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Certified Organic VS Natural

by Michele Griffiths |

Supernatural Body use only USDA certified organic ingredients.

After a discussion with a customer yesterday I think it’s probably about time that I put down some thoughts about product labeling and the difference between “natural” and organic products. Before we can discuss labeling however, I think it’s probably best to first get into why it’s so important for us at Supernatural Body to make key distinctions in our product labeling and why we use terms such as “certified organic” as opposed to “natural” when we discuss the qualities or properties of the ingredients in our products.

So, let’s first discuss why we only use USDA Certified Organic ingredients which are organically grown and as such free from synthetic pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers. These ingredients tend to contain a greater amount and variety of vitamins and minerals but most importantly they contain a much greater amount and diversity of phenolic phytonutrients. These nutrients are produced by the plant to protect themselves from disease and pests and its thought that because industrially grown crops are treated with chemicals the plants do not produce these nutrients yet its these very nutrients sometimes referred to as “secondary metabolites” that are thought to provide the key benefits associated with consuming plants and fruits in the first place. Of course, another issue nowadays is that commercial growers are driven by yield (weight) and not by the phytonutrient profile of their produce which is unfortunate but it goes a long way to explain why that melon sized tomato has no flavor. So, long story short we strongly believe that to pack the absolute maximum benefit into our products it is essential we use Certified Organic ingredients not just because of the nutrients but also because the ingredients are free of the nasties too.

Given the above its obviously clear why we label our products as Certified Organic. Unfortunately, product labeling in the US although somewhat better regulated than in the past is still confusing and likely to become more confusing in the future with deceptive marketing and sketchy advertising likely to increase confusion. There are 1,300 nasties (chemicals) commonly used in cosmetics that are banned in the EU and only 11 are banned in the US. I think that is totally ridiculous especially when many of these products are labeled “Natural” or “All Natural”! I think these terms may be my biggest pet peeve since they are so common and totally overused and intended to disguise all kinds of ills. The product, for example, may have only trace amounts of a plant-based ingredient and it can still somehow be “natural”! Actually, the product may even be Genetically Modified as well as packed with synthetic chemicals which will do who knows what to your body over time! In a couple of minutes, we found the following terms during a recent trip to a skincare store: Natural, All-natural, Organic, Certified Natural, Certified Naturally Grown, Certified Organic, USDA Certified Organic and Contains Organic Ingredients. Sadly, only a couple of these terms define a product that we believe is truly safe and again it is why our products are USDA Certified Organic.

I don’t want to bog down my post with too much gloom and doom but I do encourage everyone to be skeptical of all “natural” claims and to study the ingredients including food products and to educate yourself about why these chemicals are in the products and what the long-term exposure can be. There are several wonderful websites and App’s that will help you determine which chemicals to avoid and which may sound terrible but are actually natural! I have always thought that Ascorbic Acid sounds terrible but of course, it’s just Vitamin C.

Here are some helpful websites and Apps:

EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database
GoodGuide
Think Dirty® Shop Clean.