Sorting through the terminology of the local natural food store can be a minefield. Let’s see whether we can make sense of the labels.

First there’s “natural.” You can completely forget about this term, which has no legal meaning or definition. It is used randomly by food manufacturers for marketing purposes, and it means absolutely nothing. There are plenty of things that are natural that I wouldn’t want to put in my body—for example, gasoline and poison mushrooms. When you see “natural” or “all-natural” on a food product, just roll your eyes and know it’s meaningless.

Organic, on the other hand, has a real, legal definition. The U.S. Department of Agriculture put into place a set of national standards that ...

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