Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Define "All Natural"

After our class discussion today about the various issues involving GM foods I began to wonder what even is considered natural anymore. I found this article on NPR about the Ben and Jerry Ice Cream company and thought it might be an interesting article since it discusses just that. What is considered natural anymore, or like the article implies, does natural now mean "with minimal processing."

Ben and Jerry's was asked to take their "all natural" off of their logo containers on some of their ice cream because it contained some "unnatural" ingredients. One of these ingredients was corn syrup which seems to me actually has become a natural ingredient because it happens to be one of the staples of our diet. Although this may not be on purpose, it certainly raises the question what is considered natural anymore?



  1. I think idea of "natural" is always controversial. Is "natural" always a good thing? I think many people would say that what makes humans special is that we have culture and civilization, and are not merely "natural" animals. On the other hand, if the opposite of natural is "artificial," that has a negative connotation. I'd love to hear other people's thoughts on this. Examples where "natural" is a positive? A negative?

  2. Whenever I think of natural, I always think of unaltered foods (foods that haven't been through processing). So for example, I think of corn as natural, but corn syrup is artificial.

    However, the counterargument could be made that with increased genetic engineering, even the corn that grows "naturally" is artificial.