Friday, April 11, 2008

Q & A

Is there a difference between labels that say all natural compared to ones that say organic????

Yes, there is a difference between the term “natural” and the term “organic”. When “natural” is included on a food label it applies broadly to foods that are minimally processed and free of synthetic preservatives, artificial sweeteners, colors, flavors and other artificial additives, growth hormones, antibiotics, hydrogenated oils, stabilizers, and emulsifiers. Most foods labeled natural are not subject to government controls beyond the regulations and heath codes that apply to all foods. Exceptions include meat and poultry. The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSTS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) requires these to be free of artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, preservatives and ingredients that do not occur naturally in food. Natural meat and poultry must be minimally processed in a method that does not fundamentally alter the raw product. In addition, the label should explain the use of the term natural, eg, no artificial ingredients.
“Organic” refers not only the food itself, but also how it is produced. Foods labeled organic must be certified under the National Organic Program (NOP), which took effect October 21, 2002. They must be grown and processed using organic farming methods that recycle resources and promote biostability—two key elements of environmentally sustainable agriculture. Crops must be grown without using synthetic pesticides, bioengineered genes, petroleum-based fertilizers and sewage sludge-based fertilizers. Organic livestock must have access to the outdoors and be given no antibiotics or growth hormones. Organic foods may not be irradiated.

But let's not confuse "all natural" or "organic" with healthy.

Also interesting are these terms used in cosmetics.


molly said...

wow. Good and thorough answer.

Anonymous said...

Yeah well that's because the answer was plagiarised from the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) website: