Sorting out “Natural” from “Organic”


There are so many marketing technics that can fool us into thinking a food product is healthful. Some of these are the generous use of terms like “All Natural” or “Gluten Free” or “Verified non GMO.”

The fact is, not one of those terms guarantees that the product is healthful! But don’t give up in despair and think you need a college course to get it straight! Just keep in mind these few basics:

1) Natural, 100% natural, All natural – you can pretty much assume that this product doesn’t cut it. The FDA does not regulate or specifically define the use of these terms, and allows for them to be applied to refined sugar and flour, etc. (I will never forget seeing a bottle of “Naturally Smoked Artificial Bacon Bits”!)

2) Gluten Free – NOT a synonym for “healthy”! Many foods on the gluten-free aisle contain sugar, white flour, artificial sweeteners, and other chemical additives. As always, it is essential to read the list of ingredients before buying.

3) Verified non-GMO – sounds wonderful, but unfortunately, we have learned that this term is not interchangeable with “organic.” Although all organic foods must be non-GMO, not all GMO foods are required to be organic. Non-GMO crops are often grown with chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

4) ORGANIC – this one is subdivided into 3 groups:

a) Made with Organic Ingredients – the product must contain at least 70% organic ingredients that are identified as such in the ingredient list, and show the certifying agency on the label. This leaves open the option of 30% non-organic ingredients in the product.

b) Organic – the same rules as above, only these products must contain 95% organic ingredients; that means they can have 5% non-organic ingredients.

c) 100% organic – this product must contain 100% organic ingredients, and of course list them and show the certifying agency on the label,

We left your best choice for last! 4c), or 100% organic, contains the highest level of healthful food available in a product.

Contact us with any further questions you may have, by responding to this email or by calling us at (562) 861-3896.

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