With the plethora of food terminology and food labeling out there it can get confusing trying to decipher exactly what businesses are trying to communicate. Words start to take on the same meanings because marketing companies and businesses are using them interchangeably, even though there are particular differences in word definitions.
We often get new customers coming into our health food store asking what the difference is between whole foods and organic foods and it is a fair enough question to ask given that both terms indicate something that is healthy and pure.
So we thought we’d clarify these two commonly misused terms.
Organic Food
Organic food refers to the process in which agricultural produce is grown and processed. Unlike conventionally grown food, organic food that is farmed organically follows a strict set of requirements that ensure that the food is free from the use synthetic chemicals such as pesticides and artificial fertilisers, except those which are naturally forming (as can often be the case with soil).
Growing food organically is gaining popularity as more people come to understand that the way conventional method of farming, which is highly industrialised, causes a number of issues such as:

  • Environmental issues such as soil degradation and erosion, water pollution;
  • animal welfare issues caused by what is now dubbed as “factory farms”; and
  • health issues due to the increased use of synthetic chemicals

Whole Foods
Whole foods refers to foods that are free from processing and refinement, and this includes non homogenised milk, which means that they are consumed “whole” without any added salt, sugar, fats or carbohydrates.
Although this term is often confused with organic foods, whole foods are not necessarily organic and neither are organic foods necessarily “whole”. Many organically grown produce may still be processed refined and altered in the course of food production and manufacturing.
We hope we’ve been able to shed some light on these two commonly misused terms! And of course, if you’re looking for a great selection of whole foods, organic foods, gluten free foods, feel free to wander into our store or browse through our extensive range online.