Epilepsy Talk

Is it Organic? | April 7, 2018

For quite some time, there’s been an explosion of health food products on the market, specifically advertised as either “organic foods” or “natural” foods.

Most people don’t know that there is a major difference between “organic” and “natural” foods, believing that the two are interchangeable.

But there’s a huge difference between a food labeled “natural” and one that is labeled “organic.”

Unfortunately, the two titles get tossed around a lot, to the point where no one seems to be able to determine which is which, creating a lot of confusion for people who are truly concerned with purchasing the best and healthiest products available.

What’s the difference between “organic” and “natural”? Isn’t “natural food” just as safe and healthy as “organic food”?

Here’s the beginning of the answer. “Natural” does not mean “organic” and comes with no guarantees.

“Natural” foods are often assumed to be foods that are minimally processed and don’t contain any hormones, antibiotics or artificial flavors.

In the United States, however, neither the FDA nor the USDA has rules or regulations for products labeled “natural”.

As a result, food manufacturers often place a “natural” label on foods containing heavily processed ingredients.

What about organic?

“Organic” is the most heavily regulated food system.

Only “organic” guarantees no toxic synthetic pesticides, toxic synthetic herbicides, or chemical NPK fertilizers are used in production, and no antibiotics or growth hormones are given to animals.

Organic producers and processors also are subject to rigorous announced — and unannounced — certification inspections by third-party inspectors to ensure that they’re producing and processing “organic” products in a manner you and your family can trust.

Natural Food: “Natural” food items are minimally synthesized. Stringent standards don’t exist for natural food products in many parts of the world.

Certification Agencies

Organic food: Many countries have certification bodies, the most prominent being the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Natural food: The International Association of Natural Products Producers (IANPP) is trying to get the definitions for “natural food” into solid place. It should be noted that this association is not a certification body.

Food Labels

Organic food: Organic” labels have legal implications. A manufacturer must follow the specified rules and regulations before using the “organic” label.

Natural food: “Natural” labels are normally used freely by manufacturers due to lack of adequate guidelines.

Food Demand

Organic food: There is considerably more for “organic” food than for “natural” food. Organic food is readily available all over the world and people buy it more every year.

Natural food: The demand for “natural” food is increasing, but not nearly as much as for “organic” food.

Health Benefits

Organic Food: There is no evidence to prove that “organic” food is healthier than non-organic food.

People prefer organic food because they feel that it is safer than conventional food since chemicals are not used in its production.

However, recent research on the health benefits of organic milk has boosted the spirits of organic food lovers.

Recent research suggests that choosing organic food can lead to increased intake of nutritionally desirable antioxidants and reduced exposure to toxic heavy metals.

Natural Food: People prefer “natural” food because they believe excessive processing of food items disturbs the implicit health benefits.

In contrast to the FDA, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) does regulate use of the word “natural” when applied to meats, poultry, and eggs, stating that a “natural food is a product containing no artificial ingredient or added color and is only minimally processed”.

Although consumers purchasing natural meat, poultry, and eggs can be confident that there are no artificial ingredients or colors added, it’s important to note that “natural” does not necessarily mean hormone-free or antibiotic-free; these are separate labels, also regulated by the USDA.

Example:

Foods with an “organic” seal are certified organic and contain at least 95% organic content.

Organic food is produced using approved organic farming methods that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity.

Specifically, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, irradiation, and genetic engineering may not be used to produce organic food, meaning that organic food products are not genetically modified and have not been treated with synthetic pesticides or fertilizers.

Unless the FDA adopts a stricter definition of “natural”, consumers trying to make informed decisions should be wary of the “natural” food label and pay close attention to ingredient lists, or choose “organic” foods that have been produced through a closely regulated process.

But the important question is – “Why do some people prefer organic food and some people prefer natural food?”

Because some people have the belief that synthesizing a food item results in some level of loss of its nutrients and beneficial properties.

Therefore, they demand “natural” foods.

“Organic” food fans, on the other hand, want their food to be free of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and preservatives, so they choose organic.

Apparently, the demand for “organic” food is more than “natural” food because organic food seals are guaranteed and monitored by the government.

An act similar to the Organic Food Products Act is necessary for “natural” food products as well, but it has not occurred at this time.

When buying “organic,” look for the following regulated terms on food labels:

Food labeled “100% organic” has no synthetic ingredients and can legally use the USDA organic seal.

A good example of the difference between “natural” and “organic” is a prepackaged fruit bar.

If the bar contains only certified organic ingredients it may be labeled as 100% organic.

If it contains 95% organic ingredients, it may also be labeled as organic.

If the bar is 70% organic, it may be labeled as “made with organic ingredients.”

Anything below this, however, does not have the right to be labeled “organic” or carry the USDA seal.

If the fruit bar were simply made with a majority of fruit and nut ingredients, however, it could potentially be called “natural” while still containing a large amount of added refined sugars, preservatives and chemical components.

Food labeled “organic” have a minimum of 95% organic ingredients. It is eligible to use the USDA organic seal.

Food labeled “made with organic ingredients” must contain at least 70% organic ingredients. It is not eligible for the USDA seal.

Meat, eggs, poultry, and dairy labeled “organic” must come from animals that have never received antibiotics or growth hormones.

That said, it’s almost impossible to get organic meat.

It should be noted the USDA has yet to set standards for organic seafood or cosmetics. Most cosmetics are blends, including ingredients that may or may not be organic.

Experts recommend spending most of your organic food dollars on produce, as it is most likely to contain pesticides.

Reviewing 41 published studies comparing the nutritional value of organically grown and conventionally grown fruits, vegetables, and grains, certified nutrition specialist Virginia Worthington concluded there were significantly more of several nutrients in organic crops.

These included: 27% more vitamin C, 21.1% more iron, 29.3% more magnesium, and 13.6% more phosphorus.

In addition, organic products had 15.1% less nitrates than their conventional counterparts.

She also noted that five servings of organic vegetables (lettuce, spinach, carrots, potatoes and cabbage) provided the recommended daily intake of vitamin C for men and women, while their conventional counterparts did not.

Worthington said the results are consistent with known soil dynamics and plant physiology.

Also, organic produce has been found to be higher in antioxidants than its conventional counterparts.

And according to the EPA web site — because kids’ immune systems are not fully developed — they may be at greater risk from some pesticides than adults.

The web site also notes that the 1996 Food Quality Protection Act set tougher standards to protect infants and children from pesticide risks.

 

To subscribe to Epilepsy Talk and get the latest articles by email, simply go to the bottom box of the right column, and click on “Follow.”

 

Resources:
http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/organic-food-is-natural-worth-the-extra-cost
http://www.naturalnews.com/040509_organic_USDA_farming.html
http://www.organicitsworthit.org/organic-food-article/nutritional-considerations
http://www.stonyfield.com/blog/natural-and-organic/
https://www.organicfacts.net/organic-products/organic-food/difference-between-organic-and-natural-food.html
http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/nutrition/healthy-eating/the-difference-between-natural-foods-and-organic-foods.html


13 Comments »

  1. My new email is garrydcarrier@gmail.com

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Like

    Comment by garrycarrier@dccnet.com — April 7, 2018 @ 3:41 PM

  2. Now the ORGANIC FOOD INDUSTRY is connecting their foods to the NON-GMO logo to go on some of their ORGANIC FOOD PACKAGES. BUT,,,,, even if you see the GREEN & WHITE ORGANIC LOGO,,, & there are very little to NO food additives & chemicals listed, DO NOT BELIEVE there are NO MSG’s or other EXCITOTOXINS in that ORGANIC food. I learned that the HARD WAY from a granola snack food made & put out by PURELY ELIZABETH’S that I will never ever buy again to eat, as 3 to 4 small pieces created a GRAND MAL SEIZURE. THE DARK ACT made these things possible for the ORGANIC & NON-GMO food corporations to team together, as it requires NO FOOD LABELS & these companies can add anything they want to and not list what is in it, if it is under 2% of that total amount required by FDA & USDA. So when maybe 5 or more additives are used under 2% of each, just figure 1.90% is used, X’s 5 to 10 additives/chemicals, then you have a food with 10 to near 20% toxic chemicals in it, with NO WARNING TO YOU they are in there. Wonder Why? seizures happen with ORGANIC / NON-GMO foods ? That’s a good reason WHY. READ the labels if you find them on the NON-GMO / ORGANIC foods & drinks. Notice the few things listed, when they are not using the REQUIRED % percentages to list EVERYTHING over a 2% & above amounts that everything must then be listed. The foods that claim MAY HAVE 2% or less of the following ”’inactive ingredients”’,, WHY do they effect all health if they are to be INACTIVE & a GKAS additive approved by FDA & USDA ? Right, everything where ingredients matter are ACTIVE. Neurologists all know this too.

    Like

    Comment by C D — April 7, 2018 @ 4:14 PM

    • Thanks for your enlightenment C D.

      Like

      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — April 7, 2018 @ 4:27 PM

    • Before 1970, everyone was much healthier than all people now. the reason why, is because no foods were full of pesicides or had any other chemicals in them. My epilepsy was healthier back then. From that year until 4 years ago, I was having many more seizures than I do now. since 4 years ago, I eat organic foods.

      Like

      Comment by whittemore1958 — April 7, 2018 @ 5:22 PM

      • I agree and completely understand why. Even though it’s sometimes difficult or even impractical.

        Especially when you eat in restaurants!

        Like

        Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — April 7, 2018 @ 5:50 PM

  3. So if foods listed ‘organic’–why are some things still
    found to have small amounts of preservatives, etc.?
    I would think this should be classified as non-organic unless they are 100% free

    Like

    Comment by Karen — April 7, 2018 @ 4:31 PM

  4. What does EPA really know about any human brain ? A kids immune system is one thing to be effected, but when their brain does not react to the things it get effected by because it is not DEVELOPED YET at their ages,, Ask WHY,, & How it takes 25 to 30 years ””’SO THE NEW REPORT CLAIMS”” for a HUMAN BRAIN TO BE 100% FULLY DEVELOPED, when back from 1950 to 1970, after 15 to 18 years a human brain was then fully developed ? How many food from 1950 -1970 were all saturated with MSG’s, ASPARTAME’s & other toxic chemicals & additives compared to years from 1973 & the MICROWAVE was introduced, 1980 to present day as it is worse today than in 1980, 90 or 2000. Nobody tells us that how FDA, USDA, BIG PHARMA, EPA, CDC, & NAN,, will never ever mention those facts in how human brains will get damaged by these things. Let’s not forget how bad TOOTHPASTES & MOUTHWASHES ARE TODAY. The quickest way to get something to the brain,, you know. So any adult brain has NO CHANCE to win against BIG PHARMA, FOOD CARTELS, NAN, MONSANTO, EPA,CDC, USDA & FDA. A kids brain knows no better, as mine was that way to a degree, until after I was 5 years old when I NOTICED first what was happening. Nobody then cared, and it’s still that way today 52 years later.

    Like

    Comment by C D — April 7, 2018 @ 4:37 PM

  5. I have been going organic down to my toothpaste, mouthwash, shampoo and conditioner. I found out I was allergic to some inactive ingredients in the pills I was on back in 2016. Sorbitol, which is in many commercial toothpastes, along with the dyes being among them. Primal Life Organics makes great tooth powder and even has skin care products that are organic. I bought Puracy off Amazon and it removed the junk from a regular EEG on the 1st wash. They make the products of coconut oil and other healthy ingredients like Himalayan Pink Salt. The art work on Puracy is even done by local artists. I have no problem giving to that. All the SLS in commercial shampoos and conditioners, along with all the other junk is gone. SLS is in toothpaste too, we don’t need toxins poisoning our bodies. We get lots of grass-fed meat, butter too that is organic.

    Like

    Comment by trekkie80sgirl — April 7, 2018 @ 5:48 PM

  6. Reblogged this on catsissie.

    Like

    Comment by catsissie — April 7, 2018 @ 6:11 PM


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    About the author

    Phylis Feiner Johnson

    Phylis Feiner Johnson

    I've been a professional copywriter for over 35 years. I also had epilepsy for decades. My mission is advocacy; to increase education, awareness and funding for epilepsy research. Together, we can make a huge difference. If not changing the world, at least helping each other, with wisdom, compassion and sharing.

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