It’s Only Natural to go Organic

By Jeanne Romano

As I push my smallish shopping cart (because I will buy less. Yeah, right) around my local super market I am struck by how many companies these days are promoting the healthy aspect of their products.

So what is the difference between “All Natural and Organic?”

The rule is that only products or produce stamped, “Certified Organic” are allowed to claim that their product is produced or manufactured by methods that are stick to USDA Organic Standards.  “Organic farms avoid using any chemical pesticides or fertilizers that contain synthetic ingredients. These farms employ renewable resources; seeking to conserve water and soil.  Organic farming is not just about producing for today’s market; it’s also about sustaining and improving the soil for future generations. When meats, dairy products, poultry and eggs are labeled organic it means they are produced by animals that have been raised without using growth hormones or antibiotics”.

That sounds good.  However what about products made or grown in Mexican, Central and South American, and South East Asian markets that are faking it? Until very recently there was little or no punishment for this fakery.  According to the Organic-Farming-Compliance-Handbook, “Any operation that knowingly sells or falsely labels an agricultural product as “organic,” may be (may be?) subject to a civil penalty of not more than $10,000 per violation.  Phew, the Feds are on it.

That still leaves us with “all natural.”  Manufacturer’s hope you think this means “healthier.” I have little to say about this other than, “There are all sorts of things that are natural that are not even close to being healthy.”