WHILE THE above satire takes a light hearted jab at the label “Natural” (and, better yet, “All Natural”) the truth is not even close to being funny. This is the truth: “Natural” don’t mean squat. As pointed out by Business Insider, the Food and Drug Administration has no formal definition of the term. What they do say, however, is,
Although the FDA has not established a formal definition for the term ‘natural,’ we do have a longstanding policy concerning the use of ‘natural’ in food labeling…the FDA considers the term ‘natural’ to mean that nothing artificial or synthetic (including all color additives regardless of source) has been included in, or has been added to, a food that would not normally be expected to be in the food.
That doesn’t really explain why something like Crystal Light (made by Kraft) is labelled natural although it contains synthetic ingredients like maltodextrin and butylated hydroxyanisole. If the government is going to allow corporations to use this word as a marketing ploy ($22 billion in annual sales from “natural” products) and not protect consumers, it must fall on all of us to share the information. Remember, “natural” doesn’t mean natural.