Purely defined, natural means anything found in nature or derived directly from plants, animals or minerals. Natural products do not contain any man-made (synthetic) ingredients. On food, "Natural" or "All Natural" labels are not meaningful because the federal standard is weak. The USDA will allow a product to be labeled "natural" if it is free from artificial ingredients, added coloring and heavy processing. Natural does not mean organic.
Sometimes known as "organic" dyes, natural dyes come from natural sources. These dyes are different than man-made, synthetic dyes—which, to confuse matters, can also be organic—that often use toxic, non-natural sources and ingredients. Natural dyes typically cost more than synthetic dyes but are generally considered more eco-friendly overall.
Organic fabrics and textiles:
Plant and animal fibers like cotton, wool, hemp, linen, cashmere, silk, jute, soy and bamboo can be certified organic if they are produced according to organic standards set by the USDA. However, the organic label does not guarantee that the finished fabric or textile product is free of synthetic chemicals, bleaches or heavy dyes. The Organic Trade Association certifies finished textiles and garments in the United States.
Organic meat, dairy, poultry, eggs and other livestock products:
Organic animal products come from livestock that are fed organic feed and forage throughout their lives, beginning in at least the last third of gestation before birth. Synthetic hormones, antibiotics, chemicals and genetic engineering are prohibited. The living environment must be stress-free and promote the health and well-being of the animals, as well as prevent the contamination of air, land and water. For a livestock product sold in the United States to be labeled organic, it must meet USDA standards and be certified by third-party accredited inspectors.
Fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, lentils, etc. produced without the use of synthetic fertilizers or pesticides and with farming techniques that protect soil quality, minimize erosion and actively prevent the contamination of air, land and water. For an agricultural product sold in the United States to be labeled organic, it must meet U.S. Department of Agriculture standards and be certified by third-party accredited inspectors.
A diet, recipe or product that involves no meat, poultry or seafood, yet may contain eggs, dairy products, honey, gelatin or other animal-derived ingredient. Followers of this diet are often considered vegetarians.