Organic vs Natural Foods: Your Guide to Healthy Living

Organic-food-marketOrganic vs natural. During the past 50 years, we have experienced a dramatic spike in obesity and chronic illnesses. Why are so many people overweight, unhealthy and suffering from diseases like cancer, stroke, heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes? Many of these problems can be directly attributed to the “modern diet” of overly processed foods filled with additives, preservatives and chemicals.

Healthy food choices should include natural, “organic” foods, once only available in health food stores and specialty shops. These fruits and vegetables are now available in nearly all markets and supermarkets.

But what does “organic” mean and why should you care?

These food labels describe how the produce is grown or farmed, their farmers and growers conserve natural resources like water, strive to minimize pollution by using natural fertilizers and plant-based pest and weed control and practice practical crop rotation. Nonorganic growers use petroleum-based herbicides and pesticides and their goal is quantity over quality.

Completely organic produce like fruit, vegetables, and eggs (single ingredient foods) can be classified as 100% organic and carry the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) seal. Foods with more than one ingredient can use the USDA organic label IF the food item contains all organic ingredients or 95% of these ingredients. If a food product has less than 70% organic content it cannot use the USDA label or state in its ingredients that it contains these materials.

Are organic and natural the same thing?

No, they are not the same thing. Your food product may be “natural”, a “whole food”, even “hormone free” but not necessarily organic. For any food item to claim to be organic it must have been grown and processed following the USDA system. As an example, an apple is natural, but may have been grown using petroleum-based fertilizers and chemical pesticides.

The main difference between these two foods is the health and nutrition quality and issues of the environment and the elimination of chemical pesticides, herbicides and food additives. Many who follow this diet do so for health reasons to eliminate toxins and foods and to avoid allergies to chemicals.

Is it too late to change?

Many of us have been eating unhealthy foods, toxins and chemicals our entire lives. We’re usually short on time, running to work and taking care of children and the house. We grab snacks at the vending machine or fast food at the window on the way home. We learned these unhealthy eating habits from our parents, from advertising, from friends, and from society. And now we’re teaching these same unhealthy habits to our children.

It’s not too late to help your family break this cycle of unhealthy eating, obesity, and chronic disease. Learn to bring your family together with delicious, natural wholesome meals – from simple, organic, whole foods and rich in nutrients. Learn more about The Complete Guide to Healthy Eating.

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