The pandemic was an eye-opener to our way of living. It caused people to become aware of the toll our actions have taken on the Earth and, in return, ourselves as the human race. This has led many to analyse their unhealthy lifestyle and switch to a more healthier, simplistic and natural one.
Consumers are now more conscious of the products they buy—what goes into them, where they are sourced from and how they are made. If you are still on the fence about taking that step towards incorporating natural products in your lifestyle, then here are a few reasons that might help:
1. Free of synthetic chemicals
Not all synthetic chemicals are bad. For instance, medicines and vaccines save lives; retinol reverses signs of ageing; coagulants and chelating agents make water potable etc. That being said, there are tons of man-made chemicals that do have adverse effects and lead to chronic conditions later on in life. Some of these modifications are on the genetic level and can be passed on to future generations.
With no artifical additives, consuming natural products drastically reduces your chances of illnesses and disorders that are otherwise avoidable.
2. Environmentally friendly
Switching to an environmentally sustainable lifestyle is not as difficult as it seems. The easiest thing you can do is replacing what you already use with natural products. For example, replacing canned or frozen food with fresh produce, artificial sugar with natural sweeteners like honey and jaggery, or regular shampoos for natural ones.
Natural products are prepared using ethical practices that do not harm the environment. Even the packaging is created keeping reusability and recycling in mind.
3. Crafted in small batches
True natural products are made in small batches because they are made by a selected few. Resources are limited and to keep from straining the ecosystem and to maintain the quality of the products, raw materials are sourced in limited amounts. Furthermore, they are not chemically processed or filled with artificial preservatives so their shelf life is generally lesser than mass produced ones. All this means that each product is fresh, unique and crafted with attention to detail. It also means that there is less wastage of energy and material.
Chemically processing or adulterating raw materials depletes them of their natural nutrients and inherent goodness. While the end result might taste good, seem appealing or convenient to use, its nutritional value is not great; in fact, it could be harmful. Natural products are rich in available vitamins and minerals. Your will notice a significant difference in your energy levels and how you feel once you make the switch.
5. Supporting local communities
From sourcing to packaging, production of natural products is carried out with the help of local communities. They are cognisant about when and how to ethically obtain raw materials as well as how they should be handled or used. By purchasing products made by them, you support their livelihood and help preserve indigeneous wisdom.
Arguments against Natural Products
- They aren't technically chemical free
Everything is made out of chemicals. But just as not every chemical is bad, neither are all chemicals good, especially artificial additives and other synthetic chemicals added to food; the non-stick coating on modern cookware; or the chemical cleaning agents that end up in water sources. These substances cause damage on a cellular level, ultimately leading to chronic health issues. PFOS or forever chemicals used to coat non-stick cookware, for example, accumulate within the cells of organisms i.e. they never leave the body. The accumulation then reaches toxic levels and causes neurological and cardiovascualar disorders. Moreover, these chemicals find their way to water bodies, soil and other animals, causing bioaccumulation on an ecological level.
Natural products are essentially of nature and hence, are easily cycled back into it.
- Natural does not always mean good
This argument seems to cover the term natural in a broader sense. Nature has a lot of harmful things—poisonous plants, pathogens, allergies—the list can go on. Additionally, products like natural honey are often adulterated with sugar syrups. But are still labelled 'natural' because they do not contain artificial additives. So no, natural doesn't always mean good and safe in this context. However, when it comes to genuine natural products, they are made of things that are fit for consumption. When used in the right way and in the right quantity, they can do wonders for you.
- They are not as convenient, effective or versatile
This is more of a myth but still a common argument that is put forth. Natural products can work just as well if not better than factory-made products. Natural cleaners remove stains and grime just like synthetic chemical cleaners but without the noxious fumes and burns. And as far as versatality is considered, let's take virgin coconut oil for example. You can use it for cooking, as a topical treatment for rashes or superficial burns, as a moisturiser and even as a make-up remover.
As with anything, it is important to do your research to make well-informed decisions on what you use or eat. By choosing authentic natural products, you not only improve your quality of life but help protect the environment and uplift communities too.