopping for are “natural”, read product labels carefully to ensure they are made from 100% natural food ingredients and are not chemically processed. They should be preservative, additive and/or trans-fat free, and they should not contain animal by-products, artificial colors or flavors, hydrogenated oils and/or fillers. For the most accurate information and for a full disclosure of a products ingredients, contact the manufacturer directly. Or, feel free to visit their website.

Therefore, it is important to remember that “Organic” and “Natural” DO NOT mean the same thing, so the terms are not interchangeable.

By none| July 01, 2008
Categories:  General

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