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Natural vs. Organic


In the best of hands, “natural” means what you think it should: nothing synthetic. No synthetic dyes, oils or fragrances. For most, it also suggests a concern for how our individual consumption affects the greater world.

In the worst of hands, “natural” can mean anything or nothing. But with sales of natural products rising steadily along with organic ones, the intentions by the worst hands are pretty clear:

  • -  to appear natural
  • -  for consumers to trust that a product’s marketing and packaging are honest.

When that happens, as it frequently does, products that aren’t natural are purchased as if they were.


Organic has three great advantages over natural:

  • -  The term ‘organic’ is a strictly regulated term by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
  • -  Use of the term requires certification.
  • -  The certification process is in the hands of a third-party.

Certification is an extensive and costly process. There are lots of rules. But the end result is what was intended: When an organic producer makes claims about the naturalness of its products, there is independent confirmation those claims are true.