Do You Know the Difference Between 'Natural' and 'Organic'?
Buzz words like "natural," "organic" and "artisan" are found on the labels of many food products, but do they really mean what we think?
Food watchdog group The Center for Science in the Public Interest reveals the decades-long problem of misleading food labels. Consumers may be more inclined to purchase or even pay a premium on products labeled with buzz words, but the use of these words may not be regulated and can often be deceiving.
ABC News reports that many Americans mistake "natural" and "organic" as the same thing, but they are actually very different. The use of the word "organic" is tightly regulated and means that food is free of synthetic fertilizers, while the word "natural" has no standard definition, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Last year, Consumer Reports Shop Smart found that that snacks and cereal labeled "natural" can still contain non-natural ingredients like genetically-modified corn and sugar.
Another misconception is that pricier "cage-free" eggs come from chickens raised in pastures. Unless the eggs are labeled "pasture-raised", those chickens may still be confined indoors in overcrowded houses.
In addition, the word "artisan" is growing in popularity, but it lacks a standard FDA definition and may not necessarily indicate food that is hand-crafted or made in small batches.
Check out the slideshow above to discover what buzz words on you should watch out for on food labels.