As the snow falls this weekend and we race to wrap up our harvests and get everything into storage, I wanted to share my top 5 reasons for why it is important to understand the difference between Natural Foods and Organic Foods. <strong>1. In Canada, the Word 'Organic' is the most heavily regulated food descriptor in the country</strong> The Canada Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is responsible for monitoring and regulating organic food in Canada. There is a highly structured and controlled system of inspections and traceability in place to monitor and control the production and distribution of food labelled as 'Organic'. The word 'Natural' has no regulation or controls in Canada and can be used to describe any food product of any type with no enforcement or oversight. I have seen fluorescent green energy drinks labelled as 'All Natural'. <strong>2. Organic means No-GMO</strong> In the Canadian Organic Standard, section 1.4.1(a) specifically prohibits "all materials and products produced from genetic engineering". &#160;This means that when you choose Organic, you are choosing Non-GMO. &#160;Products imported into Canada as Organic are subject to the same standard. &#160;There are no GMO products in anything certified as Organic. Natural foods have no such controls. <strong>3. Small farms that grow Organic are more sustainable</strong> Sustainability is a measure of the long term viability of a farming operation. &#160;Organic farms use far less chemicals, create more employment, and host healthier and more vibrant on-farm micro-ecosystems. &#160;Many times, I have seen farms that decide to make the transition to Organic improve their economic situation substantially and become viable over the long term. <strong>4. Natural foods probably contain herbicides&#160;and GMO ingredients</strong> Without any regulation or oversight, 'Natural' as a food description is meaningless. Typically, it can refer to the absence of artificial flavours, colours or preservatives, but the raw ingredients are very likely from conventional sources and have been heavily treated with pesticide, herbicides and irradiated in transport. Any Natural product with 'Modified Corn Starch' or 'Glucose/Fructose' has GMO Corn as is base ingredient. <strong>5. The Organic Box is certified Organic and is committed to the industry</strong> Every year, we subject our operations and our products to a full review and certification by the Organic Crop Improvement Association (OCIA). Our business is certified Organic by OCIA, which means when we say a product is Organic, we have gone through the rigour and the product tracing to ensure that it is what it says, even for products that come from distant producers or developing countries. We are also committed to Alberta's Organic Industry. We regularly support and contribute to industry development projects, and work closely with Alberta Agriculture to grow the Organic business in our province. I serve on the Board and Executive Committee of the Organic Alberta Council and chair both the Finance and the Standards committees for our province. My wife Miranda and I are growers ourselves, producing Organic tree fruits and ground crops on our orchard in Creston, BC. <strong>Its more than just Food. Its a statement about your values</strong> Your support of The Organic Box is about more than just having food delivered. It is about supporting an alternate food system that values the entire ecological, environmental, and economic footprint of the food in your fridge. By being a member of our program you are choosing to make a statement about the kind of food system you want in our community. Our program continues to expand and offer more options to our members. Truly, we are <strong>Growing Better Together</strong>.