This post is sort of a rant so I apologize in advance. It seems people have caught on to the fact that when it comes to essential oils the term therapeutic grade is meaningless. This is great news because I love essential oils and want people to buy them based on facts, not hype.
So I am a little disappointed to see the rise in popularity of the term ‘food grade’ being used to describe the quality of essential oils.
Let’s take a look at this idea for a moment. The purpose of calling an essential oil food grade is to imply that an essential oils is so pure it can be ingested, should you want to do such a thing. This idea is silly for two reasons.
1) Essential oils are commonly used to flavor foods.
Only a small percentage of the essential oil produced in the world is done so specifically for the aromatherapy market. Well over 90% of essential oils are produced for the cosmetic and perfume industry, the food and beverage industry and for other industrial uses. Essential oils are widely used to flavor food and beverages so calling an essential oil food grade is making a benefit out of a feature. It’s like a car salesman trying to sell you by saying “This model comes with tires and a gas tank!”
2) Have you seen what passes for food in this country?
What’s the standard for deciding something is ‘Food Grade’? Our supermarkets are filled with items that presumably started out as food have been processed until they resemble anything but food. Orange macaroni and cheese, spongy white bread, neon colored yogurt marketed to kids, processed cheese slices. All of these products are considered food grade by the government. When there is no real standard to measure against, what can something like food grade actually mean?
Rant done. Please leave a comment if you have something to add.