I’m confused by the labeling “natural’ or ‘ all natural”. You could assume that this means the food is as close to nature as possible or in other words minimally processed and free of any additives. However this is not necessarily the case and the definition varies on the country that the food is regulated in. For example in Canada the use of natural when pertaining to food, means that the product has not been significantly altered by processing and is not expected to contain added vitamins, minerals, additives or artificial flavorings. The USA however does not have any rules for the term “natural” in relation to food items. This means that manufacturers can include ingredients that you or I may not consider natural. See it’s confusing and that’s without exploring the rules of other countries that use the term.
Organic foods are grown without chemical pesticides and fertilizers. They are processed without using irradiation solvents, chemical food additives or growth hormones. Producers in many countries need special certification to market any of their products that use the term.
Does organic food taste better? Well the jury is still out and it could be all in our minds because we programming ourselves to think healthier. In reality fresh is best but fresh doesn’t mean organic even at the local farmers market.
Does it contain better nutrients? Nope! Studies show that just because it’s organic doesn’t mean it’s has an increased nutrient value.
So what is the benefit of organic food?
Well studies do show that organic produce has a much lower percentage of detectable pesticide residue. So that’s good. The main benefit though is that by eating organic you are absolutely not eating anything that has been genetically modified. No GMO yippee! On the flip side, that’s one reason the price is higher for organic food. GM foods are cheaper to grow and maintain.
Is organic worth it? It’s really a personal decision you need to make based on your budget, lifestyle and health choices. For my family I choose to go organic for meat, eggs, chocolate (I like the purity), sugar and some of our fruits and vegetables, it’s about maximising our budget for what we feel makes a difference.