Natural Foods Defined
How are natural foods defined? The simplest answer is that natural foods are defined as those closest to their natural state and minimally processed, if at all.
Natural foods contain only all-natural food ingredients and no artificial flavors or other unnatural additives. They are prepared according to traditional methods, such as lacto-fermented vegetables and sprouted grain breads.
Do natural foods have to be organic? While organic certification is not required, foods should be grown naturally, without chemical fertilizers or sprays. Natural products, such as manure and compost, certainly can and should be used to improve soil quality. However, petrochemicals are incredibly harmful.
In the case of animal products, such as beef, chicken, milk and eggs, the animals should be fed natural diets. For cattle, this means primarily forage, such as grass and hay, and a minimum of grain products. Animal products in cow feed are not acceptable as this is contrary to the animals' native diets.
Chickens should be allowed access to grass and sunshine, ideally. They need the nutrients in grass and bugs and the quality of the chicken and eggs improves drastically under these conditions.
Certain ingredients make processed foods unnatural. These include high fructose corn syrup, partially hydrogenated oils, artificial flavor, natural flavor, artificial color, mono sodium glutamate, preservatives and other unnatural additives. Do not be fooled by so-called "natural" flavoring; it is often as bad or worse than artificial flavoring.
Buy local foods and cook them yourself to eat as naturally as possible. Consider buying beef and other animal products directly from local farms. The more natural your food sources, the more likely you are to have good health.
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