The demand for organic products has seen a remarkable surge in recent times. One of the few reasons to explain this surge is the desire for healthier living, especially during a global pandemic that threatens to wreak havoc on our immune system.
But while people are sincere in their quest to have healthier diets and are quite determined to buy/use organic, there is the sad reality that most people don’t know the difference between organic and natural products.
Most people seem to confuse organic products with natural products. But the two are not the same—organic products are distinct from natural products, and by the end of this article, you will come to know the difference. Buckle up, and let’s dive into what makes organic diffe0rent from natural products.
What makes organic products unique?
Organic products are grown without fertilizers, herbicides, or artificial pesticides. They have no synthetic preservatives or chemicals, or genetic modification. Different organic products such as meat, eggs, and dairy are obtained from animals that are not given hormones or antibiotics and are fed with natural feed. So, essentially when a product is said to be organic, it possesses specific attributes which mainly stem from the non-use of modern farming methods.
What are Natural products?
Natural products are free of synthetic or artificial ingredients or additives. Such products are derived from plants, animal by-products, and mineral origins found in nature. They do not contain genetically modified organisms as ingredients or any chemical substances. Also, organic products are manufactured to ensure the natural ingredients’ integrity is retained; therefore, these products are not tested on animals.
These days, the term “natural” attributed to certain products has extended to a broader range of products for commercial purposes, such as dietary supplements, cosmetics, and foods produced from natural sources without added artificial ingredients.
Differences between Organic and Natural Products
The cultivation and processing of a product are a simple yet informative way of knowing its similarities and differences. For instance, in organic farming, manures and organic fertilizers like compost, cow dung manure, etc., are used. In contrast, in natural farming, neither organic nor chemical fertilizers are added to the soil.
If a product is truly organic or natural, it was likely cultivated without toxic pesticides or synthetic growth hormones to maximize yield and productivity.
Furthermore, organic products are known to have higher nutritional value when compared to non-organic products. So, whether you are looking at organic foods or contemplating organic skincare, they are safer since you will face less risk of absorbing anything harmful into your bloodstream.
Similarities between Organic and Natural Products
Organic and natural products both discourage farmers from using chemical fertilizers and synthetic pesticides in all agricultural practices. With processing, natural and organic products tend to share similar characteristics; both of them contain no artificial colors or flavors, no artificial preservatives, and no irradiated products or ingredients. Lastly, both of them are not made from genetically modified organisms or seeds.
So, what is my label saying?
Natural and organic products are essential, with the foremost reason being the positive impact on our environment. When a product has a “natural” or “organic” label, it implies that the manufacturer did not use any modern farming methods to cultivate it. So, while good yields were a target for the farmers, they did not use chemicals and herbicides, and genetically modified organisms to maximize output.
These days, people are becoming concerned about the environment and our effect on it; thus, organic and natural products have become the premium choice for many. However, the next time you go shopping, be careful to make the right choices.
While a product labeled “organic” might not necessarily be better than a product labeled “natural,” specific regulations prevent some products from qualifying for the organic label due to fees and size of operation; therefore, you need to look out for a couple of things.
First, check the list of ingredients on the packaging. Yes, it might sound basic, but some people fail to scan the label of their purchases to know their content.
The chances are that if you do not know or can not pronounce/understand the ingredients used to manufacture the product, then it is not organic. Of course, as you keep up with an organic product lifestyle, you will get better at identifying ingredients that sound “strange” and yet qualify for the organic product category.
Another way to spot organic products is to identify the organic label certification. While there certainly are fake labels out there, there are a few ways to avoid being duped. When the product has a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Organic Seal with a 100% Organic claim, 100% of the ingredients are organic, and so is the processing.
When you have a USDA Organic Seal with an organic claim, about 95% of the ingredients are organic and about 5% non-organic. Products with “Made with Organic Ingredients” labels are at least 70% organic, and they are not allowed to have the USDA Organic Claim.
Another Organic Label you can look out for is the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) seal of approval. This seal is relatively standard for products that “Contains Organic Ingredients.” At the moment, NSF is the only American National Standard for organic personal care products. Products under this label have at least 70% organic content by weight.
A Quick Word on Natural Product Labels
Products with the “Natural Products Association Certified” label have biodegradable ingredients, they’ve retained the natural elements during the manufacturing process, and they come in environmentally sensitive packaging. Most importantly, it means almost all the products’ ingredients are from renewable sources of nature.
What’s Your Choice?
The Organic and Natural fad is in vogue now, and from the look of things, it’s here to stay. And hopefully, this article has enlightened you on knowing the difference and making the right choice. While these products can be expensive, you make the right choice whenever you use natural or organic products. Also, contributing directly to these products’ manufacturers’ profit margin is a commendable effort towards protecting the environment. Think about nature, and think of the benefit of avoiding products with toxic chemicals.
Barabde, Neha. www.ugaoo.com. n.d. Online. 19 February 2021.
Mohan, Anoop. https://barealchemy.com/. 23 August 2019. Online. 19 February 2021.
National Sanitation Foundation. www.nsf.org. n.d. Online. 19 February 2021.
U.S. Department of Agriculture. www.usda.gov. 13 March 2019. Online. 19 February 2021.