“Natural” is a marketing term used by companies based on their own definition of what “Natural” is. That means anyone can use the word “Natural” on their products. It literally means nothing, or is a matter of interpretation of what the company thinks is “Natural”.
In Canada, “Organic” is governed by standards and regulations that are overseen by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). Any food, seed, or animal feed that is labelled organic is regulated by the (CFIA). Producers of these products must be prepared to demonstrate that organic claims are truthful and not misleading, and that all commodity-specific requirements have been met. The CFIA oversees, monitors and enforces the requirements of the Canada Organic Regime using a third-party service delivery model that includes conformity verification bodies, certification bodies and organic operators.
To summarize, being certified organic has a defined set of rules. Using the term “Natural”, does not. You are better off to look for specific statements that make sense for the product you are buying like “Raised without Antibiotics” because companies that say this must be able to legally support this claim.
What makes a food Organic?
As stated on the website http://choosecanadaorganic.ca/ “Organic food is produced using environmental and animal friendly farming methods and applies to both domestic and imported products. This certification places strict limits and prohibitions on the use of:
- toxic and persistent pesticides;
- synthetic fertilizers;
- the routine use of drugs, antibiotics or synthetic hormones;
- animal cloning;
- genetic engineering (“GMOs”);
- sewage sludge (“biosolids”); and irradiation.”
Organic standards also forbid the use of artificial food colours, flavours, sweeteners, preservatives and many other processing aids and ingredients in processed foods.
Organic farmers cultivate their soil’s fertility and produce healthy food by:
- rotating their crops to balance nutrients in the soil, as well as discourage pests;
- composting and using ”green” manures to add nitrogen and organic matter to the soil, keep weeds down and prevent drought and soil erosion;
- using beneficial insects or mechanical and manual methods to control pests and weeds;
- ensuring their animals have access to the outdoors: fresh air, sun and access to pasture are essential for animals’ health, and it’s the right thing to do!
Why are Organic products better for our health & the environment?
An organic diet increases the consumption of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids found in your food because the soil quality tends to be better. Eating organic lessens the consumption of pesticides, chemicals, antibiotics and GMOs. Pesticides are poisonous substances that remain on, or in our food. Pesticides contribute to serious health problems ranging from neurological disorders to cancer. Surface water runoff from non-organic farms and other non-organic food operations can deposit pesticides into lakes, rivers and reservoirs which causes harm to the ecosystem in general and in addition can contaminate our drinking water.
Why are Organic products better for animals?
Non-organic meat often contains harmful hormones and antibiotics which lead to the creation of superbugs that are harmful to our health. These antibiotics also leach into our water systems. Animal welfare is better with organic standards because the use of antibiotics in animal feed is prohibited. In order for the animal to remain healthy it requires humane living conditions free from cages and crates. In a nutshell, choosing organic is healthier for us, the animals and the environment.