There, I've made my point.
Now if you need to skip along your merry way, then skip! I'll catch up with you later. However, if you would like to learn more, then join me as I share some research from a recent school paper.
The Natural Label
Phrases such as "100% natural" or "All natural" can be slapped on a variety of food or beverage packages because the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has no authoritative standards or regulation of the term. "Natural" implies that a food has undergone minimal processing with no additional additives. Some packages are more believable than others. What do you think of these examples?
I found these examples on FoodBiz Daily. It's a handy resource for tracking food industry market research, or finding new food and beverage products. Check it out!
The Natural Label + Meat
The good news. The USDA has set standards for naturally labeled meat. The USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Services define "natural" meat or poultry as products without artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, or ingredients. Also, these natural meat products must be in their original form.
"Naturally Raised." Yup, this term is legit too.
In January 2009 the USDA's Agriculture Marketing Service authorized this label. "Naturally raised" meat comes from animals that are free from growth-promotants, antibiotics, and have never been fed animal- or aquatic-derived food before slaughter. Livestock producers must request USDA certification before using this label.
Even with meat regulations, the "natural" label can still be skewed. Anyone ever heard of Perky Jerky?
And hey, let's give a shout-out to the most natural foods of all: Fruits and Vegetables!
*all product photos are taken from FoodBiz Daily. I am not being paid by any company to market the above products.
Coming next in Part 2...The Organic Label.