Difference of natural, organic, certified organic?

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Question from Trina: I get confused by all the jargon in natural foods. What's the difference between “natural,” “organic,” and “certified organic”?
Answers - David Grotto The USDA has come out with clarification as to certified organic. You can go to their website for that. The important thing is you'll find different jargon for having total organic ingredients, or some organic ingredients have been added.

The term that's still ambiguous is “natural.” As someone who has been involved in natural foods for years, even I am confused. So don't be fooled by a picture of grandma churning butter on the label! It's important to look for the word “whole” in the first ingredient. Make sure the terms on the label are in plain English. If you can't pronounce it, you probably shouldn't eat it.
Penny Block When David said not to be misled by the term natural, people are spending a lot of money unnecessarily on “natural sugar” or “natural cane juice.” Even if it says “organic cane juice,” it's still sucrose. It's a great marketing tool, but not a great tool for your body.
David Grotto If you're going to position your food dollar to where it has the most bang for the buck, if you choose something organic, there is research to show organic vegetables may be more nutrient-dense than non-organic. So in that case, it makes more sense to buy organic vegetables than organic sugar.

The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Buying Healthy Food and Drink featured Penny B. Block, M.A., David W. Grotto, R.D., L.D., and moderator Judith Sachs answering your questions about finding, buying, and preparing the healthiest food and drink for people with breast cancer and their families.

Editor's Note: This conference took place in July 2005.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.

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