Difference Between Organic and Natural Food
“What is the difference between organic and natural food?”. Many people think that there is no difference between the two and both mean the same. But this is not true. If you compare organic and natural from their definitions, the difference will be clear.
Organic food refers to food items that are produced, manufactured and handled using organic means defined by certifying bodies such as the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) under its Organic Food Products Act. Natural food, on the other hand, generally refers to food items that are not altered chemically or synthesized in any form. These are derived from plants and animals. Thus a natural food item is not necessarily organic and vice versa.
But the important question is - "Why do some people prefer organic food and some people prefer natural food?" This is because some people have the belief that synthesizing a food item results in loss of its nutrients and properties.
Hence they demand natural foods. Organic food fans, on the other hand, want their food to be free of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and preservatives.
Apparently, the demand for organic food is more than natural food because organic food seals are granted and monitored by the government. An act similar to the Organic Food Products Act is necessary for the natural food products as well.
Given below is the difference between natural and organic food on different parameters:
|Parameter||Organic Food||Natural Food|
|Definition||Organic food refers to items that are produced using organic means.||Natural food items are minimally synthesized.|
|Standards||Stringent standards for organic food production, handling and processing exist throughout the world.||Stringent standards do not exist for natural food products in many parts of the world.|
|Certification Bodies||Many countries have certification bodies, the most prominent being the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).||The International Association of Natural Products Producers (IANPP) is trying to get the definitions for natural food into place. It should be noted that it is not a certification body.|
|Labels||Organic labels have legal implication. A manufacturer should follow the specified rules and regulations before using the organic label.||Natural labels are normally used freely by manufacturers due to lack of adequate guidelines.|
|Demand||Demand for organic food is more than the demand for natural food.||The demand for natural food is also increasing; however, not as much as organic food.|
|Health Benefits||There is no evidence to prove that organic food is healthier than non organic food. People prefer organic food because they feel it is safer than conventional food as chemicals are not used in its production. However, recent research on the health benefits of organic milk has boosted the spirits of organic food lovers.||People prefer natural food because they believe excessive processing of food items disturbs their health benefits.|
|Price||Organic food is priced more than non organic food.||Natural food is also priced more than non organic food|
|Shelf life||Shelf life of organic food is more than that of natural food. You can store it for a longer duration.||Since it is minimally processed in many food items, which have high water content, the shelf life is low.|
|Availability||Organic food is being sold in almost every super market. There are special stores selling organic food and one can purchase organic food online as well.||Natural food is available at many stores that sell organic food. There are some special stores that sell natural food. Further, many stores selling health food items also sell natural food products.|