Two of the recent trendy food terms include Organic and Natural.
The term organic, as defined by the USDA, means that the organic labeled meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products come from animals that are not given antibiotics or growth hormones. Organic plant foods are produced without using conventional pesticides; fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge; bioengineering; or ionizing radiation. A government-approved certifier must inspect the farm to ensure these standards are met. Here’s a link for more info: today.msnbc.msn.com
The term natural is a very popular label. “Natural” claims were the most common on food and beverage launches in 2008 according to the Mintel Global New Products Database. While the word natural may resonate with consumers, neither the USDA nor FDA have formal definitions of the term. This means the that there really is nothing legal or illegal about labeling a product as such. The USDA is currently defining the condition under which it will permit “natural” to be used in meat and poultry product labeling, but this final definition may not appear until later this year. Until then, it’s up to you, the consumer, to scrutinize the product that is labeled as such.