If you are like most out there, you are likely in search of high quality food at a reasonable price. The food industry has recently flooded the market with marketing tactics that you likely come across everyday, however, are these just marketing strategies, and is the food being marketed to you actually healthy or just a clever cover up? One of the hottest buzzwords within the health nutrition and food industry is “natural” or “all natural”, but what does that even mean?
The USDA defines a product containing no artificial ingredient or added color and is only minimally processed. Minimal processing means that the product was processed in a manner that does not fundamentally alter the product. The label must include a statement explaining the meaning of the term natural (such as “no artificial ingredients; minimally processed”).
The FDA states this, “From a food science perspective, it is difficult to define a food product that is ‘natural’ because the food has probably been processed and is no longer the product of the earth. That said, FDA has not developed a definition for use of the term natural or its derivatives. However, the agency has not objected to the use of the term if the food does not contain added color, artificial flavors, or synthetic substances.” Don’t believe this definition? Check it out here!
Two different government organizations having two different definitions. That being said, can you trust what you are being sold? First of all, most “natural” foods governed by the USDA are in reference to meat, poultry, eggs, etc. The largest problem to “natural” foods is that they give no information about how the animal was raised, fed or even treated. Since the quality of the meat highly depends on the diet, mobility, drugs, hormones and steroids of the animal, you may actually be eating food that is no better than you expected.
In this article, it is evident that the marketing tactics for “natural foods” is scheme and that it just another witty sales tactic. Don’t want to read the article? Just know that $40 Billion dollars of sales went to foods that were marketed as “all natural.”
Bottom line: All natural is a term given for marketing and no longer, if ever has any value for high quality food. Look for other labels that ensure better quality food! If there is one benefit from this label, for what its worth, at least some of your food doesn’t have artificial ingredients and color enhancements after it was slaughtered.
Have more questions? Need more answers on food labeling? Let us know and we will be sure to give you more information!