I think that in some cases, yes it is. I don’t mean to bash on all “natural” products, but if you want to be particular, then a pig raised on food without extra hormones and such is natural, but the fat we get from eating its bacon is still unhealthy. Saying that something is natural only means that it has not been altered by man to have/do something the product in question normally wouldn’t. So, it’s really quite easy to call a variety of things natural.
With things like supplements, natural can give the consumer a false sense of security. Just because something grows from a plant, does not mean that it does not have negative side effects. Many illegal drugs are natural, and some types of supplements and diet drugs come from plants, but can cause heart problems or other health issues. I think you hit the nail on the head with “natural” being a marketing ploy.
Oftentimes advertising something as natural can be considered greenwashing. The term ‘natural’ can actually be directly in the ad or on the product label or ‘natural’ can be implied by the image on the advertisement or product label. Greenwashing is a method that companies use to promote the image that their company is environmentally friendly. Nowadays it has become fashionable and trendy to be green and eco-friendly. So yes, the term natural in advertising is just a good marketing ploy.
Absolutely. As a conscious consumer, you must always look beyond the label and the claims. A new trend now is to feature bamboo fabric, it’s natural and eco-friendly…..so they say. But while the bamboo might be raised and harvested sustainably, the chemicals they douse on it afterwards to convert it to a fibrous material is not natural. There are usually minimal to no regulations placed on this type of practice — extending into almost every industry.
What it comes down to is…..what does natural mean to the buyer?
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