May 19, 2017

Natural Foods

Natural is a broad term used to describe products that are minimally processed, and free of synthetic dyes, coloring, flavorings and preservatives. Products labeled “natural” can still contain fructose corn syrup and GMOs. The term is largely unregulated by the USDA. Even meat, poultry, and egg products can still have antibiotics and growth hormones, and can be fed on GMO feed. The US FDA has not developed a definition for use of the term natural or its derivatives.

The USDA says,  claims indicating that a product is natural food, such as “natural chili” or “chili - a natural product” would be unacceptable for a product containing beet powder which artificially colors the finished product. However, “all natural ingredients” might be an acceptable claim for such a product.
The UK FSA guidance states: "The term ‘natural’ without qualification should be used ... to describe single foods, of a traditional nature, to which nothing has been added and which have been subjected only to such processing as to render them suitable for human consumption."


Natural or all natural labels are more marketing than fact based. Naturally, this is all unnatural label mumbo jumbo that means little, but makes us feel good.