Natural foods came to mean the whole food or whole food source. The definition included no adulteration after harvest, not modified; minimally processed to retain its natural nutrient complex; no objectionable ingredients added after harvest or in processing; no preservatives, artificial colors, or flavors; but not necessarily organically grown. That said, the term “natural” does not have an official or legal definition in the U.S. Department of Agriculture, except for its use with meat and poultry products where natural meat products are defined as:
A product containing no artificial ingredient or added color and is only minimally processed. Minimal processing means that the product was processed in a manner that does not fundamentally alter the product. The label must include a statement explaining the meaning of the term natural (such as “no artificial ingredients; minimally processed”).