We see it in the stores and on packages.
Natural, Organic, and Non-GMO…What’s the difference???
Well, October is Non-GMO Month, so I thought it would be a great time to discuss this.
That old saying “You Are What You Eat” is true. In order to be healthy, feel good, and perform at your best, you should be eating a healthy, well balanced diet.
But how do you know what you’re buying really is what you think it is?
Let’s start with Organic. We see the label on food and it has been increasingly more available. But what exactly does it mean? If you’re like me and have taken Organic Chemistry in school, then you know Organic refers to compounds containing Carbon. But in food, the definition is VERY different.
In order for something to be USDA Certified Organic and be able to display the USDA Organic label, it must be at least 95% organic and NOT contain:
- Toxic & persistent pesticides
- Synthetic growth hormones
If you’re new to organic, here’s a great Organic 101 post that explains the basics of organic food.
Non-GMO products on the other hand, don’t claim to be grown or raised organically, only that there are no genetically modified organisms.
Not to be confused with natural selection or hybridization, genetically modified organisms are genetically engineered in a laboratory (genes of one organism are artificially introduced into another organism) with the hopes of resisting pests and withstanding pesticides. GMOs have not been proven safe for human consumption and research findings have shown a link between GMOs and health risks. Non-GMO products (and products that are Non-GMO Verified) do not contain GMOs.
Click here for more facts about GMOs. And click here for information on the difference between Organic and Non-GMO.
And finally, there’s Natural products. Unfortunately, this is where things get fuzzy. “Natural” has been used for marketing on packages and there are no standards for natural products. What you may expect from natural, may not be what you get. Natural does not mean Organic or Non-GMO, so the important thing here is to read labels.
People who eat a lot of processed and non-organic food may not realize until they change their diet just how much better they will feel with good, quality food. That’s because including more whole foods and less chemicals and pesticides in your diets reduces inflammation. Organic food may also be more nutritious.
Some benefits people report with organic food and an organic diet are:
- It tastes better
- They felt less bloated
- They had fewer health problems
- It helps them maintain a healthy weight
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