The reality of food industry is beyond human contemplation. While we often see an exhaustive list of ingredients displayed on product labels, it often becomes hard for us to believe on the claims made by the concerned company. However, dilemmas usually exist when it comes to enlisting products based on their nature and constituents. Then again, we all are living in a world that’s aggressively eco-conscious and it’s important to make sure whether the product constituents are sustainable and organic or not. Diverse claims and certifications like organic, certified organic, certified 100% organic, and natural often confuse the customers. Therefore, it is essential to understand the underlining differences between these terms while establishing a pathway towards efficient product purchases.

Natural vs. Organic: Differences

Many of us confuse a naturally produced food item as an organic entity. However, the former doesn’t even need to be organic and can still be labeled sans abiding guidelines. Natural food items aren’t something that’s regulated by the governing bodies and even though they are processed minimally, they can still contain ingredients that are artificial and highly processed.

However, ‘organic’ is a label that needs to be earned by the companies as it comes across as an extremely regulated ecosystem. The basic difference between natural and organic is that in case of a ‘Natural’ claim there are chances that the product might still come across as processed courtesy the lack of USDA and FDA guidelines whereas an Organic label invariably stands for a safe set of constituents.

Unlike most eco-labels and natural claims, Organic products are validated by authoritative bodies and assured to have no toxic chemicals, growth hormones, GMOs, artificial preservatives, and artificial flavors. Therefore, it is advisable to trust the Organic label more than anything else.

Organic vs. Non-Organic and Certified Organic: Existing Differences

While a non-organic claim clearly puts all assumptions to rest and doesn’t even try to push forth aesthetic derivations, the concept of certified organic is quite an exhaustive claim with government authorization required to even place the same. While an Organic food item stands for the fact that zero non-organic ingredients are used, Certified Organic basically validates the same but with more credibility. That said, the most striking difference between non-organic and certified organic products is the usage of pesticides in case of former, despite both being derived from natural sources.

Certified organic, therefore, is a label that is harder to acquire as compared to a simple Organic label. In addition to that, there is something called Certified 100% organic which claims that every single ingredient used within is derived from organic sources. However, for getting the Certified Organic tag an item must have 95-99 percent of organic components within.

Organic vs. Certified Organic vs. Non-certified Organic

While most organic certifications require validations, there are certain provinces which allow companies to label products as organic without having to abide by the guidelines. That said, Organic, despite being a regulated food ecosystem is quite a vague labeling. Instead, certified organic paints a clearer picture regarding the actual set of constituents. Non-certified organic, however, is not a very reliable claim to work with and can be adopted by certain provinces, without government authorization.

Needless to say, food labels are extremely important when it comes to purchasing products. That said, one must understand the mentioned differences between natural, organic, certified organic, and even non-certified organic labels, before consuming a product.