There are many different opinions out there about the labeling of natural foods. Many natural food manufacturers to label their products as “natural” even if they contain none of the natural ingredients that are listed on the government DSHM list. The USDA produces a dietary guidelines called the National List of Artificial Flavors and nutritive Products. This list is used by processors to claim that a food items are natural when they contains only one or two artificial ingredients. It is also important to note that the National List is not necessarily the same list that bankoff says is the most accurate. The actual amount of artificial ingredients is lower than the amounts used in the NLS.
As food technology has advanced, so has organic food manufacturing and processing. There are now large scale facilities that produce and ship organic and all natural foods. In an effort to distinguish themselves from the larger, more traditional organic and whole foods farms and ranches, these large food companies have invested heavily in expensive R&D programs. They have also spent millions of dollars in advertising to ensure that their products are well known. In response to this growing demand for more organic and natural foods, many smaller organic food manufacturers have started to grow their business by focusing on small niche markets. If they use the information provided in books like the National List of Artificial Flavors and Nutriments as their guide when determining what is not natural, then they will be able to provide consumers with high quality, fresh ingredients that will be safe for them to eat.
The question remains, where do we find such specialized information? We know that natural foods manufacturers are located in the Northeast, the upper Midwest, and the upper South. There are also companies based in Canada, Europe, and Japan that also focus on organic and natural foods. Some of the larger companies like Evolve Organics, Sun-Mar Corporation, and Bio-Claire Foods have been in business for over one hundred years each. This type of consistent and reliable history and knowledge is something we can all benefit from when trying to make an informed decision regarding what we eat.
The two most important factors that lead to healthy living and healthy choices is education and awareness. If we did not know what we were eating, how would we know how to choose the best foods for us? Knowledge and awareness are power. We need to learn what natural foods manufacturers are putting into their products so that we can be sure that our family is eating safe and healthy. We want to help provide our family with nutritional value as well as delicious-tasting foods that promote good health. I believe that we can accomplish that by learning what some of the greatest food manufacturers in the world have developed over the last century.
The United States of America is one of the leading nations in the world when it comes to natural foods manufacturers. Some of the companies like Evolve Organics, Sunshine Mar Corporation, and Bio-Claire Foods Inc have annual sales exceeding one billion dollars! These companies consistently create award winning cosmetics, health food products, and organic skin care lines. They also take great pride in working with small family farms and creating a variety of plant-based recipes. In fact, many of these products are so close to the real thing that you can actually taste the difference!
For those of us that are interested in helping our family to have access to high quality fresh ingredients and to support natural farmers, we need to support the small family farm operations that make up the organic and natural foods industry. As consumers, we can purchase our own policy for buying organically grown foods in order to help ensure that we are playing our part in helping to maintain healthy soils, soil nutrition, and soil production in this country. If you are not yet a leader in the organic and natural foods industry but want to join, consider becoming a buyer. You will be amazed at the difference in both customer service and the quality and freshness of the foods you buy.