Health Tips from Riesbeck Food Markets

The Truth about Natural and Organic Foods

Are natural and organic foods more nutritious?

Many are confused by the labeling terms “natural” and “organic” because they seem interchangeable with one another. However, natural and organic mean two different things in the food labeling world. Before answering the question about whether natural and organic foods are more nutritious, it is important to understand what these labeling terms mean.

The term natural is not regulated for most foods—only for products containing meat and eggs. Other items labeled as natural are generally less processed, but because there is no standard definition, it is broadly applied to products. Organic is a more tightly regulated term indicating foods produced through approved methods that promote environmental sustainability. These methods do not use any genetically engineered seeds or crops, sewage sludge, or synthetic fertilizers. While there are environmental benefits to naturally and organically grown foods, there is insufficient scientific evidence to say these foods are more nutritious than conventionally grown foods.

The bottom line is that natural and organic products are produced in different ways than conventional foods. Just because a food is natural or organic, does not mean it is more nutritious. You need to compare the nutrition facts panel and ingredient list to help you make the most nutritious choice.

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