Posted on 12/2/2014
Banning natural or limiting its use in my opinion would serve many purposes, but mainly it would allow consumers to make healthier choices without getting fooled by devious companies using it to con unsuspecting people into buying their products.
There is so much confusion out there about what the word “natural” means when it comes to food labeling. Companies market it and it seems it has little meaning behind it when you look closer at those so-called natural products.
Would you think a product that has no real lemon be allowed to call itself natural lemonade? Would you think products with artificial food dyes, which are chemically made in factories, be called natural? Would you think products containing artificial sweeteners, which are also made from chemicals in factories, be called natural? The list goes on and on with what is currently being called “natural” in today’s marketplace.
The average consumer limited on time and perhaps on knowledge in the area of food, nutrition and slick marketing tactics, takes the word printed in black and white on packaging without much more thought. So, if it says “natural” it must be a good, healthy choice? Right? Wrong!
As you know, I do not agree that more government is better government, however this use of natural has really gotten out of hand and is actually harming more people than it is doing them good.
I believe the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) should step in and ban its use on products that are clearly not natural. I also think they should fine companies who continue to deceive consumers through fraudulent claims about “natural” products. These fines would help pay for the oversight that is clearly needed to monitor and contain the use of natural on these highly unnatural products.
I’m often asked, “Why don’t you call your healthy, freshly prepared meals natural?” And, my standard answer is, “Well, with all the products out there calling themselves natural that are clearly not and in fact, not healthy. Wouldn’t I be doing my product a disservice if I grouped myself together with them?”
Yes, you can pronounce our ingredients and yes, we adhere to not using artificial food dyes, MSG, artificial sweeteners, harmful additives as preservatives, poultry with antibiotics. But, why use something that clearly has no meaning like the term natural? Healthy is in our name after all, and we must adhere to specific requirements to carry such a label. I am proud we have not called ourselves natural for nearly 30 years even though we clearly could do so and truly mean it. It is pointless in my opinion to say “natural” when we are healthy eating and that trumps it all.
Interested in this subject? Check out the recent debate by the Consumers Reports executive director in the New York Times. That organization is in favor of making the FDA prevent food companies from using the term when they do not contain natural ingredients.
She made healthy eating her mission in life long before anyone else did, in hopes of helping her own obese father. A registered nurse by training and entrepreneur at heart, she lives, eats and breathes everything about healthy eating and helping to improve people’s eating habits and overall health. She enjoys never having to bother with grocery shopping, cooking and counting calories. Her favorite SSHE meal, although it’s hard to pick just one, is the Potato Gnocchi with Basil Pesto Sauce.