I feel the word natural is getting out of hand. It seems that almost everything claims to be natural these days. Green washing is taking on new paths but has the same agenda and outcomes. Food is now the main source of green washing. Companies are making big profits off of their food being “natural” when natural has no actual meaning. There are no regulations or legal definitions on the term, unlike organic.
There are a two big companies that I have read articles about recently that like to use the word natural but they are not being completely honest about their products.
Chipotle- Known for their naturally raised meats (which some are) but uses GMO soybean oil for their tortillas and other products. They also do not post an ingredients list on their website. Natural for meats is a pretty broad definition, it only means that no artificial ingredients were added.
Whole Foods- Claim they sell natural organic foods, but are not fully against genetically modified foods. They do not have GMOs on their banned food list (but they do have BHT). They are also not supporting Proposition 37 in California that would make labeling GMOs mandatory. Apparently they claim that GMOs are not yet known to be bad for our health, but I would claim otherwise.
It is great that these companies do have some truly natural products, but these are overshadowing the not so great products with GMOs. Since some of their items are “natural”, people are overlooking the rest and just assuming everything is natural or organic. This is not the case at all. Consumers need to be informed and look at the whole picture, not just an organic label here or there. They also need to fully understand what natural means (or doesn’t mean) to be fully aware of what they are buying.