Natural. All Natural. 100% natural.. Made with…….. yadda yadda yadda. Frankly, the words don’t mean much anymore.
As I walk through the isles at the grocery store, I have to admit, I’m enticed by the concept of natural. I’m obsessed with feeding my family healthy organic foods. And why not? We all want to give our bodies the best food we possibly can. So, why then isn’t “natural” food a good thing?
I believe most people consider “natural” to be organic, or close to it. But the honest truth, it doesn’t really have anything to do with untreated, non-gmo, pesticide free food. It has more to do with the company not using artificial ingredients in its product.
To me, this is deceptive. In one regard “natural” does mean what it supposes, but on the other hand, I’m convinced it is used to lure people into a false idea, and that idea being “organic”. Does anyone remember “all natural” products being so prevalent before the popularity of organic foods? I certainly don’t. So to me, there seems to be a correlation.
What is Organic?
Organic means growers and processors must not use any chemicals or genetic engineering in its foods. In other words, to be organic certified, a farmer must not use chemicals in their fields and all pest control must be certified by federal standardization.
Organic standards also exclude genetically modified seeds (like Monsanto’s roundup ready soybean).
”Natural” offers no such guarantee. Why? because there’s no global standard by which a grower, processor or seller must follow. We are basically taking their words for it. To me, it’s a ploy to sell products.
Organic does not always mean healthy
Before you come unglued, please let me explain. The “organic” standard is based on EXCLUSION. This means that farmers are not allowed to use certain chemicals. However, this dose not mean they are required to INCLUDE things.
When I talk about healthy foods, I’m talking about foods that are nutritious. Fruits and vegetables that nourish the body. I assume they are loaded with vitamins and minerals. They also contain vital nutrients for healthily growing and maintaining our bodies.
So what’s lacking?
Organic farmers are not required to introduce micro-nutrients into the soil. These trace elements are essential for fruits and vegetables to take up and store and then pass on to the person who ingests it. But if a farmer is only introducing nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium, they are producing vegetables severely lacking in the some 70+ elements our bodies need and thrive on. Therefore, just because a market is selling “organic” produce, it is not necessarily selling HEALTHY produce. Even though they are following the governments organic standards.
What’s the answer?
Grow your own. I know that sounds blunt. But is there any other guarantee that what we’re eating is truly organic and nutritious at the same time? I know that many readers may not have land to grow their own food. Some live in apartment buildings or have very little plots to grow on. My answer then, is to befriend the local farmers in your area. Shop the farmer’s markets and get to know the growers. Don’t be afraid to ask them the important questions like, “Do you use organic fertilizers only”, or “do you add micronutrients to the soil in the form of organic compost and essential rock dust minerals”. Hopefully they will be honest with you so you are able to make an informed decision about your food buying. After all, your health depends on it.