On one of my Whole Foods shopping trips I had a women stop me and ask, “I just left the hospital and was told I had to adhere to a strict Organic, Gluten-Free diet and you look like you have shopped here before. Can you tell me, is there a difference between the packages that say “Natural” and “Organic”?” Her cart was full of items that said “Natural” on the package but did not have a USDA Organic stamp. I think the labeling is deceiving from a consumer’s perspective but that is why we need to educate ourselves.
Before I started doing research myself I did not know there was actually a difference between “Natural” and “Organic” labeling. Truth be told I think most of us really don’t realize that there IS a difference! A BIG difference!
The use of the term “Natural” is really not regulated by the FDA. Many companies that use the term “Natural” mean that their products have been made without artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, preservatives or thickeners. Which is definitely a good thing, but not good enough in my opinion. Pesticides and herbicides can be used, GMOs can be present, as well as the use of antibiotics and growth hormones-yuck!
When you see the term “Organic” with the USDA Organic logo you can know that the product you are purchasing has followed strict federal guidelines for Organics. You can trust that the organic product was made without the use of toxic pesticides or herbicides, GMOs, antibiotics or artificial growth hormones. But there are also many regulations with the treatment of animals, how they are fed and what they are fed. They also take into consideration the amount of pollution that is created
So when you are considering making a purchase, make an informed decision to know that “Natural” does not equal “Organic”!