Natural foods are organic and have very little processing and remain as close as possible to their natural state.
For examples: brown rice, almonds, certain apple juices. Natural foods do not have to adhere by the same rigorous standards as organic foods do. On the other hand, the term “natural” generally means a product has no artificial ingredients or preservatives and free of artificial ingredients.
Natural foods can be organic, but not all organic foods are natural, for example, may have been produced on a farm that has not been certified organic. Whenever you want to be sure that what you are eating is organic, look for the “organic” labeling, which means they have been certified as meeting the Agriculture Department standards.
Just try to remember all these terms and their meanings can be confusing. To make labels more consistent and understandable, the Department of Agriculture is now developing standards for labels like grass-fed, pasture-raised and others that will be subject to Agriculture Department inspection. Also, many individual food producers, dairies, farms and orchards have web sites you can visit to find out more about their standards. You can also find ratings and other label information from respectable consumer groups online.
Natural foods are not regulated and do not meet the same standards that organic foods do.
Then again, organic means to produce, manufacture and handle foods labeled “organic”, Natural foods do not contain ingredients such as refined sugars, refined flours, milled grains, hydrogenated oils, sweeteners, food colors or artificial flavorings. On the contrary, organic foods are processed using renewable sources.
Certification bodies monitor the organic foods, by visiting the farm or plant where they are processed, to ensure that they are produced according to the production standards set by them. On the other hand, natural foods do not have any certifying body. Organic foods carry labels, which distinguish them from others. Legal implications are related to the labeling of organic foods, whereas there are not strict rules for labeling the natural foods.
Organic foods were historically grown on small, family-run farms, limiting the sale of these goods to small local food markets and farmers’ markets. Natural foods has become much more popular and widely available today, as evidenced by the growing number of natural organic retailers. The sales of organic and natural foods have flourished as well, significantly out pacing the growth of conventional food sales.
Natural and organic foods have become more and more popular for a number of reasons, the most significant of which is the benefits associated with naturally grown foods. Although there is some disceptation over the details, organic foods nonetheless have a reputation of being healthier, safer, and more sustainable than conventionally grown foods.
You can buy a wide variety of organic foods, including cereals, fruit, vegetables, milk, eggs, cheese, yogurt, meat, coffee, tea and fruit juice. Many organic convenience foods also are available, such as soups, cookies, crackers, breads, cake mixes and snack foods.
Nowadays a lot of organic snack foods taste the same as their conventional counterparts, while most people agree that fresh, locally grown organic produce does not compare to the alternative. Even organic produce that is not in season and were shipped thousands of miles to reach our food markets cannot compare to the produce found at our farmers markets.
Taste is surely an individual thing, so give organic a try and see what the different are. Try baking a couple of batches of cookies or prepare a couple of bowls of fruit or vegetable salad; use organic ingredients in one and conventional ingredients in the other. Bet you can tell the different!
Natural foods are the fastest growing segment of the foodstuff industry, accounting for 10 percent of the more than $300 billion in annual sales. Consumer demand for natural foods, products is booming and are reshaping the way natural foods, defined by the industry as minimal processing and preservative free, are brought to market.
*/ of interest…