The term “natural foods” can be used to refer to a number of different types of foods where marketing and labelling is concerned. Hence, the term in itself is quite vague. In general it is used in the definition of foods that have undergone very little (or no) processing, or foods that are made with nothing more than natural products. The term itself does not really guarantee much considering different jurisdictions have their own regulations (or none at all). A country such as the United States does not have any set standards, therefore the term “natural foods” does not mean much.
Often, the term is used to describe foods that do not have any additives or foods that have not undergone a lot of processing. It is also a term used to refer to foods that do not have certain substances such as antibiotics, hormones, food colouring, sweeteners or artificial flavourings.
The vast majority of people seem to prefer foods that have that “natural” label as opposed to other foods with no such marking (regardless of whether that “natural” criterion has actually been enforced and observed). The general consensus is that foods that have these markings do not contain artificial and hence “harmful” ingredients. Many manufacturers misuse the term when they promote or label their food products.
The word “natural” is not recognized by the Codex Alimentarius (of the International Food and Agriculture Organization). Instead, the term “organic foods” does exist and does have a standard.
But it is important to remember that all foodstuffs, whatever they may be, are derived from natural plant and animal products.
There are laws and regulations in countries such as the United States that are meant to protect consumers when they buy food products. Most of these laws and regulations pertain to the packaging and the labelling of these foods.
There are various stores that exclusively sell organic foods. Many general grocery stores also have entire sections dedicated to selling organic foods.
Pros of Organic Foods
1. They are subjected to less processing
Organic food is that that comprises only of “natural” (organic)ingredients and that are allowed to decay naturally (on their own). There are not artificial additives included in organic food products to make them last longer, or to protect them from parasites and weather, among other things. The reason many people turn to organic foods is because non-organic foods contain lots of chemical food condiments, and other substances such as pesticides that were used in the treatment process of these foods.
Most of these substances and condiments are only subject to partial examinations for their health advantages, hence people who regularly consume non-organic foods may be in danger of contracting various conditions such as cancer. Many do not even know that these they are in danger from these foods. With manifold renowned product recalls over the past few years, it is not unusual for these substances to be discovered to be detrimental to human health.
2. They contain a great amount of nutrition
The loss of nutritional content while food is being processed is a very common occurrence, and that is one of the many reasons why non-organic foods cannot be compared to organic foods. Whereas this food processing permits mass production of various foodstuffs to at least try to adhere to supply and demand requirements, the health benefits from these foods are very limited as compared to the health benefits of organic foods.
Since organic foods are pointedly less treated than non-organic foods, they preserve a wide variety of the vital vitamins and minerals that are required for our health and wellbeing. Therefore, organic foods are all the more beneficial to human health than non-organic foods.
3. They generally taste better than overly processed foods
Organic foods could taste just as good if not better than their non-organic substitutes. Mass producers of foodstuffs have recognized this via a large number of taste experimentation that have been designed to ensure certain types of meat taste like how they should. While genetically modifying things like cows can make them last longer and produce more beef, the taste is often lost in the process.
Cons of Organic Foods
1. Organic food costs more than non-organic food
Though there are a few foods that have an organic variety that is either equivalent to or cost only a little more than the non-organic variety of the same food. Carrots are an example of a food that is inexpensive to both organically and non-organically. The vast majority of other food products, however, cost a lot less to produce organically than to produce non-organically.
Chemicals, genetically modified crops, and radiation can significantly lower the cost of food production while at the same time increasing the harvest. Typically, organic foods cost about 20 percent more than non-organic foods of the same type. You end up spending a lot of money on the food product, but you get better taste and more nutritious food. If you have other expenses that take a lot of your money,it would make a lot more sense to buy non-organic foods than organic foods.
2. Organic foods contain a higher level of bacteria than non-organic foods
It has been found that organic foods increase the levels of bacteria that are related to their manufacture. This added danger in bacterial infection means that where E-Coli is concerned, organic food may be riskier than non-organic food.
3. Livestock for organic food are not given necessary hormones and additives
If you buy organic meat, it means that the animals from whence that meat has come did not receive additives,growth hormones, or antibiotics. These things can get into your body via the food that your eat, hence organic meat is good for us, right?
Well, farm animals ought to receive regular vaccination against all sorts of livestock diseases and it doesn’t matter if they are being bred for organic meat or not. This means that the meat you eat (even if it says “organic” on the label)could still have these substances in it.
Natural Foods in Supplements
There are a lot of companies that put natural foods into supplements. Although, can these still really be called natural? Even if they cannot, at least they are using ingredients that can be pronounced that has smaller bad affects that some harsh drugs. I sometimes find myself taking Lumonol, which helps with alertness. I have tried out green tea extract, but I'm not sure how well that works for me.
All in all, organic foods are a lot healthier than non-organic foods if they are produced correctly. But, obviously, all the benefits of organic foods have to come from somewhere (a lot more work producing these foods) and hence that is why they cost more than non-organic foods. Consider buying organics as an investment that will give you better health; more like insurance. Organic foods are definitely worth every penny spent on them.