natural food, organic food, organic food vs natural food, low spray, safe spray, chemical fertilizers, organic matter, standards, valid testing, independent testing, standard market, least spray, natural spray, no spray, wild food identical

Organic Food & Natural Food -what's the difference?
Opinion Piece
How do we identify 'Natural' food?

 [Annotated contents of the entire site]      [site tree]   Natural food directories of sources
'Natural Food' is genuine unprocessed food fit for an omnivorous animal come to town. The accent is on fresh and safe, and I believe it doesn't necessarily have to mean 'organic'. Organic food is useful because it can be clearly identified as having no sprays. Growers ought to set up a 4 tiered system-
1. 'standard market' designation (best industry-safe spray practice and provably within food safety residue regulations);
2. 'least spray' designation (independently certified and statistically validly tested as using least contentious chemicals in least amounts, in an integrated pest management program); [example]
3. 'natural sprays only' designation (only mineral elements like copper or sulfur used, or materials such as soaps or bicarbonate of soda); and
4. 'no spray' designation (for the kind of fruit or vegetable can be grown without protectants; or this season, by chance, it did not need spray intervention-statistically statistically validly tested and certified by independent third parties of the highest integrity)
An additional category for meat and eggs could be 'wild food identical', where the fat types and levels are essentially identical to those found in the wild free living animal (such as feral cattle and jungle fowl).

There is no substantially good scientific reason not to carefully use chemical fertilizers to grow crops, or not to use the (admittedly few) very safe herbicides.

Surprisingly, the commercial world has not identified and promoted methods that grow foods that are substantially as would be found in nature - without residues, wholesome and good. The building up of organic matter in the soil, or it's destruction, is entirely outside the issue of what natural food is. One day, a 'natural food' standard may be drafted. Maybe.
Until such time, 'organic' food becomes the known standard.
'Organic food' is food raised (depending on the definition-there are many of them) without chemical fertilizers (such as urea, potassium sulfate, or super phosphate) or chemical pesticides, fungicides, or herbicides.
It allows 'natural' metal fungicides such as copper sulfate and sulfur, but no other chemicals.
Weed control is primarily by flame thrower and by digging, ploughing, and hoeing.
Many animal and plant foods are difficult to produce without appropriate herbicides, pesticides, worm medecines, louse eradicants, vaccines against disease, and chemical fertilisers. 'Organic' production methods are generally not as suited to mass food production. As a result, organic food is usually more expensive. Indeed, it may be seen as a luxury food, and is usually priced accordingly.
There is also a strong 'moral', 'principled', and in some cases extremely tightly held almost quasi-religious belief set that accompanies promotion of organic as the only 'right' way.
As stated, because of the rigor of the allowable methods-especially when overseen by licensed bodies-'organic' food has become the de facto standard for 'natural' food.

Perhaps one day 'organic' food may be put in what I believe is it's proper place - subsumed as a variant of the broad category 'natural food'. And when we consumers vote with our wallets for 'natural food', we are more likely to eventually get what we want - affordable safe, wholesome, food.

Not 'safe' as decided by government agencies testing chemicals on mice and rabbits (rodents), but 'safe' as decided by people (primates). Because chemicals cannot be tested on people we, the consumers must insist on the kind of production methods that we will accept.  More subtle long term effects of chemical use can never be statistically/epidemiologically determined in a world awash with chemicals of all kinds; we therefore ought to insist on a 'tiered food supply' so that we have choice.
A brief report on a minimal and least dangerous spray regime for stone fruit (peaches, nectarines, apricots) pioneered in New Zealands Hawkes Bay Province.
When is 'organic' 'natural'? Growers experience with the proliferating certification schemes in USA.

© Copyright 1999, 2000 UHIS