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Difference Between Organic and Natural – Easy Guide

Organic is the new buzzword.

But there are differences between Certified Organic, Organic and Natural that you may be wondering about and should definitely know.

Everyone seems to be talking about it, the mothers at the school canteen, your boss on her “only green vegetables will enter my stratosphere” diet, and maybe even your teenage daughter in an attempt to get rid of the pimples she didn’t invite along on her puberty journey.

But like all buzzwords, there is a lot of misunderstanding around the word and some nasty conundrums as well. Believe it or not, the idea of organic is really quite simple, just like everything Mother Nature related. Basically, anything confusing and wrong with it is probably caused by mortals, and maybe some vampires… but that’s another story.

If keeping up with all the organic nuances is doing your head in, don’t worry. This guide should set you straight.

1. There really is a difference…

Between Certified Organic, Organic and Organic/Natural based products, that is. I don’t blame you for being a little iffy about this one because as someone immersed in this field of expertise, you would think I’d have this one down pat by now.

Seriously, I thought I did.

But as I spoke to a potential distributor in Thailand last week, I realised that maybe I only understood the difference in Australia. In all my naivety, I actually (rather stupidly, it appears) believed that maybe there would be a global definition for Organics. Silly me because that would make it, oh I don’t know, easy!

It turns out that in Australia at least, Certified Organic refers to products that are Organic and have been declared as such by an appropriate government/independent body. Companies that are manufacturing Certified Organic Products probably have CEOs that have lost all their hair by now. I’m not kidding; I’d actually be prepared to put a wager on it which is saying something considering my dismal betting record. Acquiring Organic Certification is not a small feat, it takes loads of time, lots of documentation, going back and forth a gazillion times and heaps of finance.

Organic is probably (don’t shoot me, I did say probably and even italicised it) exactly the same in terms of quality and processing as Certified Organic without the official badge of honour. What stops some people from purchasing organic however is that there’s no official proof. It’s like 天然產品香港 swearing that you saw a spaceship without the photograph to prove it. You may be wondering why I’ve italicised official twice before. It’s because the manufacturers of Organic Products should have some sort of documentation stating that the products have had no chemical and unnatural processing going on before it got to your fingertips. Should doesn’t always mean they do, which is wrong. Very wrong. At least in my book anyway but we all have different yardsticks… you get the picture.

Basically organic products are based on trusting the manufacture within reason. Though there’s no official certification, the document stating the above still means the manufacturer better be telling the truth or they’re likely to be in hot water if someone finds out otherwise.

Organic/Natural Based is often referred to as Organic by Default.

What this means is that an organic based product is likely to be exactly the way Mother Nature intended. It’s like growing your own tomatoes in your backyard and then selling them at your kids’ lemonade stand. They were grown exactly the way the environment wanted them grown, the naturally perfect way and you don’t have to have any documentation stating so because well, Mother Nature didn’t pass one along, did she? Because if she did why are you here reading this post? Go and tell someone now and get rich and famous.

2. Should you even bother or is Organics nothing more than a buzzword for my much richer neighbour?

Honestly, I’m going to put my foot in it because it is one of my top three skills on my resume.

Though I am pretty much in charge (when my dad isn’t watching) of a Certified Organic/Organic/Organic based sustainable organisation located in a small picturesque town that makes it hard not to be motivated to live as closely to nature, the fact is that there is no comprehensive proof that organic is actually better for you.

But… because you know there’s always a but, many people who swear by Organic Products will never tire of telling you that you can’t put a price on common sense, or as my mum say’s, common sense is not a commodity sold at the local vegetable market. You have no idea how much using that saying pained me because it was the quirky response I would often get when I came back home and told her about something stupid I did (which till this day, continues to be often).

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