Difference Between Organic and Natural Food

Many people think that there is no difference between organic food & natural food and that both of them mean the same thing. However, this is not true. If you compare organic and natural from their definitions, the difference will be quite clear. Organic food refers to food items that are produced, manufactured and handled using organic means defined by certifying bodies such as the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) under its Organic Food Products Act. Natural food, on the other hand, generally refers to food items that are not altered chemically or synthesized in any form. These are derived from plants and animals. Thus a natural food item is not necessarily organic and vice versa. But the important question is – “Why do some people prefer organic food and some people prefer natural food?” This is because some people have the belief that synthesizing a food item results in some level of loss of its nutrients and beneficial properties. Therefore, they demand natural foods. Organic food fans, on the other hand, want their food to be free of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and preservatives, so they choose organic. Apparently, the demand for organic food is more than natural food because organic food seals are guaranteed and monitored by the government. An act similar to the Organic Food Products Act is necessary for natural food products as well, but it has not occurred at this time. Given below is the difference between natural and organic food based on different parameters:

What is Organic Food and Natural Food?

Organic Food: Organic food refers to items that are produced using organic means. Stringent standards for organic food production, handling, and processing exist throughout the world. Natural Food: Items are minimally  synthesized. Stringent standards do not exist for natural food products in many parts of the world. Organic food: Many countries have certification bodies, the most prominent being the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Natural food: The International Association of Natural Products Producers (IANPP) is trying to get the definitions for natural food into solid place. It should be noted that this association is not a certification body.

Food Labels

Organic food: Organic labels have legal implications. A manufacturer must follow the specified rules and regulations before using the organic label. Natural food: Natural labels are normally used freely by manufacturers due to lack of adequate guidelines.

Food Demand

Organic food: There is considerably more for organic food than for natural food. Organic food is readily available all over the world and people buy it more every year. Natural food: The demand for natural food is increasing, but not nearly as much as for organic food.

Health Benefits

Organic Food: There is no evidence to prove that organic food is healthier than non-organic food. People prefer organic food because they feel that it is safer than conventional food as chemicals are not used in its production. However, recent research on the health benefits of organic milk has boosted the spirits of organic food lovers. Recent research suggests that choosing organic food can lead to increased intake of nutritionally desirable antioxidants and reduced exposure to toxic heavy metals. Natural Food: People prefer natural food because they believe excessive processing of food items disturbs the implicit health benefits.

Food Price

Organic Food: It is priced higher than non-organic food. Natural Food: It is priced higher than processed food.

Shelf Life

Organic Food: The shelf life of organic food is more than that of natural food, meaning that you can store it safely for a longer duration. Natural Food: Since it is minimally processed, many food items which have a high water content have a subsequently short shelf life.


Organic food: Organic food is being sold in almost every major supermarket. There are even specialty stores selling organic food exclusively and one can purchase organic food online as well. Natural food: Natural food is available at many stores that sell organic food. There are some specialty stores that sell natural food. Furthermore, many stores selling health food items also sell natural food products. It is a growing market.   SOurce:organicfacts.net

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