Organic and natural are two terms that are used very loosely when applied to food and body care products. Think about that statement for a second. Most of us go to the local grocery store or drug store and buy the natural product assuming that it is also organic. Most body care products companies and food companies are the culprits behind the idea. They manipulate the definition for purely profitable reasons. Large manufacturers realize that a growing number of consumers who are worried about health issues are attracted to the organic or natural products. The consumer wrongfully assumes that the terms are interchangeable. Research shows that organic products are natural by design but that natural products are much broader in concept.
What is Organic?
Organic products are defined as products that are produced in a way that is healthful for consumers. So, exactly what does this mean to the consumer and their family? The term organic by definition means that the food or body care product was produced chemical free. The organic product is grown on chemical free farmland. Farmers use natural fertilizers on the products that they grow in order to produce organic products. Consequently, they are produced in a healthy chemical free environment.
What is Natural?
We as consumers erroneously assume that natural is organic and that organic is natural. The definition for natural is not precise. Natural products are not held to the same standards as organically grown products. Research shows that many consumers who purchase a natural product are confused by the terms. They assume the natural product is chemical and synthetic free. This is not necessarily a true assumption. Research shows that many natural products contain small amounts of preservatives, additives, and synthetic products. The USDA states that claiming a product is natural does not have anything to do with how the product was grown or produced. In addition, consumers should never assume that a natural product is completely healthy or produced in an environmentally friendly way. According to the USDA, any company that follows and passes standard codes or regulations set by the agency are legally allowed to claim the product they produce is natural.
Natural is a much more broader based term while organic is clearly defined. Here is how to stay ahead of the game. Check the contents on the packaging to see if it is truly organic. Words like chemical and synthetic free should be clearly printed on the package. The product might also contain terms like not tested on animals, paraben free, or organically grown. Natural products contain broad terms like great tasting, natural, or healthy.
Organic or Natural