Are Clays Organic?

by Kyle Johnson

As more and more consumers have begun to consider how their food is cultivated, as well as the source of the ingredients in the products they use or ingest, the Organic Food Movement has come to define the natural product industry. As a result, this heightened awareness and increased scrutiny has been a positive force for change.

Along with these concerns, however, a well-educated consumer must also understand what “organic” is and what it means. As consumers flock to organic ingredients, not only in foods but also their personal care products, the word “organic” has provided a golden ticket for inspiring marketers to slap this buzz-worthy word on everything from shampoo to clothing.

A common question that gets asked about Bentonite Clay is, “Is ‘this particular clay’ organic?” The answer is a resounding “No.” Webster defines the term “organic” as “of, relating to, or obtained from living things.” In other words, it requires the presence of biologically active life - e.g., plants, animals, and/or their byproducts, etc. By this definition, it is now easy to recognize that pure Bentonite Clay, formed from inert volcanic ash and comprised of trace minerals bound together from within the core of Mother Earth, is inorganic.

What does it mean then when Bentonite Clay is marketed under the misnomer “organic clay”? One might suspect that the promoter of such a product either a) does not know much about clay, or b) the term “organic” is being used as a selling tool to motivate the consumer to buy their product. Unfortunately for them, simply claiming that a product is organic does not make it so.

While clay of volcanic origin may not be “organic”, that alone does not disqualify un-processed, pure Bentonite Clay from being both natural and safe. That said, the continued contamination of our rivers and lands must be considered, and concerns about clay deposits exposed to the elements are warranted. Typically, clays from desert regions which receive little precipitation, as well as clays extracted from sub-surface veins, are more likely to provide a clean and uncontaminated source of this incredible substance.

To ensure the Bentonite Clay you choose is of highest quality, free of contaminants, and safe for human use, insist that the company providing it is routinely testing it against rigid quality control criteria.

It is up to you to protect yourself. When in doubt, ask questions.

About the Author: Kyle Johnson is an advocate for natural remedies who has spent the last 8 years working in the natural products industry.