All Natural

Every now & then, our school district’s dietitian sends out an e-mail that discusses a topic related to healthy eating.

Today, we received an e-mail about what “all natural” really means when it comes to consumers purchasing products.

With her permission, I thought I’d share some of this information!

All information is from the USDA.

(source) 

  • The term natural is not regulated, unless it’s used with meat & poultry.
  • When not referring to meat & poultry, “natural” foods are usually minimally processed & free of things such as artificial sweeteners & colors, hydrogenated oils, etc.
  • When referring to meat & poultry, the product must be free of artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, preservatives & ingredients.
  • Keep in mind – organic refers not only to the food itself, but to the way in which the food was produced.

(source) 

  • The demand for organic products in the United States increased by 14.1% from 2005-2006.
  • The biggest increase in organic purchases? Fruit & vegetables!
  • Overall, organic food is not necessarily safer or more nutritious to consumers. Many organic foods contain as much fat & calories as their non-organic counterparts.
  • What age group most frequently purchases organic products? “Younger Baby Boomers” (ages 42-51), followed by “Generation X” (ages 28-41).

(source)

Is any of this new information to you? Are any of these statistics surprising to you? I was surprised to read that organic foods aren’t necessarily “better” for you (nutritionally speaking, of course).

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6 comments

  1. Julie H. of Spinach and Sprinkles says:

    That last cartoon made me laugh because I totally agree! ….I knew that organic DOES NOT affect the nutritional value of a fruit or vegetable however it is nice to know I’m not putting pesticides into my system. That being said, I’m not so sure how many bad things I’m ingesting if I don’t eat organic. (and I typically don’t…)
    ….I figured that ages 22-32 would have bought the most organic food!

    • 4thesakeofcake says:

      I liked the cartoon too! Price is usually what causes me NOT to purchase organic products.

      I agree! I was surprised a younger age group wouldn’t have been the #1 consumers!

  2. Sally Anne @ PaleoRunnerGirl says:

    I am always surprised how unregulated nutritional “claims” are to this day. I HATE when people act self-righteous about eating “all organic.” I always want to remind them of the FACT that they are not any more nutritious. I completely understand the need to try to eat as organic as possible (especially avoiding “the dirty dozen”). However, I am NOT going to pay $3 dollars more for bananas when they have a giant peel to protect the fruit!

  3. Alicia Endy says:

    We recently switched to organic milk. You can’t really taste any difference except that it has a lighter taste and it’s not as heavy. The kids like it!

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