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Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Difference Between Natural Vs Organic Products


Hi guys. Today i want to share about the difference between organic and natural.

Many in Malaysia are not aware of the difference. probably because there isn't any regulation for this therefore the word 'natural' and 'organic' is used interchangeably in Malaysia.

Natural Vs Organic

Natural means that the product should be minimally processed; and it should be something that is not added with any 'chemical additives'. However; being natural is not an indicator that shows that the product wasn't sprayed with pesticides when the plant was growing; the fertilisers may not be 'natural' and the source may or may not be from an ethically raised farm.

Natural products can be anything that is from the nature. Example palm oil from Indonesia; the plant is from palm tree. However, it doesn't show that how the plant was kept, or even what was done to the soil before the plant was farmed etc. (remember my orang utan being prostitute post here) Basically just because its 'Natural' it doesn't mean that its ethically correct the way they do it.

Organic on the other hand is a regulation that is imposed by few regulatory bodies. The famous one is USDA (United States Agriculture Department). Mainly it's by western countries and these regulatory boards are not strong in this part of the world.

For a product to be organic; the ingredients will have to go through a series of 'test' and be made sure that the product doesn't have any 'chemical' things on them. This includes the soil used (shouldn't have pesticides), the water plant (not treated with chemical) etc. To get the regulatory board to approve it as 'organic', one should only use recycled items and not something that is hazardous to the environment.

Product Labels


In order to call a product natural; you can put in 1% of natural product and 99% of synthetic ingredients and you can still call it as 'natural'. Feel cheated? Well Its just how it is because there is no regulation for this. Basically anyone can use the term 'natural'. For me; i personally think you should learn how to read ingredients listings instead of relying on the front product logo.

For Organic on the other hand; if its USDA approved; it's usually 70% organic, and 30% can be anything. Its very rarely you see something that is 100% organic especially in skincare products because; there is no natural preservatives! You can read more about preservatives here.

Why Do People Like To Use Organic?


Organic product gives an impression that the product is 'clean' and 'natural' with no problems at all. As you know the term; if its safe enough to eat its safe to apply on skin so people like it because of this reason mainly.

However; As you can see from the series of test and farming materials as above; organic ingredients are very expensive. Due to that; the price you can sell your product is very high if you are a seller. If lets say the seller is not ethical and is 'faking' the word organic; they can actually get a very high profit margin by using the word 'organic'.

For me; thats very unethical. So if you guys want to use the word 'organic' to sell; make sure you get all the certificates etc first.

Can I Use The Word 'Organic' If I buy "Organic" Ingredients?

No. The reason being is because you are repacking the product. And due to that you have no rights to use the word 'organic' in your products. If you want to use it; you will have to reapply for the organic certificate under your brand name.

Why?

Because when you repack; there are chances of you using 'non-organic' materials; and therefore; the regulatory board will have to come and 're-check' and 're-certify' the ingredients again.

We in SoapLab have some suppliers who have the USDA organic certificate; however; we cant claim that our products are 'organic' because we have repacked them with other materials that is not organic certified. Due to that; we are a non-organic, natural suppliers.

So What To Do? Do I really Need To Use Organic Product?

For me; you will have to reconsider 'why' do you want organic product? Is it for environmental reason? Or is it because people 'say' its better?

If for environmental reason than i would agree that it being 'organic' is better than 'just natural' because when its organic; there is no trace of any synthetic chemicals like pesticides etc on your ingredients.

However; i also feel that this is probably important for 'food' but not cosmetics. We are applying these ingredients on our skin, and not consuming it. And since our 'skin' is an awesome barrier from the outside world to inside; there will be no difference if you use natural vs organic. Ive checked for studies on this but i couldn't get one. Besides that; if you use organic product in your skincare; there is chances of the shelf life being 'shorter' because the ingredient may not be 'clean' of microbes and molds unlike processed naturally derived ingredients.

If you are using Organic product because of the benefits. Well.. then there is no difference. The components and minerals in naturally derived coconut oil, vs organic coconut oil is the same. The benefit to the skin is the same since the fatty acids and minerals are the same. Only thing difference is the high price from purchasing the organic coconut oil and probably also the 'placebo' from feeling good.  Now again; this im talking about skincare making; not eating. There is a huge difference when you eat these vs making it into cosmetics.

What I Would Personally Do?

For me; if its for food; im more inclined to organic. But if its cosmetics; im fine with it being naturally derived because im not convinced there is a difference and the price doesnt justify it. As long as i know the source we have in SoapLab are ethical (direct from farmers), and it comes with all the lab test; im 'ok'. For me; i want a product that is safe, and effective, that doesn't harm any living things (farmers, their family and animals) along the way.

But ive always wondered though; if 'organic' product certification is so 'costly' then how do small farmers gets it? Does this mean that only 'bigger company' can get the certification? And since they are not using pesticides to kill the pests during farming; does it mean that there are many 'rotten' ingredients? And what happens to them (those rotten ones). Since we dont buy any 'ugly' vegetables or fruits then what happens to them? (even if i tell myself i want to buy those distorted ones; i rarely do:-( Guilty here. But im sure many are like me)

Contoh if its apple, since no pesticides there are probably more 'apples' that has worms then those without. What happens to these apples? Is it discarded? Or do they do something with it? If they turn it into 'fertilisers' then wouldnt it mean there is more fertilisers than the need for it? Wouldnt that stink up the air? Isn't it expensive to have a 'farm' like this? Doesnt this then result in another problem (like too many waste) and become environmental hazard in long run? Im not someone who knows anything about farm and this is something i didnt read about before; so if any of you know about this; could you share? Thank you for reading:-)

Nisha




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