One common mistake people perceived is that “natural” and “organic” foods/produce are the same when in fact there are lots of differences between these two properties. They are different and must not be interchanged. To clear things up and to better understand their differences, one should continue reading this write-up as I will explain this in detail. Since I am an organic advocate and strict in choosing the right products, I am promoting organic lifestyle to my readers too.
One of the things to keep in mind when buying organic product is to check the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) label. Organic food refers to food items that are produced, manufactured and handheld using organic means defined by USDA under its Organic Food Products Act. Natural food, on the other hand is not altered chemically or synthesized in any form. Meaning, natural food is not necessarily organic and vice versa.
Here are other differences between “natural” and “organic” foods:
Natural: According to Food Marketing Institute (FMI), “natural” foods are minimally processed and free of artificial sweeteners, colors, flavors, and additive like hydrogenated oils, stabilizers and emulsifiers.
Organic: “organic” foods have strict regulations in these areas.
Natural: labels are normally used freely by manufacturers due to lack of adequate guidelines.
Organic: labels have legal implications. A manufacturer must follow the specified rules and regulations before using the organic label. This label can be green, brown, black or white, and it features a circle with words “USDA Organic” in the center. This label means that the food inside the packaging is at least 95% organic while those products without seal but has a label that says, “Made with Organic Ingredients” are at least 70% organic.
Natural: the demand for natural food is increasing, therefore many food producers have begun labeling their products as natural to appeal to the buyers. Since organic foods are often more expensive than conventional ones, natural foods became a good option for many families.
Organic: there is significantly more organic food than for natural food. The FMI reports that, organic food is neither safer nor more nutritious than conventionally-processed foods, but for those who want to limit their exposure to and consumption of artificial substances, organic is the best.
To maintain a healthy lifestyle, it is better to choose organic products with the USDA label. When you cannot get your products in some organic variety, looking for the “natural” foods may not be a bad idea. Yet, we must remember that these foods are not the same with “organic”. The safer way to do is this: “Read the Label.”