You gotta laugh at the natural effect created by advertisers. This hilarious clip makes us question - what does natural mean?
Source : Only Organic
What Does Natural Mean?
So what is the natural effect and why do advertisers use the word natural, add pictures of barns or use recycled packaging? It is one of the most popular label claims around because most people believe a natural product is better or healthier for them, 60% in fact.
This is direct from the FDA website "From a food science perspective, it is difficult to define a food product that is 'natural' because the food has probably been processed and is no longer the product of the earth. That said, FDA has not developed a definition for use of the term natural or its derivatives. However, the agency has not objected to the use of the term if the food does not contain added color, artificial flavors, or synthetic substances."
Natural does not mean organic, and organic does not mean unprocessed (just check out the number of organic cereals, organic sweets and organic muesli/granola bars). So what do we do?
Firstly avoid packaged foods as often as possible (buy ingredients, not products) then you won't have to be confused by their claims or their ingredients. But I know this is impractical 100% of the time, so lets be realistic and when you do have to buy packaged food, follow these tips and remember Just Eat Real food
- Go for the most unprocessed food you can find.
- Choose products that have the fewest ingredients as possible, and the ingredients you recognise.
- Scrutinise labels and see what is IN products, not what they have removed.
- Buy food that rots - yes, don't buy soups that have 5-year expiry dates or biscuits that will still be fresh next month. What have they done to these, or added, to make them so stable for so long?
Do the best you can, as often as you can - " Strive for improvement, not perfection "
Some of the worst offenders for the natural label are -
- Muesli bars/Granola bars - full of sugar, HFCS, grains and flavourings
- Fruit juices - incredibly high in sugar, generally without any fibre, often made from concentrate and heat treated
- Breakfast cereals - made with cheap grains, sugars and refined carbohydrates
- Agave nectar, coconut sugar, palm sugar, dried fruit - just different forms of sugar and agave is loaded with fructose which is metabolised by the liver
- Yoghurts - full of sugars, artificial flavours, colours and preservatives
- Gluten-free - remember gluten-free junk food is still junk
- Soy products - other than being an endocrine (hormone) disruptor, 90% of soy products are genetically modified
- Salad dressings - made with 'natural' vegetable oils, an umbrella term for oils such as canola oil, sunflower, soy oil etc which are all high in Omega 6 which cause inflammation and are sensitive to oxidation
- Low-fat products - remember when they remove the fat, they generally add more sugar and chemicals
Leave a comment below on your top tips when buying food.