"All Natural" Versus "Organic" & Everything In Between


Let’s face it, grocery shopping can be expensive, especially when trying to buy high quality, healthy foods. If health is on your radar chances are you buying products at the supermarket that read: “all-natural,"“organic,” “grass-fed,” and “cage-free." However what do these terms really mean? Are they just a bunch of advertising or terms regulated by the government? The truth will shock you.

“All-Natural” or “Natural” This label on products means nothing. It is not a term regulated by the FDA so any company can place these words on their product. In fact, the term “all natural” is only regulated for eggs and packaged meat. Even then, the regulations are not strict. Animal products with this label can pass by proving that they are minimally processed and contain no artificial ingredients.

“Organic” In general products labeled certified organic are not exposed to radiation, contain no GMOs, artificial flavors, preservatives or colors. In addition, the soil, seeds and seedlings used, as well as how the food is handled is strictly regulated.

“Cage-Free” or “Free-Range” "Cage-free" is another term that doesn't mean much as it is not regulated by the FDA. The only way to ensure that you are eating “cage-free” animal products is if the product is certified organic. All animal products labeled organic are guaranteed to be free of hormones, antibiotics and were not caged while living.

"100% Organic" If a product is labeled "100% organic" it means that all ingredients found in a product are organic.

“Grass-Fed” Just like "cage-free" this term is useless. "Grass-fed" means absolutely nothing, I mean what else are cows going to eat besides grass? If a label says "grass-fed" and does not contain the words USDA certified organic then chances are the grass your cow ate was full of pesticides.

"Made With Organic Ingredients" If 70% of ingredients are organic then a product receives this label.

"Organic" Items labeled "organic" mean that 95% of the ingredients are organic. For instance, many breads read organic rather than "100% organic" because they use products like baking powder which is not an organic ingredient.

Sources: What Does "Organic" and "Natural" Mean in the U.S?