Natural and Organic: what's the difference anyway?

Unfortunately, natural does not mean natural anymore. Any vegetables, fruits and spices labeled as such have been grown with pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, and many times treated with radiation "for safety". Also, nowadays, some of those vegetables are genetically engineered.
Any milk, cheese, yogurt, eggs etc with that name means it has hormones, antibiotics, plus the pesticides/fungicides/herbicides of their "natural" feed, which is genetically engineered corn and soy. The same goes for any natural, regular meat: raised with hormones and antibiotics, and fed ''natural'' corn and soy that is genetically engineered to withstand herbicides etc. Not to mention that the meat, if it is natural, definitely comes from factory farms. That means that the animals are raised and kept in confinement, under horrendous conditions, for their entire lives. Many of those animals are quite sick when they are slaughtered for our consumption. That includes farmed fish as well, as far as antibiotics are concerned. The meat of those animals can also be treated with ammonia, and/or ''zapped'' (irradiated),  but no one is required to put that on the labels, alongside the pretty farm pictures.
Organic, in the case of vegetables, means that no pesticides, herbicides, fungicides etc were used for their growth. Also they are not genetically engineered, which is important to know when you buy corn and soy products.
In the case of dairy and meat, it also means that the cows, for example, were not fed genetically engineered corn, and also were not given hormones and unnecessary antibiotics. You can assume, then, that those animals are generally healthier then their natural counterparts. But a lot of them still come from factory farms, which is not great as far as the health of the animals, and therefore our health, and the health of the planet, is concerned (more on that another time).
How to know what comes from where? Ask at the store. If they don't know the answer, ask them to ask the distributor, or the farm itself. If you don't have the time to do that at the store, call the store and ask. They need your business, so they will do anything to help you, their valued customer who sustains them with your hard-earned money. If the store is no good at giving you simple answers for questions such as ''where are these apples from and when were they picked'', go to a store where they can and care to find out for you. Also, every product has a label with a phone number. You can call that number, and ask questions; they will give you answers.
So, if you are still in doubt as to what to buy at the store... yes, always, always go with organic. Because that way you will always know, for sure and beyond any doubt, that you are not ingesting pesticides and other crazy chemicals.
If you buy organic packaged food, like sandwich bread, chips, tortillas, bars, cereals, granola, yogurt, cheese, milk, dried fruit, flour, oats, juices... make sure to read the label. You will be surprised to find many organic items with weird crazy non-organic ingredients in them. Stay away from those, and buy only stuff that you recognize as real, true organic food, and does not have an ounce of any whatever acid, dextrin or anything that you do not recognize in it but the food itself. Remember, food, food, food-not chemicals. Good luck in your shopping adventures!

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