Tricky Labels: Natural vs. Organic

As I age and become more aware of the food systems used to supply supermarkets. I am concerned about what I am ingesting and how it was made. In the media there are so many messages about what is healthy or what the newest diet or supplement that we all need to be healthy.

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At this point, I have reasoned that eating a diet full of whole fruits and vegetables, grains and lean protein is the best way to go for me. However, I am weary of the possibility that I am eating GMOs (genetically modified foods) or lots of chemicals or preservatives. Major food companies are also that there is a large segment of the population that has similar concerns as well.

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Thus in an effort to appeal to American desire for healthier more natural foods , the labels “natural”, “artisan” or “organic” are being blasted unto the front of food packages. Yet, there is a vast difference between natural and organic. Organic food follows tight regulation and food test in order to claim this status. However, the FDA does not regulate what is considered a natural product thus anything that has any amount of a natural ingredient can be considered 100%.

 

Yet, as a consumer you must remain suspicious of natural products as they can still contain GMOs, anti-biotic and pesticides. The best way to protect yourself is to read the ingredient and make sure you can understand what is actually in your food. Secondly, look for the USDA organic-approved stamp on food packages and in the fresh food aisle to confirm that the product is organic. Don’t allow the “100% natural” buzzword to mislead you.

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Michelle Gill

Fashion & Beauty Writer

Admirer of beauty, collector of knowledge, sometimes food snob and fashion zealot.