Natural is used to describe many types of food - from meat to vegetables to packaged potato chips. For many people, the term "natural" conjures images of wide, open fields, a single farmer working fifteen hours a day, and everything done by hand, and of course with no chemicals. Packaging certainly plays a large role in this, with green being widely used, and smiling cows, chickens and other farm animals showing just how happy the organic life is. But is it, really? Technically, the term natural simply means derived from natural matter. Therefore, if you trace anything far enough back, it is certainly natural. Instead, look for organic products that have the USDA organic label.
While it is good to choose organic where possible, organic isn’t the be all and end all of ethical eating. For example, if you are concerned about the companies behind your food, organic isn’t necessarily the way to go. Many large corporations now have an organic line, so it is important not to be fooled into thinking that you are supporting a small family when you buy organic.
Additionally, you are not necessarily supporting local farmers. Organic food can, and does, come from anywhere in the world. Depending on where you shop, it can often travel thousands of miles to get to your supermarket. Many people are aware that “food miles” matter when it comes to making ethical and environmentally friendly decisions. Choosing food that is grown overseas and imported doesn’t make much sense, and is often less fresh, but can still most certainly be organic.
Although organic produce is a step in the right direction, and it is important to be aware of the benefits that eating organic can deliver, it is equally important to realize that there are other factors to consider when making ethical choices regarding the food that you and your family eat.
Author: Kurt Jacobson is a surfing enthusiast with a background in real estate. Having moved 10 times in the past 7 years, he thrives on helping others learn from his experiences. When he's not out shredding waves he writes about rental homes for www.rentfinder.co.