eating healthy, food, food label, green, health, local, natural, organic, Packaging
Natural (adj.) 1. Of or arising from nature; in accordance with what is found or expected in nature. 2. Produced or existing in nature; not artificial or manufactured.
Natural food is as easy to come by as Coca-Cola, but what are companies really promising when they claim their products are “all natural”?
Wesson cooking oils, Kashi cereals, Arizona-brand drinks, and Skinnygirl Margarita alcoholic beverages all claim to be “all natural.” According to the Food and Drug Administration, “all natural” means the product contains nothing artificial or synthetic. But Skinnygirl Margaritas contain preservatives, including sodium benzoate. Kashi lists unnaturally processed and synthetic ingredients.
For these companies, being “all natural” just means using natural ingredients, even if not exclusively. Thus high fructose corn syrup has been called all natural, leading to a lawsuit that challenges the notion that high fructose corn syrup is as natural as refined cane sugar.
In the past, fewer products claimed to be all natural; it has always been difficult to mass produce a product that really is all natural but still offers a decent shelf-life. But as more companies claim to be all natural, consumers have a harder time making comparisons between products that offer a reasonably natural alternative and those that are just making the claim.
1. Is it ethical to claim that a product with just some natural ingredients is all natural?
2. As a consumer, do you believe labels that make claims of being all natural
Ashby Jones, “Is Your Dinner ‘All Natural’?,” Wall Street Journal, September 20, 2011.
Blair Ginden said:
For companies to make the statement that their product is “all natural” is without question unethical. There is an implied commitment made by the company that what they are putting on the label of their product is accurate and honest. An unknowing customer will believe that the “natural” product natural, as well as healthier than the “unnatural” alternative, because of the statement they make on the package. For a company that is usually trusted in the marketplace to lie to it’s consumers is wrong. Companies should be held accountable for being honest about the ways they market their products and not be allowed to deceive their consumers. When I am at a grocery store I am always a bit apprehensive of product labeling, but I tend to trust that something marked as all natural, or even in an all natural section that some stores such as Stop and Shop have, will actually contain only natural ingredients. I am not under the impression, however, that all natural ingredients means that an item is actually healthier. After reading this article I am going to actually read the labels on my supposedly natural foods much more carefully.