There is no difference between a chemical produced in a lab or produced in a living organism. I can make vitamin C in a laboratory or extract it from any number of sources including rose hips, orange juice the list goes on. It's all the extra stuff that comes with it. Whole oranges are a better source of Vitamin C then orange juice simply because they also provides fiber. Oranges and Orange juice are better sources of Vitamin C then a tablet because they provide a wide variety of nutrients and carbohydrates. If you want all that extra stuff. I try to keep my sugar down so I take multivitamins and stay away from the fruit juices.
The terms Natural and Organic are important when considering all the other stuff that goes into the process. I would think nitrites and nitrates from celery juice or powder carries more "extra chemicals" then the chemicals purified by mechanical methods. If all you need is the nitrite, do you want all the other stuff from the celery powder?
We have lost our way using these terms. I think "hormone free", "pesticide free", "no dyes or stabilizers" are important. Organic and Natural are just ways for manufacturers to take the intent of a law and bend it to fit their marketing and profit strategy.
I enjoyed reading this Thread, good job guys.
Your a plethora of knowledge professor.