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Element 99
Discussion » Questions » Food and Drink » What's the difference between natural and organic?

What's the difference between natural and organic?

Posted - September 29, 2018


  • 10905
    Nothing...I'm completly natural ,un adulterted ,oranaic and good enough to eat  :)
      September 29, 2018 7:33 AM MDT

  • 24920
    Many experiments would be needed as proof of that.
      September 29, 2018 7:57 AM MDT

  • 10905
    I've been put under the microscope so many time to be physically examined.....and and Petri named me as his favorite Dish actually...Hehe 
    Im an Eyesore what his eye saw ...:) 
      September 29, 2018 8:10 AM MDT

  • 24920
    Some things can be both natural and organic, while others are simply natural, but not organic. The rock is natural only. The flower is both.

    This post was edited by Element 99 at November 21, 2018 4:23 AM MST
      September 29, 2018 8:03 AM MDT

  • 7311
    metaphorically speaking, it is better to be called a flower than a rock. 

    I can see how that would work well here.
      September 29, 2018 10:11 AM MDT

  • 7348
    The USDA usually decides which terms are regulated and what they mean in the US, though the FDA does in some cases too. In these situations, the FDA defers to the guidelines outlined by the USDA.

    Natural: "A product containing no artificial ingredient or added color and is only minimally processed. Minimal processing means that the product was processed in a manner that does not fundamentally alter the product. The label must include a statement explaining the meaning of the term natural (such as "no artificial ingredients; minimally processed")."

    Organic: "Organic is a labeling term for food or other agricultural products that have been produced using cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that support the cycling of on-farm resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity in accordance with the USDA organic regulations. This means that organic operations must maintain or enhance soil and water quality, while also conserving wetlands, woodlands, and wildlife. Synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, irradiation, and genetic engineering may not be used."

    Ergo, virtually everything in the produce department is "natural." It could be bathed in pesticides and genetically modified and still be "natural." It gets a bit murkier when you're getting into foods on the shelf. For example, Cheetos has a "natural" version of their snack. It's "natural" because there's no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. Sprite uses the word too. "100% Natural Flavors." A company can say something is "Made with Natural Ingredients" and not be lying, so long as at least a couple of the ingredients are. And, for the record, even things like GMOs and high-fructose corn syrup are "natural" per the guidelines. 

    So, what does "natural" mean? Nothing. It's a fun word marketers use because it makes people buy stuff. I give a bit more credit to "organic," but "organic" doesn't mean something's healthy either. I could eat organic sugar cane and I'm still eating sugar. I can eat organic beef and still get excess fat. I could eat organic white bread and still be getting empty carbs. (Or grab organic wheat and get twice the fiber. Go me!) 
      September 29, 2018 11:58 AM MDT

  • 7311
    Hi JA~ :)  Going backwards in time (in regards to coming back to this question) normally isn't a good idea but I wanted to thank you and address some great things you brought up in your answer.  
    You were right on the money with the "natural" thing. It is a feel-good word thrown out there for marketing purposes.  Your cheetos example cracked me up!  Don't you just laugh when you see that?!  I happen to love Crunchy Cheetos and when I buy them, I'm not looking for anything natural. 
    About the empty carbs.  Damn. I wish I could remember the name of the product this doc was pushing.  It would be a good reference point.  What I can share with you was what he talked about in his lead-in.
    He said fat cells are fat cells and they will always be with you.  Calories are calories just like the fat cells.  It is better for your body to digest if they are calories your body can use.  The thing that is different in each of us is how you store your fat in your fat cells.  It is an entirely different view on weight management and how to combat the unwanted fat in your fat cells.  We all need our fat cells.  They are part of our survival and maintaining a happy and healthy body.  :) :)
    I took notes on this guys lecture.  I'll get back to you if I can ever find them in my pile of papers and be more specific.  It is some info to back you up but also very interesting.  I thought you might like.  Like you'd ever have the time... but if you did, it would be fun to have.
    Thanks for the great post and talk to you soon!  Happy thoughts and good vibes, always! 

      October 2, 2018 1:11 AM MDT

  • 7348
    I just caught your response. 

    I'd be interested to see the notes if you ever find them. 
      November 21, 2018 8:47 AM MST

  • 11574
    As to foods, natural just means it contains no man-made chemicals or preservatives.  Orangic means it was grown without genetic modification, pesticides, hormones, and antibiotics.  
      September 29, 2018 2:53 PM MDT

  • 22385
    probably not nnuch
      September 29, 2018 4:59 PM MDT

  • 2494
    As JA said. :)
      September 29, 2018 10:31 PM MDT

  • 819
    Organic food refers to the food items that are produced, manufactured, and handled using organic methods defined by certifying bodies such as the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) under its Organic Food Products Act. Natural food, on the other hand, generally refers to food items that are not altered chemically or synthesized in any form. These are derived from plants and animals. Thus a natural food item is not necessarily organic and vice versa.
      November 21, 2018 4:22 AM MST

  • 4617
    Five of seven letters in each word: na-T-U-R-A-L vs. O-R-G-an-I-C. This post was edited by Stu Spelling Bee at November 21, 2018 8:55 AM MST
      November 21, 2018 8:54 AM MST