Real, Organic, Natural. What do these words really mean? And do they live up to their meaning? A little clarification would be nice. Many food companies state their products are natural or organic but in reality, it is far from what I would classify as natural or organic. What is the difference between real and fake, natural and artificial. Can ALL things be construed as ‘natural’, simply because the original source is natural? After all, everything we make, construct or alter originally comes from Mother Earth. Is that fair? Thankfully the definition of NATURAL is – present in or produced by nature; not altered, treated or disguised. But most of what we consider ‘natural’ these days has definitely been altered, treated and disguised!
There really is a clear difference between real and fake, in my opinion. Just as an overhead light is completely different than the natural glow of sunlight coming in through your window. And as an artificial red silk flower is different than a blooming crimson tulip in Springtime.
When it comes to food or products, it can be more complicated. Although it does not need to be complicated. When we follow a general rule of keeping things in their pure form (keeping it actually natural), it can apply across the board. Many food companies are coming up with new words, such as raw or purely organic, since natural and organic words are now being overused or abused. Maybe it’s time to come up with a new, new word, such as pureganic or bibleganic or rawtural. Not sure… but we need a better word to represent the products that follow the purity rule.
Additionally, preservation has taken a whole new turn. Consumers are becoming comfortable with the last five ingredients all being a preservatives or sugar additives – BHA, BHT, benzoates, nitrates, corn syrup, modified corn syrup solids, sorbates, not to mention the ‘natural’ flavors and colors! This is the new normal. And while I understand that preserving our food is necessary, is this a little overboard? Also, what is with all the flavor additives? Maybe we should be more comfortable with a shorter shelf life, less intensely flavored products and making more meals ourselves. Gasp! Why should we ever be comfortable with our food having the ability to sit on a shelf for 5+ years. That is not normal.
Many food companies will have you believe that these products are perfectly safe for consumption. But since the 60s when we began the craze of making everything taste better and keeping it fresh, the increase in disorders, such as Autism, have skyrocketed. It is alarming!
We have started overusing pesticides and chemicals to control food production. Again we are told these methods are ‘safe’ or ‘natural’ and it is not effecting our food or our children. How can we believe such nonsense? We are being bombarded with UNnatural substances in our food AND personal care products.
What we do in our lifetime should always be done with honor, with the intent to help others, not to harm, that should be the ultimate goal. If we ourselves create something that can harm another, whether it is a person or the Earth, sea or trees, we will pay the price. Even if it is unknown at the time, once it becomes known the error should be corrected. If only food companies and commercial farming would follow suit.
So what can we do? Other than write articles and freak out?! My opinion is to educate others, (hence the article) and to not purchase chemical ridden foods or use chemical pesticides on our lawns and gardens. Buy organic produce and products. Even though there is a good argument that some organic producers are still using chemicals that fall under the acceptable guidelines, LESS chemicals is still better. Purchase local produce from farms that have ethical farming practices. And as an esthetician, I have to throw in – always read the labels on your personal care products as well.
Real is always better than fake. Even with all the conflicting research, many articles in support of chemical ridden products are being paid to say the products are safe. I personally have seen such a positive difference in switching to pure and real natural foods and products, I hope others will benefit in the same way.
Then God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you; and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food”; and it was so.
The Holy Bible