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Can you explain about processed, organic and natural foods?

Toby Smithson
Nutrition & Dietetics
Most of the food we eat is processed. The definition of a processed food is that it has been altered from its natural state for food safety or convenience (quick to fix or shelf life).

Keep in mind that if a food is processed it does not always mean that it is not healthy. Milk would be considered processed since it is pasteurized. It is pasteurized to keep us safe from harmful bacteria. Frozen vegetables would also be considered processed, but once again they are a healthy food choice as they are frozen right after being harvested to preserve the vitamins and nutrients.

When purchasing organic foods look for the USDA organic seal which means all of the ingredients are made without pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, growth hormones or antibiotics. Organic foods have the same nutritional value as non organic foods. There is not a definition for the term natural except for meat and poultry which indicates they are minimally processed and contain no artificial additives. Otherwise Natural has no meaning for all other foods (besides meat and poultry).

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.