Natural is a word that carries a lot of meanings. I sometimes I see it used on products containing sugar or “organic” sugar. Sugar is anything but natural. It is a highly processed food and far from a natural state. To make my point, one useful definition of a drug that I used when teaching a course on Drugs and Society at the University level was that a drug was- any concentrated chemical substance that by its chemical nature when ingested produces a change in the structure or function of the body’s physiology. Sound anything like sugar? Think about it.
To carry an organic label in the U.S., foods must be grown without synthetic pesticides, growth hormones, antibiotics, genetic engineering or chemical fertilizers. However, that does make mention of the quality of the soil in which the plant grows. The truth is the key factor on what nutritional qualities a food reflects is determined by the soil it is grown in.
Even if a food is grown without synthetic pesticides, genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) or synthetic NPK (Nitrogen-Phosphorus and Potassium) fertilizers, if it is grown in depleted soil it will produce depleted crops.
Vegetables do not produce nutrients, especially important trace minerals, they have to be drawn from the soil. A simple axiom– If it isn’t in the soil, it sure isn’t gonna be in the plant. Soils depleted from long term usage of NPK synthetic fertilizers strip important minerals out of the soil over time because plants need those minerals for healthy growth and pull them out of the soil as they grow?
Additionally, some of the larger producers of organic produce grow their “organic” crops adjacent to conventionally grown crops resulting in pesticide residues bleeding over into the “organic” crops. Hence, sometimes produce labeled organic may still have some pesticide residues on it. Not as much of course as on directly sprayed crops, but in some cases it doesn’t take much of these “cides” (which means killing) to do some damage.
The point is calling something natural or even organic does not necessarily guarantee its quality. Try to be judicious if possible on your sources. If locally grown and purchased you may even be able to question the grower.
Keep these factors in mind if you have the opportunity to look at the claims of some studies which show there is little difference between organic and conventional crops. There most certainly is, if the crops are grown in strong mineral content organically cultivated soil which has had time to recover its natural carrying capacity of nutrients and minerals.
In most cases, as long as a vegetable is certified as organically grown it is still superior to conventional, mega-farm produce grown with synthetic fertilizers in already depleted soil which makes the plants so weak they need heavy doses of pesticides in order to ward off predatory insects and other invaders.
While it is not always easy to determine the quality of organic products they still provide less danger and nearly always better nutrition than conventional produce. However, this also makes it a good idea in the long run to consider both organic gardening and sound natural and organic supplementation for your natural lifestyle.
Here is a quality hierarchy of natural nutrition to consider from worst to best:
It is difficult to find fully reliable organic produce. Wild foods are not convenient. Additionally, compromised health conditions require more punch, so to speak, than dietary change alone may be able to initially provide- especially when attempting to turn around a long term or a more serious health condition. Nonetheless, sound dietary selections help to secure supplementation changes and are important to support the continuation of recovery.
Supplementation is helpful and needed when regenerating one’s state of health from a compromised state. Accurately matched supplements tend to contain specific ingredients in a concentrated format which can be used to more effectively target specific conditions. The aforementioned quality hierarchy of factors should also be taken into consideration with supplement recommendations as well. Wild being preferred to organic and organic to conventional or synthetically produced supplements.
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