(Not so) Natural

July 22, 2014 by Damon Jablons

“The food industry now sells almost $41 billion worth of food each year labeled with the word “natural,” according to data from Nielsen. And the “natural” means, well, nothing.”


Consumers are becoming increasingly interested in seeking out the best food for themselves and their families. People across the country are attending farmers’ markets in record numbers, getting education on issues surrounding genetic modification, and reading ingredient lists like never before. This increased awareness is awesome – but is also leaves room for manipulation. Food products with the word “natural” slapped on them are doing just that. What, exactly, does it mean if a food item is labeled as natural? According to the FDA:

“From a food science perspective, it is difficult to define a food product that is ‘natural’ because the food has probably been processed and is no longer the product of the earth. That said, FDA has not developed a definition for use of the term natural or its derivatives. However, the agency has not objected to the use of the term if the food does not contain added color, artificial flavors, or synthetic substances.”


Right. So, the word means nothing. But it is still immensely powerful – $41 billion worth of buying power, to be exact. HowGood exists precisely to address this problem. We give those well-intentioned consumers something real to hang their hats (and their buying power) on.

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