The Difference Between Organic and Natural Food

Photo (cc) by thebittenword.com

When you shop for groceries, do you look for labels that say “Organic” or “Natural”? Believe it or not, there’s a huge difference between these two seemingly synonymous terms.

Organic foods are produced without pesticides, chemical fertilizers, or antibiotics and grown using renewable resources while conserving soil and water. A label that says “Certified Organic” or “100% Organic” is backed by the USDA through it’s National Organic Program (NOP), so there’s a minimum amount of accountability placed on food manufacturers to live up to the organic claim.

Natural food, however, is not USDA regulated, meaning natural food is only as reliable as the company producing it. So, if you know and trust the supplier, it’s probably ok. If not, stick with organic.

Buying eggs? “Cage-Free” and “Free-Roaming” aren’t tightly regulated either.

The government says they’re working to create more rules and regulations for organic… but they’ve been saying that for years. So for now, just make sure you’re getting what you pay for.

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