Now a days everything is about going green, being more natural, and using more organic ingredients and products. Greener products are safer for your body and safer for the environment. However when it comes to being natural or organic most people don’t know the difference. So if you are thinking about switching to a green household or even if you want to make a more health conscious decision the next time you are shopping then make sure you know the difference between natural and organic products. You might be surprised by what you find out.
For the past couple of decades natural and organic products have become more and more frequent in grocery stores. For the most part people thought of natural and organic as one in the same, used interchangeably on product labels. Up until recently no one thought any differently. However there is a huge difference between natural and organic products and consumers are being misled to believe otherwise.
Product labels that advertise natural, all natural, 100% natural or some natural products aren’t necessarily accurate. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), doesn’t regulate products that make the claim of using natural ingredients. The FDA defines natural products as processed without preservatives, or additives and requires a list of ingredients on all products. However, there is no regulation other than that. So even if a product has only one ingredient that is natural, the label can state that its “All Natural” and there is nothing that can prevent it. Unfortunately, this type of marketing has time and time again convinced the public to buy natural products. Rather than reading the label to confirm the ingredients we see a “Natural” label and consider it to mean the product is healthy and safe. This is not always the case. By reading the label you can make a better decision on whether a product is natural, health or safe. Some ingredients that are not natural include lead, mercury, phthalates, and sodium lauryl sulfate. If you see these ingredients on a label and they are claiming to be natural switch to a different brand.
On the other hand organic products are regulated by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and ensure that botanical products were grown in a chemical free environment. There are strict regulations and quality of standards that must be upheld for a product to earn a certified organic seal. Each organic product must be 95-100% organic to be certified. However, new products are now coming out stating made with organic ingredients. Again this makes the consumer’s job tougher to know and understand if the label is accurate. Because it’s claiming organic status, 70% of the ingredients must be organic to make this claim.
Cosmetics, household products, cleaning products, food and pet food are all areas that use both natural and organic labeling. So now you know the difference between natural and organic products, so you can make a smarter and wiser product choice the next time you go shopping. Always remember to read the label before choosing which, brand is right for you.
Sarah Labdar, “Whats the Difference Between Organic & Natural Products?”, Everyday Health