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Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Grainwashing—Organic Vs. Natural Cereal

Healthy Child Healthy World

By Janelle Sorensen

Like many other consumers, I used to think that if I shopped at the local co-op or in the natural section of the grocery store, I couldn’t go wrong. I could relinquish my fears of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and pesticides and breeze through my grocery shopping without an eco-care in the world.

Not so true.

Now, I know that just because a product has pictures of baby animals or leaves, or is sitting on the shelf next to an organic product, or says “natural,” it does not mean it’s healthier or more eco-friendly than other conventional options.

According to the latest report from the Cornucopia Institute:

There are no restrictions for foods labeled “natural” (very basic standards exist only for meat products). The term often constitutes nothing more than meaningless marketing hype promoted by corporate interests seeking to cash in on the consumer desire for food produced in a genuinely sustainable manner.

Unlike the organic label, no government agency, certification group or other independent entity fully defines the term “natural” on processed food packages or ensures that the claim has merit.

This report explores the vast differences between organic cereal and granola products and so-called natural products, which contain ingredients grown on conventional farms where the use of toxic pesticides and genetically engineered organisms is widespread.

Our analysis reveals that “natural” products—using conventional ingredients—often are priced higher than equivalent organic products. This suggests that some companies are taking advantage of consumer confusion.

To find brands that are committed to sustainable agriculture, avoiding genetically engineered ingredients and supporting organic farmers, use the Cereal Scorecard.

Here’s a quick video summary of their findings:

Does your family eat cereal? What kind? Any other easy breakfast ideas?

Learn more:

 For more information, click here.

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