Since I lunched my blog a few weeks ago, I constantly hear the same question. So, what’s the difference between natural and organic, for food or bodies lotions?
Time for a update 😉
∴ Organic, the official definition:
Organic is all about how a product or food is grown and processed. For a product to be certified organic in most countries, the operations that produce the organic agricultural ingredients […] must all be certified by an accredited organic certifying agent […]. Most organic regulations prohibit the use of pesticides and most other synthetic chemicals, along with irradiation, fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients and bioengineering [aka GMOs]. NSF International
∴ There is no standard for natural labels.
What does it means? A local farmer could include some or all of the components banned in organic products in an item and still stick ‘natural’ on the label on the end product.
Too many other factors — soil conditions, weather, how the produce was transported and stored — come into play. But there’s an additional issue to consider — namely, safety:
- Antibiotics: On many nonorganic farms, cows live in crowded, unsanitary conditions and have few opportunities for exercise—all of which makes them more prone to health problems. These may be given to animals when they are actually sick, or they may be added continuously to their food as a preventive treatment.
- Pesticides: Eating food that’s certified organic means you’re limiting your exposure to the chemicals used to kill plant pests.
- Hormones: What happens when animals are regularly given synthetic hormones, and those hormones make their way into our food supply and ultimately our bodies and your skin? Studies have found links between exposure to synthetic hormones and a number of human health problems including breast and prostate cancer.
∴ Vocabulary session
We need to be aware, as a consumer, that there is today a tremendous organic food (and plants) buinesss that has became a very profitable industry. In the beverage and food industry only, it accounts for USD 23 Billions in 2007!
The one, like myself, that are genuinely keen on a healthy and environmentally-safe lifestyle are the primary victime of green-washing. So, I suggest, lets take the time together to learn about the appropriate vocabulary.
→ Natural: This product label is not synonymous with organic. “Natural” means that the product doesn’t contain any artificial ingredients or colors. These products are also minimally processed.
→ Organic : Organic products take ‘natural’ several steps further: they are made with non-GMO ingredients that have been grown, raised, harvested, manufactured and preserved without chemical herbicides, pesticides, fungicides, antibiotics – giving you products with fewer contaminants.
→ Free-Range: “Free-range” or “free-roaming” means that the animals have access to the outdoors. (Note: I could not find any information on the exact standard for how much access they have)
→ Antibiotic-free: Farms that use fewer antibiotics have been shown to have fewer resistant bugs, which may make their products safer when they reach the table (though studies are still preliminary).
→ Hormone-free: Any milk lover here? The presence of hormones is one of the most significant differences between conventional and organic milk products, even if there still isn’t absolute evidence that hormones are dangerous.
→ Transitional: It means that the product has been cultivated according to organic standards, but the soil and farm conditions haven’t yet completely met organic standards or the farm’s organic status is pending.