What Is “Natural”?

argylesock says… Here are interesting words about the way foods are sold as ‘natural’. Mostly Janina talks about US groceries but she also links to the European laws about nutrition claims on food, including the word ‘natural’. You might also choose to look at some words of mine. I concluded that the word ‘natural’ is often irrelevant these days. ‘It’s not natural! Intensive farming, synthetic food and synthetic genes’

Food (Policy) For Thought

If you enter a grocery store and see an item claiming to be “100% natural”, what associations do you make? Would you assume it’s less processed? Healthier? Possibly even organic? At least if you live in the United States, as Marion Nestle explains on her blog, none of those assumptions actually need to be the case. This is because the label “natural” – as opposed to organic, for example – has never been properly regulated by the US FDA (Food and Drug Administration), so they see the use of it as fair game as long as “the food does not contain added color, artificial flavors or synthetic substances.”

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About argylesock

I wrote a PhD about veterinary parasitology so that's the starting point for this blog. But I'm now branching out into other areas of biology and into popular science writing. I'll write here about science that happens in landscapes, particularly farmland, and about science involving interspecific interactions. Datasets and statistics get my attention. Exactly where this blog will lead? That's a journey that I'm on and I hope you'll come with me.
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