The Fruitful Life

Natural, Non-GMO, and Organic: What's the Difference?

Natural, Non-GMO, and Organic: What's the Difference?

Does walking through the aisles of the health food store leave you more confused than enlightened? How can you know what is natural, non-GMO, organic-- or all of the above? Let us break it down for you!

Natural

"Natural" is a broad term referring to anything that comes from the earth. In other words, anything not produced in a lab could claim to be "natural." All-natural products should never include artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. Read the ingredient label to determine whether a product meets your own standard of natural.

Non-GMO

GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organism, and refers to any natural matter that has been genetically engineered or altered in a lab. Some common examples include GMO corn and wheat,  designed to be more resistant to disease and insects. While some studies show no significant side effects from GMO foods, the long-term impact of human consumption remains to be seen. Europe strictly legislates GMOs in its food supply in an effort to protect its citizens from any possible health or safety concerns. In the United States, organizations like the Non-GMO Project provide certifications to products that are tested to be free of GMOs and are clearly labeled as such. This promotes transparency between producers and consumers, while enabling consumers to make informed decisions.

Organic

Products with either the USDA or the Oregon Tilth organic certification meet certain requirements for how foods and products are grown and processed. This includes eliminating the use of GMOs and chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Additionally, organic farming supports the environment with sustainable practices such as crop rotation. This holistic approach seeks to provide not only a healthier product, but also a healthier planet! At Fruitful Yield, we pride ourselves on carrying only organic produce.

A Final Note...

How do these terms relate to each other? Natural is the broadest term, and can also be organic and/or non-GMO. Non-GMO foods are also natural, but are not always organic. Anything with an organic certification is always non-GMO and all-natural!

For more information on GMOs and the non-GMO Project, visit https://www.nongmoproject.org/ and https://livingnongmo.org/

To read about USDA Organic Certification standards, visit https://www.usda.gov/topics/organic and https://www.ams.usda.gov/grades-standards/organic-standards

Find out more about Oregon Tilth Organic at https://tilth.org/

For NOW®’s definition of natural, check out https://www.nowfoods.com/now/nowledge/what-natural-means-us 

*Content contained in this article is not intended to provide or constitute medical or healthcare advice. Nor can it be relied upon as preventative care, cure, or treatment for any disease or medical condition. You should consult a qualified healthcare professional for advice regarding the diagnosis and treatment of any medical condition and before starting any supplementation, nutritional, exercise, or other medical programs.


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