Organic Food and Natural Food



Having conquered the world in the 80’s and the 90’s, the baby boomer generation is returning to the idealism it found in the peace-loving sixties. The more things change, the more they remain the same, they say. The generation that constitutes almost 28% percentage of the US population is a health conscious one, and more and more baby boomers are turning to organic foods. The Organic Trade Association defined Organic food as “food produced without the use of synthetic chemicals (pesticides, fertilizers or other inputs).” Though the health benefits of organic food over non-organic food haven’t been conclusively proven scientifically, consumers perceive organically grown food to be healthier than its conventionally grown counterpart.

The consumption of organic food has grown by 10-20% per year in the last 10 years worldwide, and the growth has been fueled by aging baby boomers. They have large disposable incomes and want to experience the freshness of the sixties, returning to their roots after having changed the world.

What is organic food- is it the same as natural food?

The National Organic Standards Board of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) standardized the term “Organic”, which states that food stuff produced without the use of use of sewer-sludge fertilizers, most synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, genetic engineering (biotechnology), growth hormones, irradiation and antibiotics, can be termed organic food. It is different from natural food, a term which the food industry uses to indicate that a food has been minimally processed and is free of preservatives. A variety of agricultural products can be produced organically, including produce, grains, meat, dairy, eggs and processed food products. Natural foods can include organic foods, but all of them are not organic. The USDA organic standards are met by only those foods which have been labeled “organic”. While buying organic food, you need to look for the word “organic” on vegetables and fruits, or on the sign above the organic produce display. Single ingredient foods like packages of meat, cartons of milk and eggs, and cheese may also be labeled “organic.” Other foods which are labeled “organic” should have at least 95% organic ingredients by weight or volume, excluding water and salt. If you are looking for food stuff which is made of only organic ingredients, you need to look for a label that states “100 percent organic.”