General Question

Steve_A's avatar

What exactly are people referring to when they say "nature" or it is all "natural"?

Asked by Steve_A (5125points) May 3rd, 2010

I do feel a bit stupid for asking but the terms them self seem to be used loosely and easily. I’m not sure I know their true meanings anymore.

Or does it mostly depend on the context? (for me or what I’m somewhat looking for it would be science related or a more definition/straight answer)

Care to drop me some insight or thoughts?

Thank you.

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27 Answers

Seaofclouds's avatar

I think it depends on the context. Foods, for example, often carry the claim of being “all natural” which has a specific meaning according to the FDA. In order for a food to say it’s “all natural” it has to be made with a specific number of natural ingredients. Then you can also get into things that say they are “organic” which is a little bit different than “all natural”.

Blackberry's avatar

Your heart pumps blood, natural. Hurricanes, natural. It’s just nature.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Arsenic is all natural….is it good for you? lol,hmmm

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

My breasts are natural – that I can vouch for.

Steve_A's avatar

@Seaofclouds Really wow….I did not know that I assumed organic, meant not tampered with which would mean natural but if was truly naturally I guess you would not eat it.

I see your point though never thought about it! Thanks. :)

xxii's avatar

The way it was originally made.

Steve_A's avatar

So basically anything that is not tampered with via humans would be considered natural?

Steve_A's avatar

@xxii Compared to what?

CMaz's avatar

It is putting a conscience thought on a natural action.

grumpyfish's avatar

@Steve_A Definitely not. When you cook food, it’s being tampered with.

that said. In the US:

FDA says: “ingredients extracted directly from plants or animal products as opposed to being produced synthetically.”, however the term “all natural” is not regulated except for USDA meats have ”“those products carrying the “natural” claim must not contain any artificial flavoring, color ingredients, chemical preservatives, or artificial or synthetic ingredients, and are only “minimally processed” defined by USDA as a process that does not fundamentally alter the raw product.””

Steve_A's avatar

In a sense nature is everything that happens if we did not interfere with it..?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

When I think of nature, I think of an untouched landscape, a niche where animals dwell w/o human animals around. I think of trees and of clean air and water streams.

Steve_A's avatar

One might say the only time the earth was natural was before humans existed?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Steve_A I’d say it was still natural when humans interacted and fought against animals and it was an even battle but it is no longer an even battle.

Steve_A's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Things are out of balance then you think?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Steve_A I think they have been skewed in our (human) direction for quite some time. That t-shirt I have with the angry flower and words “nature is pissed” – that means something to me.

Seaofclouds's avatar

Typically “happening in nature” and “natural” refer to something that happens on it’s own without any help or interference from mankind. Once mankind has anything to do with it, it is considered “man made” or “synthesized”.

CMaz's avatar

“it is considered “man made” or “synthesized”.

Still a part of nature.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@ChazMaz Yes part of nature, but not happening in nature on it’s own.

CMaz's avatar

Nothing in nature happens on its own.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@ChazMaz When I said on it’s own, I meant without mankind altering it in some way.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

This is really more about different definitions of nature – if we are to include all of mankind’s behaviour in ‘nature’ then nothing we do is ‘wrong’ so to speak but that simply isn’t true. We have the means to overpower the ‘rest’ of nature and we use them.

CMaz's avatar

Darwin proved that even nature alters tings. Just takes longer in “nature.”

Coloma's avatar

Even chemicals originate from ‘nature.’

There is no substance on earth that does not have a ‘natural’ origin.

In nature these components may never have had occasion to blend, but every single thing is or has been, at one point, something of natural origin.

xxii's avatar

@Steve_A – Compared to it being manipulated in any way… transforming it to a point that it would not reach on its own accord. This applies to anything from cooking food to plastic surgery to walking a dog. None of these things are natural but they don’t necessarily make anyone or any species worse off. Unnatural doesn’t always mean “bad.” It sometimes does, because I believe that there is value in leaving something in its natural state… but that value can be outweighed, so not always.

@ChazMaz – Yes, nature alters things too, but that is through a natural process. The animal/plant reached that new point (possessing gills, for example) on its own accord.

Cruiser's avatar

Quite often it means you really don’t want to know what inside the container!

mattbrowne's avatar

Typically everything is considered natural before homo sapiens discovered tools. Uranium existed. Darmstadtium didn’t. Wild horses existed. Cars didn’t.

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