All natural. Organic. We hear these terms all the time and we see them when we do our shopping. According to the FDA, all natural means that nothing artificial or synthetic has been included or added to a food that would not normally be expected to be in that food but does not pertain to production methods of food (such as pesticides used when growing crops). Organic, however, is different. Per USDA guidelines, organic is food grown and produced only with natural substances and excludes items such as synthetic fertilizer or pesticides when growing the food. We know that all natural and organic food can be better for you, but how do you determine when something is actually all natural or organic?

Look closely at the labels when buying all natural or organic. All food that is produced and manufactured in the U.S. have to follow strict labeling guidelines that are then submitted to the USDA for review and approval. If the USDA determines that the item does or does not contain what it claims on the label the label is rejected, and depending on the intention of the error, the company could face a fine for attempting to mislead consumers. Additionally, anything organic must have a the USDA Organic certification logo on the container. If it is any other type of logo that indicates organic, it means that it was not verified and approved by the USDA, which indicates it is not organic.

When reviewing labels, also look at the list of ingredients. If something claims to be all natural or organic and includes ingredients you can’t pronounce or have never heard of, it is a strong indication that it is not actually all natural or organic. Look for a USDA approved certification logo and check those ingredients before you pay extra for something that is all natural or organic!