Organic vs. Natural: What’s the difference?

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Although I am loyal to organic products (exhibit A: my blog title), I would also like to share a bit about natural products in this blog. Natural products are also healthy to use if they are made with good ingredients, however, since they are not strictly regulated, companies may mislead people when they market their product as “natural” even though there is only 1% natural ingredient, and the rest are still harmful ingredients. Many of us probably confuse the two together, so here’s a quick summary of their differences:

Definition

Organic products refer to items that are produced using organic means. Ingredients are grown without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, genetically modified organisms, ionizing radiation or sewage sludge.

Natural product items can have both organic and natural ingredients but may be minimally synthesized.

Standards

Organic products have strict standards. Different certification bodies such as BDIH, ICEA, ACO, USDA have to inspect the farm where the ingredients were grown, check that the soil is completely chemical-free, and make sure that the farm is following all the rules of organic standards.

Natural products, on the other hand, have no strict rules and regulations. There are only guidelines such as: no use of artificial colors or flavors, no artificial preservatives, no irradiated ingredients, or no GMOs. From my research, only European certification bodies certify natural products such as ICEA, COSMOS, among others.

Labels

Organic labels usually have a legal implication. As mentioned, there are specified rules and regulations before a manufacturer can use an organic label. However, this is not always the case. Many manufacturers nowadays can claim their product is organic, even though they are not certified.

Natural labels are used freely by manufacturers since there are no specific guidelines on how to claim that a product is natural, only guidelines.

Health Benefits

Organic products are safer than non-organic and natural products since there are zero chemicals used in production and cultivation.

Natural products are safer than non-organic products but some ingredients may be cultivated by using pesticides and fertilizers.

Price

Organic products are generally more expensive than both non-organic and natural products, but with good reason. These products go through so much certification standards, up to the soil used in cultivating the ingredients.

Natural products may be more expensive than non-organic or non-natural products because of the ingredients used.


SO, WHICH IS BETTER?

I am quite biased in saying that organic is always better than natural, but in reality, they are both safe and good for you. One lady I met in Italy told me that all organic products are natural but not all natural products are organic. We don’t need to choose one over the other,  the key is to be vigilant in checking the ingredients and avoiding harmful chemicals which are bad for our health.

Have questions? Feel free to ask me below!

 

Photos from: pinterest.com
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10 thoughts on “Organic vs. Natural: What’s the difference?

  1. Cool! This is really helpful in defining the line between organic and natural – thank you for sharing! Also, what the lady told you kind of reminded me of what my cousin said to me, that not all non-GMOs are not always organic but all organic products are non-GMOs.

  2. Thank you for sharing! One question, how do you know if a product is really natural if anyone can just claim it?

    1. Great question! My advice would be to check the ingredients, see if they didn’t use any harsh chemicals. Also, read the labels. Usually they would put “made with natural/ organic ingredients”. Hope this helps!

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