All Natural the True Meaning

As I was shopping the other day for groceries I came across an interesting label, all natural. Being in the classes that I am in for my major and just discussing greenwashing in our class, I knew that all natural didn’t actually mean all natural. But what does this labeling actually mean? Come to find out it can mean a lot of things and there is really no defined definition for all natural products within the FDA. The USDA describes natural foods as being “minimally processed,” meaning salt, sugar, colors, or other artificial ingredients weren’t added to fundamentally change the food. The only problem is the USDA only has authority over certain foods. Much of the authority goes to the FDA and they aren’t doing much about this problem. That in itself is scary and very misleading because many consumers who see this labeling assume that its probably a product not pumped with antibiotics or preservatives or other nasty gunk. Products like these are also most often much cheaper than organic food so this probably seems like a very healthy, cheap alternative. The problem is it’s not and really all natural foods are just organic foods’ impostor, fooling people to believe they are eating healthier. The major problem is companies have taken advantage of this lack of regulation and definition. They have taken all natural as a broad term that can be applied to almost any food including soda, ice cream, and cereal (for a while, there were even natural Cheetos, though Frito-Lay was sued and discontinued the label). If soda is all natural then I want to see where I can find it in nature. Regardless companies aren’t going to give up so easily. In the past 10 years labeling of products as natural or organic has increased ten fold and this corner of the food market is a $40 billion dollar industry. That is a huge amount of money that no company will willingly let go. This makes it up to the consumers to make the right choices and choose to avoid these misleading products.

Edwin Doll




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