(comments from Beyond Meds) This is worth understanding (what is “natural?). I don’t buy pretty much anything in boxes or cans anymore so I don’t think about this stuff much for myself. It’s well-worth understanding that most processed foods (anything in a can or box really) can be problematic. And that actually includes organic foods too. While those labeled “natural” are likely to be have even more issues as this article indicates. I’ve pretty much eliminated these issues by sticking to real whole foods. All “processing” happens in my kitchen as I prepare foods to eat. There are a few exceptions to that and in those instances I very carefully choose my food by studying labels. In general the fewer ingredients the better. And really, recognizing all ingredients as actual foods is pretty important too. I think that it’s fair to say that of the items I still get in a can or box, they pretty much all have ONE ingredient. So, yeah, an example of the most processed food I now buy is raw sprouted almond butter. The only ingredient being ALMONDS.
If you enter a grocery store and see an item claiming to be “100% natural”, what associations do you make? Would you assume it’s less processed? Healthier? Possibly even organic? At least if you live in the United States, as Marion Nestle explains on her blog, none of those assumptions actually need to be the case. This is because the label “natural” – as opposed to organic, for example – has never been properly regulated by the US FDA (Food and Drug Administration), so they see the use of it as fair game as long as “the food does not contain added color, artificial flavors or synthetic substances.”
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