"Natural" What does this truly mean?

February 20, 2019



The debate over nutrition labels is one that seems to continue, despite routine updates being made to labeling structure, development, and design. A new point of conversation is providing a better understanding or definition of what a "natural" food product actually is.


Let’s dive into this and discuss this head first. 


To start with, there are currently no regulations on what a product requires to be labeled as "natural." However, research shows us consumers are purchasing products labeled as "natural" with an understanding that these products are clean-sourced foods made from high quality ingredients that are "natural." For some products this might be correct, and for others this couldn't be further from the truth. Unfortunately, consumers don't know that food labeled as "natural" doesn’t have a standard of ingredients, production, or even nutrition quality that needs to be met. This has led to thousands (7,600 inquiries to the FDA, to be exact), in order to better understand what is in the food being labeled as "natural." This has prompted the FDA to issue the following statement: "We recognize that consumers are trusting in products labeled 'natural' without clarity around them. Consumers have called upon the FDA to help define the term 'natural' and we take the responsibility to provide this clarity seriously. We will have more to say on this issue soon." Scott Gottlieb MD. This was issued in an email statement brought to light by a New York Times reporter in February 2018. 


Based on the quote above, it is clear at this point there is no clarity around products labeled as "natural", but there might be in the future. We might be traveling in flying cars in the future as well. I'm sure both of these will happen eventually. Until then, do yourself a favor and don't trust products labeled as "natural" until you read through the ingredients and the nutrition label, because "natural" really means nothing to these marketing companies, except an appealing word to lure consumers.

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