Natural vs. Organic

Did you know there are huge differences in what is considered natural and what is organic?

 

We see it all the time in grocery stores or on a commercial: "Buy this all natural product straight from the fields!" If you think about it, we see more things that are natural than organic and that makes us believe that natural products are the most healthy for us, when in fact, natural products still allow things like toxic pesticides, GMOs, antibiotics and growth hormones. While there are strict rules for organic certifications such as our GOLS certificate, few rules apply to "natural" products, allowing unhealthy processes and ingredients to exist in these supposedly natural products. Even natural ingredients have names that sound like chemicals.

Studies in 2011 from the Shelton Group, a Knoxville TN-based advertising agency, show that people at best think “organic” means the item in question is healthier and that nothing has been added to it. At worst, they think it’s a deceptive marketing term, invented to charge people like them more money. When asked what is the best description to read on a label, 31 percent of respondents chose “100 percent natural,” 25 percent chose “all-natural ingredients” and 7 percent chose “contains natural ingredients,” according to results of a survey released this year by the Shelton Group. In contrast, only 14 percent chose “100 percent organic” and about 12 percent chose “certified-organic ingredients.”

If something is certified organic, it has passed several inspections and test from either the USDA or the GOLS, and is deemed to not include any chemicals in the product itself or throughout the process. The organic label guarantees that your mattress has no chemicals or pesticide residue inside or outside the mattress.

To achieve GOLS certification, a product must contain more than 95% of certified organic raw material. The GOLS standard features permissible limits for harmful substances, emission test requirements and polymer and filler percentages. Rubber plantations and processing units up to the final retailer are certified according to the standard. By using transaction certificates at every point of sale in the supply chain, traceability from the plantation to the final retailer is ensured.

"Natural" mattresses are liable to have chemicals that if the latex ever caught fire, could be toxic to your health and even more so for younger kids and even babies. A mattress made from organic latex does not contain any chemicals, synthetics, pesticides, herbicides, or other man-made products.

We use eco-wool, which is made from farmers who practice good husbandry with the animals. This means that all of the animals have free range and the farmers treat each animal safely and courteously.  The reason wool has not been certified as organic may be that certification is to expensive for the average farmer, but that doesn’t mean the farmer is not raising the animals to organic standards.

Organic is truly more environmentally friendly and can save a lot of animals in the process, as opposed to things that are natural because of the strict regulations for animal safety.

Why Natural is Bad?

Natural by definition means existing in or caused by nature; not made or caused by humankind.

In 2014, NPR food and agriculture correspondent Dan Charles wrote about the uproar caused by the term “100% Natural.” Since then (and before), there have been numerous lawsuits against companies for claiming their products are natural when in fact they contain pesticides, GMOs, and VOCs.

The term “Natural” in fact is not even defined by the Food and Drug Administration, and it took the FDA many years to define standards for what is considered organic. Because of this oversight, many companies are allowed to define it themselves and say that something is natural just because it came from the ground or from an animal.

Madeleine Somerville, in a Guardian article, jokingly writes “In fact, here are some natural things which are also actually quite terrible: death, disease, beets, cute little zebra babies being eaten by lions, poisonous plants, mosquitoes, hurricanes.”

With so many companies anxious to promote their products, they slap the natural label on their products to get people to buy them, when in fact they are actually hindering consumers' health.