By definition “natural”means existing in or formed by nature as opposed to artificial and “organic” means related to or derived from living manner. At first blush, to me at least,
“natural” and “organic” look like the same thing.
However I know from food labels this couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Neither the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) nor the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) regulate foods that are labeled as “natural” meaning that…
any company can stamp the word natural all over their packaging and it doesn’t mean a thing!
On the other hand in order for a company to use the label “Organic” they must adhere to heavy regulations by the USDA. Hence,
organic label foods have requirements that must be meet,
foods labeled with natural may, at best, have company guidelines that should be meet. I don’t know about you, but…
I would much rather purchase organic labeled foods then henge by bets on natural labeled food.
Recently however I have heard consumers questioning whether or not certain foods are organic and it got me thinking…for example,
can baking soda be organic.
After some digging around this is what I discovered;
By definition, yes, minerals such as baking soda, salt, and others that are found in the ground can be organic. Generally these minerals must undergo some kind of “chemical” process to separate them from other minerals that maybe in the same deposits. Having said that, there are manufacturers that use “natural” processes to separate the minerals. Bob’s Red Mill for example, uses an all natural water process with NO chemicals to extract baking soda or sodium bicarbonate.
Currently the USDA does not classify minerals as “organic”…
however other countries, France for example, do have mineral classifications for organic and very strict requirement. The standards for organic minerals in France are quite high, minerals must be unrefined and all natural, they must be harvested in a protected and non-polluted environment for example, located a minimum of 500m away from main roads. They must also be free from pesticides, chemical residue, industrial fumes and air pollution. Further during the handling of organic minerals workers ca only use untreated wooden or polyethylene tools, as the minerals must not come into contact with any equipment that could be considered polluting.