Are you getting TRICKED into doing something unnatural?
It’s the most meaningless label in the supermarket – but it’s one that’s used to trick consumers into buying unhealthy foods every day.
You may have even been conned by this one yourself!
It’s the word “natural,” which sure makes it sound like it’s healthy… or at the very least… lacking in anything, well, unnatural.
Makes sense, right?
OF COURSE it makes sense to you. You don’t work for the FDA!
The ones who do – the people in charge who make the decisions – recently decided yet again that they just can’t be bothered to figure out what the word “natural” really means.
It was… is… remains… and the foreseeable future will continue to be… MEANINGLESS!
“We recognize that consumers are trusting in products labeled as ‘natural’ without clarity around the term,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in March. “Just like other claims made on products regulated by FDA, we believe the ‘natural’ claim must be true and based in science.”
However, he said that the agency’s not ready to actually decide on what’s “true or based in science” yet.
He promised it will have more to say “soon,” but the FDA has long said it would regulate the word “natural” soon for more than three years now.
But it’s done NOTHING.
That means it’s a marketing buzzword on a package label with no actual legal definition… so it can be twisted, manipulated, overused, and outright abused.
Shoppers will THINK that they’re getting chemical-free foods, and many consumers even think it’s a way of getting foods that are “almost” organic… but without the hefty organic price tag.
And food companies are happy to operate in that gray zone, cranking out an increasing number of products with the word “natural” screaming at you from the label.
So, what can you do?
For starters, ignore the word “natural.”
If you REALLY want to make sure you’re getting truly natural foods with no chemicals or other additives, grow your own. The next-best option is to buy it right from a farm.
If neither of those are realistic, and you’re getting most of your food from the supermarket, stick to the fresh foods on the perimeter of the store – produce and meats – and skip the packaged foods in the middle.
Buy organic meats and produce as much as possible, since the word “organic” really is regulated, and it means that the foods are truly natural and chemical-free and haven’t been genetically modified.
Just watch out for that other little trick, especially if you sneak into the center aisles and buy some packaged foods. There’s a label out there that says “made with organic ingredients,” which really means that not everything inside is actually organic.