Amy left a comment on this week’s Sunflower Market post about a good deal on milk:
I was at Sunflower Market a couple months ago and they were handing out samples of their milk (Farmer’s All Natural)… which was delish. But, the lady handing out the samples said it was organic (no hormones, antibiotics, etc.). There is no labeling on the bottles b/c they’re reusable. You pay $1.50 deposit per bottle but are refunded that amount when you bring back the empty bottle. The last time I was there it was $3.29 a gallon, which is the cheapest I’ve seen organic milk. I’ve rarely seen it less than $5/gallon even at Costco or Sam’s.
So, I had to ask if the milk was really, truly, certified organic or just all-natural. That seemed like a huge price difference, even for Sunflower Market, and it seems kind of odd that it wouldn’t be labeled as organic since it’s an expensive process to become certified organic. (If it’s this Farmer’s All-Natural, it does appear that it’s organic. Anyone know for sure?)
Amy said she contacted the company to find out about that specific milk, but it sounds like we could have a lively discussion about organic versus all-natural.
Here’s my take in a nutshell: to be called organic, the grower/manufacturer/whatever has to go through a pretty extensive and expensive process to be certified organic. To the best of my knowledge, you cannot call something organic unless it is really, truly 100% certified organic. (These days, manufacturer’s are starting to say “contains organic ingredients” or “75% organic”, but I believe there are big-time fines for calling something organic that’s not 100% certified organic.)
Now, there are no regulations over the term all-natural. All-natural means… well, what does it mean? The answer to that is whatever the manufacturer wants it to mean. Heavens, high fructose corn syrup is being touted as all-natural, you know?
I personally don’t differentiate between all-natural and “regular” products because unless I can look at the box and see what’s in it, the term all-natural means nothing. I know there’s a standard for organic (and there’s even a debate on that), so if my budget allows I may pay more for something that’s organic, but I could care less about something having a label that says all-natural.
What do you think? Have you researched the debate between organic and all-natural? Do you pay more for a product because the box says all-natural, or do you see it as a marketing gimmick? What about products like milk that don’t really have an examinable list of ingredients – do you think all-natural and organic are the same on those types of products?
Jump in and join the discussion in the comments. Feel free to leave links to other articles or studies about the issue. Oh, and just a reminder to be kind in your comments – amazingly enough, these types of debates can get pretty nasty!
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Welcome to Springs Bargains, a service of our real estate business, Circa Real Estate Group! I’m Carrie, and since 2008 I’ve been sharing free and discounted ways to eat, play, and enjoy life in Colorado Springs.