Difference Between Organic and Natural Food

What’s the Difference Between Organic and Natural Food?

Many people think that there is no difference between the two and that both of them mean the same thing. However, this is not true. If you compare organic and natural from their definitions, the difference will be quite 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 some level of loss of its nutrients and beneficial properties.

Therefore, they demand natural foods. Organic food fans, on the other hand, want their food to be free of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and preservatives, so they choose organic.

Apparently, the demand for organic food is more than natural food because organic food seals are guaranteed and monitored by the government. An act similar to the Organic Food Products Act is necessary for natural food products as well, but it has not occurred at this time.

Organic StoreGiven below is the difference between natural and organic food based on different parameters:

What is Organic Food and Natural Food?

Organic Food: Organic food refers to items that are produced using organic means. Stringent standards for organic food production, handling and processing exist throughout the world.

Natural Food: Natural food items are minimally  synthesized. Stringent standards do not exist for natural food products in many parts of the world.

Certification Agencies

Organic food: Many countries have certification bodies, the most prominent being the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Natural food: The International Association of Natural Products Producers (IANPP) is trying to get the definitions for natural food into solid place. It should be noted that this aassociation is not a certification body.

Food Labels

Organic food: Organic labels have legal implications. A manufacturer must follow the specified rules and regulations before using the organic label.

Natural food: Natural labels are normally used freely by manufacturers due to lack of adequate guidelines.

Food Demand

Organic food: There is considerably more for organic food than for natural food. Organic food is readily available all over the world and people buy it more every year.

Natural food: The demand for natural food is increasing, but not nearly as much as for organic food.

Health Benefits

Organic Food: There is no evidence to prove that organic food is healthier than non-organic food. People prefer organic food because they feel that 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. Recent research suggests that choosing organic food can lead to increased intake of nutritionally desirable antioxidants and reduced exposure to toxic heavy metals.

Natural Food: People prefer natural food because they believe excessive processing of food items disturbs the implicit health benefits.

Food Price

Organic Food: It is priced higher than non-organic food.

Natural Food: It is priced higher than processed food.


Shelf Life

Organic Food: The shelf life of organic food is more than that of natural food, meaning that you can store it safely for a longer duration.

Natural Food: Since it is minimally processed, many food items which have a high water content have a subsequently short shelf life.


Organic food: Organic food is being sold in almost every major super market. There are even specialty stores selling organic food exclusively and one can purchase organic food online as well.

Natural food: Natural food is available at many stores that sell organic food. There are some specialty stores that sell natural food. Furthermore, many stores selling health food items also sell natural food products. It is a growing market.

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  1. Jess James says:

    I have always tried to eat healthy organic and natural food and even grow my own as much as I can so I am a big fan of this sort of lifestyle leading to a healthy and happy and long life. I mean who wants to eat pesticides and chemicals everyday and I doubt very much that these are going to good for your health in any way.

  2. Russell Mihm says:

    I hate the wording in this quote, "have the belief that synthesizing a food item results in loss of its nutrients and properties." It's not a belief that food that is cooked looses its nutrients. Studies show that even steaming vegetables kills the nutrients in it.

  3. Tyna W. Benson says:

    I am a vegan my entire life. With seizure disorder, atrial fibrillation and migraines I prefer organically grown fruits and vegetables as the pesticides and chemicals used on naturally grown are more likely to agitate my disorders. And as I eat nothing from mammals including milk and eggs, I believe its healthier for me. Can't speak for others, but I prefer and like organic better.

  4. Rich Wagner says:

    The cancer rate in 1920 was 1 in 20. In 2010 it was 1 in 2. Soon it will be EVERYONE! The toxic environment is killing all of us slowly but surely. It is CRIMINAL what they have done to our environment, and espesially what they have done to our food supply. If you don't eat organic, YOU EAT CHEMICALS AND POISONS! PLAIN AND SIMPLE! After going 100% organic, I got rid of the gout that modern medicine could not even curtail. I also got rid of my allergies 100% I can now walk through a thick wave of cottonwood, pollen, etc, and not even get the slightest symptoms, where I used to have to stay indoors all summer long, and still suffered! No medicine could fix what was wrong with me. I started eating PURE FOOD! THAT's IT! ITS JUST THAT SIMPLE! YOU CAN DO IT TOO!

  5. Janet Busvek says:

    The facts are not ridiculous! What do you think is in your meat. Hormones and antibiotics and animals kept in cages they cannot even turn around in. Why do you think there is such a problem with people being hard to treat with antibiotics for disease today? Simple you have received so many antibiotics and hormones in your food you are resistant to them. There is so much proof out there you really should check some of your facts Jeremy. I have been a health professional for the past 44 years and have dealt with these problems and watched people die because they cant find a antibiotic that is not resistant.

  6. Very informative… I'm slowly beginning to incorporate a healthy eating pattern for myself and my family and I got confused along the way between organic and natural…thanks for the info…

  7. The "facts" in that table are ridiculous. "There is no evidence to prove that organic food is healthier than non organic food." – a very ignorant statement.

    • Marsha Russell says:

      That's like saying eating organic food is no different that eating pesticides and herbicides. As a life time organic grower, I know how uninformed your comment is. Where do you think all our cancers are coming from these days ? I even had a sister die of mad cow disease. Our food is not safe. Organic and Kosher are anyone's best bet.

    • Rich Wagner says:

      Just wait till it makes you sick, and you have no choice but to turn to organic food, and you will see for yourself just like I did. If I eat regular food, I get gout and can't get out of bed. Not even pharaceuticals can get rid of my gout. If I eat 100% organics, the gout goes away without any medicines of any kind. Oh, and my allergies are 100% gone as well. Say and think what you want, but I know 1st hand!!

    • Daniel Woods says:

      The major problem is not about how healthy food is. The problem is that we are eating purified foods period. Our lymphatic system was designed to attack foreign bodies such as those bacteria which makes us sick. If we continue to eat purified food, our lymphatic system gets lazy and has nothing to fight. After a while, we will start catching everything under the sun, even developing allergies that can potentially kills us, because we are making our bodies lazy with the purified foods we insist on eating.

  8. Angel Jorgensen Van Gilder says:

    They really need to update this, there is so much scientific evidence that True organic food is healthier over natural and conventional food.

  9. David Moore says:

    This is keeping it real

  10. Knowing about Organic Food & Natural food.