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If you’ve been to the grocery store lately, you’ve probably noticed some boundary lines between shelves. Broccoli vs. organic broccoli, pasteurized milk vs. raw milk, whole-food supplements vs. food-based. The world is quickly featuring a hodgepodge of fancy words and label claims at higher and higher prices.
But what does it all actually mean? Should we be shelling out for the most expensive option and will that help us meet our nutritional needs?
Supplement companies love to use terms like “organic,” “raw,” and “food-based” in order to sound healthier or better than other products. More often than not, you’re not getting more nutrients in those products.
Can We Get More-ganic?
Thanks to modern marketing, consumers typically think “organic” means “more sustainable,” and that they’re ingesting more nutrients from organic supplements. However, organic farms are sometimes less sustainable and come with several validity issues.
First, the FDA doesn’t regulate supplements the way they do foods. There is currently no FDA certification for organic supplements, which means that each company is responsible for verifying all of their own information. When supplements are advertised as organic, they are either not certified, or the certifications come from private organizations (which don’t have a set of consistent rules that determine if supplements are organic or not). Basically, you’re trusting big companies to tell you the truth about their products. That’s usually reliable, right?
Second, let’s talk about definitions. What does “organic” actually mean?
For some companies, organic means that there is a lack of pesticides or herbicides used on the product. That's great, because who wants to ingest chemicals? However, this definition automatically brings up issues, as supplements are not "grown". When referring to supplements, organic often refers to the process in which the supplements are produced. For these companies, organic is the opposite of synthetic, stating that their organic supplements were not created in a lab.
Compared to non-organic farms in North America, organic produce and supplements do not have significantly higher nutritional values. When companies market their products as healthier than others, these nutritional values are often taken out of context and compared to produce or products coming from foreign countries.
All of this is to say, "organic" may mean a lack of pesticides, but it does not mean more nutrients.
What’s the Flaw with Raw?
Similar to the organic movement, consumers have been flocking to the raw food diet like Instagram influencers to a LuluLemon sale. Unlike organic, things get a little more extreme here. Raw food supplements consist of food that’s never been refined, pasteurized, treated with pesticides, or processed in any way, and is usually plant-based.
Just like organic, there is no regulation on labeling when it comes to raw food supplements—a company can label any product as raw without meeting any standards. When companies advertise a supplement as raw, there is almost never a provided definition or more information about how they determined that their product is raw. Without defining how their supplements classify as raw, these claims are unreliable as the definitions are extremely variable.
Food-Based or Food-Blasé?
Finally, let’s talk about food-based supplements. Much like the other categories we discussed so far, supplements can be classified as “food-based”—insinuating the vitamins and minerals are coming directly from food. However, food-based mostly refers to the process where the vitamins and minerals are blended with other processed foods and food powders. This doesn’t inherently increase the nutritional value of the supplements or make them healthier.
As mentioned previously, these terms have no regulation and no official definition. Companies do not often address the process they go through in order to label their products as “raw” or “food-based.”
Putting the “Fiction” in Science-Fiction
Let’s take a moment to talk about real, scientific facts.
If having non-synthetic supplements was truly superior, there would be a streamlined label for these products. They would be regulated and the research would support that these products are healthier or more effective.
Instead, we are given more expensive products with fancy labels that are unregulated, unbacked, and undefined. More often than not, these products are labeled with these terms to make more sales and to lead consumers to believe that there are additional benefits to their products.
Hardy’s: A New-tritional Perspective
Okay, okay, we know what you’re thinking. “Is everything a hoax? Is there a reasonable way to get the nutrients my body needs?” Yes!
At Hardy Nutritionals, we strive to be transparent and provide science-based information regarding our supplements. We find it important for our customers to understand the validity of the studies behind our micronutrients, how they are processed, and why they are quite simply, the best.
Unlike the other terms we just covered, Hardy Nutritionals supplements are completely backed by peer-reviewed independent research, because we believe in science. Our specialized formulas are bioavailable due to the specialized micro-grinding and chelation process we use to ensure that your body is getting the right amounts and forms of nutrients throughout the day.
Individuals using our clinical-strength supplement Daily Essential Nutrients (and their doctors) have reported:
Not only do the studies support the micronutrients we provide, but you can truly feel a difference when you use our products because they work. Ready to take the next step? Get started today at Try.HardyNutritionals.com.