You hear people talking more and more about how they are trying to eat healthy, whether it’s low fat, low carb, low calorie, non-GMO or organic, but what does it means when “all natural” is on the label?
Merriam-Webster defines “natural” as existing in nature and not made or caused by people or not having any extra substances
or chemicals added.
On its website, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) defines the term “natural” to mean that nothing artificial or synthetic has been included or added to the food, but there is no mention about the use of pesticides, food processing or manufacturing methods such as pasteurization.
Based on the simple dictionary definition noted above, the only food items that should be called natural would be those naturally existing and not made by people. This would limit natural-labeled items to such foods as fruits, nuts and greens. However, if you take this definition literally, this would be only those foods without extra substances or chemicals – so only those that are GMO free and are organic would be considered natural.
Most people have a wide range of what “all natural” means to them. For me, it means that nothing not occurring in nature has been added and there is minimal to no processing.
But as a result of there being no clear consensus regarding what “all natural” means, the FDA started fielding comments from the public about what they think the definition is in terms of food labeling.
This is your chance to let your opinion be heard. Click on this link to give your opinion. The FDA has given extra time for comments, but the process will end on May 10, 2016. Whether you work in the food industry or are just a consumer, wouldn’t it be nice to have a clear definition of what “all natural” means when you see it on a label? I encourage you to not only let the FDA know but also please let us know via the comment section below.