Must Americans (June, 2014 – Consumer Reports) equate the use of the word ‘natural’ on processed food labeling as equivalent to ‘organic’. This short blog is just a rudimentary base so please read everything on products, research on-line and if not there, call the number on the product, I have had to do so to gain needed specific information.
Americans spend over $40 billion on food a year. It would be nice if there was truth in labeling.
There is no specific or official requirement/definition that needs to be met to use ‘natural‘ nor is that product subject to examination. There is a loose concept that labeling natural implies no added artificial color but this is not verified.
To label ‘organic’ a verification of specific criteria is necessary. The process requires renewal and re-verification – not a one-time deal.
ORGANIC means NO:
– genetically modified organism -(esp. GMO seeds)
– synthetic fertilizers
– ionizing radiation
– antibiotic use
– growth hormone (ex. in bovine use of r-BST)
Other common buzz phrases:
– ‘free-range‘ only means animals had access to open space – the option – they need never have been outside!
– ‘no nitrates’ can mean natural nitrates were used. When we eat foods with preservative sodium nitrate our digestive tract converts it to sodium nitrite. Celery juice is used as a ‘natural’ sodium nitrate! While there is controversy over cancers’ relationship to nitrites, realize it is over the fact that no ‘direct’ proof exists for humans. Pretty hard to ever prove ‘behind a shadow of doubt’ a ‘direct’ cause and effect given the complex human body.
What is good for humans to eat is not a straightforward issue!
Read lots and keep current by using reputable websites and sources.