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Organic and all-natural products are not all that they are made out to be. Many people in America purchase organic and all-natural foods with the notion that they are a more natural product, less pesticides, more humane treatment of farm animals, supporting local farmers, or something close to that. The truth is that they really don't know what organic and all-natural means. 



Legally, organic means that the product is produced in accordance with government regulations that “preserve the environment and avoid most synthetic materials, such as pesticides and antibiotics.” (FDA) Even so companies can find loopholes like using pesticides that are “naturally sourced”. Another thing people think of when they think of organic is that it is locally sourced and sustainable, both of which are (in most cases) untrue. Most organic companies are mega-million dollar organizations that use the same non-sustainable equipment as non-organic companies. 10% of all organic products are shipped from abroad and many have ingredients that were shipped from abroad. 


All natural is even worse than organic. Many people have the same notion about “all-natural” products then they do about organic products. The FDA does not object to using “all natural” if “the food does not contain added color, artificial flavors, or synthetic substances.” Even after this there are still ways that the companies can work around these restrictions, for example the FDA has certified that High Fructose Corn Syrup is all-natural. 


Many people pay attention to the tags “organic” and “all-natural” and pay more for them. Really, the best way to find truly organic foods is to visit a local market, or even better, grow a small garden. Remember that every time you buy or grow a product sustainability and without pesticides you help countless wildlife and livestock and help keep our ecosystem strong.

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