Natural Is Not In It
Posted on February 10, 2017
Please don’t buy “natural” foods (except meat). The term “natural” is not regulated by the USDA, so almost anything can receive that label. Exception: “natural” meats have no “artificial” additives and minimal processing. Since the term is otherwise unregulated, companies use it as come-on to compete with organic foods (which are regulated). Don’t encourage them: avoid “natural” foods whenever possible.
Note the USDA has received comments and is allegedly considering a rule to define “natural,” but I predict there will be no action on it during the Trump administration. If you are really concerned, buy organic foods when possible.
You will help preserve the environment and are likely to lower your own body burden of toxic agrochemicals. It has not been clinically proven that you will be healthier or live longer, but then that’s pretty much true for a lot of preventive medicine. Controlled studies are extremely slow and expensive, and randomizing the use of organic foods is pretty hard. (How do you force a control subject not to buy organics?).