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Buying Organic Foods- Is It Worth It?

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The latest fad in today’s society is buying and eating organic foods. The market for organic foods has skyrocketed since the mid 80’s. According to the Organic Trade Association’s 2007 Manufacturer Survey, the U.S. organic industry reached $17.7 billion in consumer sales in 2006. Which is up from $178 million in 1980.



Sure, some research has shown eating organic to be better for you and your family, considering it is not contaminated with a bunch of pesticides and fertilizers but the downside is, it is expensive!

 

 

So, how do you know, in this economic time, if buying organic is even worth shelling out the extra dollar? Are the products safer? More nutritious? Is it worth buying organic or is it all just a hype?



The Definition of Organic


According to the Organic Trade Association 2008;


Organic is referred by the way agricultural products are grown and processed. Organic food production is based on an ecological farming system that maintains and replenishes soil fertility without the use of toxins found in pesticides and fertilizers. Organic foods are minimally processed without artificial ingredients, preservatives, or irradiation (a form of radiation to kill bacteria) to maintain the freshness of the food.


For the complete definition, please visit; http://www.ota.com/definition/nosb.html



Are Organic Foods Healthier For You?


Some research has found organic foods may have higher nutritional value than conventional food due to the absence of pesticides and fertilizers. And some studies have linked pesticides found in food products to everything from headaches to cancer- but many experts support that the level or pesticides found in conventional foods are safe for most healthy adults (DeCostle, 2010).


As for organic meat, poultry, eggs and milk the direct health benefit is still unclear.


According to the Organic Trade Association, in the long run, organic farming techniques may provide a safer, more sustainable environment for everyone.



Is Buying Organic Worth The Extra Cost?


Research has yet to prove the adverse health effects of whether eating fruits and vegetables that have low levels of pesticides found in U.S. foods to be worth the extra cost.


According to the Environmental Working Group, if you are going to go organic on some things it is best to splurge on the “dirty dozen”

  1. Peaches
  2. Strawberries
  3. Nectarines
  4. Apples
  5. Spinach
  6. Celery
  7. Pears
  8. Sweet Bell Peppers
  9. Cherries
  10. Potatoes
  11. Lettuce
  12. Imported Grapes

 

 

Why The Dirty Dozen?


These fruits and vegetables often require more pesticides to fight off bugs on the growing crops. You can find reasonably priced locally grown organic and conventional food at local Farmer’s Markets. To find one in your area, visit localharvest.org


Check out WebMD’s great organic slide show on the dirty dozen! http://www.webmd.com/health-ehome-9/slideshow-organic-foods

 

 

USDA Seal


If you are going to buy organic, make sure you look for the USDA seal! According to WebMD.com don’t confuse “free range”, “hormone free”, or even “natural” with organic. The USDA seal means the food is grown, harvested, and processed under USDA standards that include restrictions on the amount of residue from pesticides, hormones, and antibiotics.

 

 

Find Out Ten Ways To Buy Organic On A Budget!

http://blogs.babble.com/family-kitchen/2010/07/16/10-ways-to-buy-organic-on-a-budget/


 

Interesting Fact:


Tough peels on some fruits and vegetables absorb most pesticides, so those that peel- save the extra buck for the organic ones that don’t! Examples of ones that peel;

  • Bananas
  • Kiwifruit
  • Pineapple
  • Watermelon, etc.

 

 

Sources:

http://www.ota.com/definition/quickoverview.html

http://www.ota.com/definition/nosb.html

http://www.ota.com/organic/faq.html

http://blogs.babble.com/family-kitchen/2010/07/16/10-ways-to-buy-organic-on-a-budget/

http://www.redbookmag.com/recipes-home/truth-about-organic-foods

http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/04_36/b3898129_mz070.htm

http://www.webmd.com/health-ehome-9/slideshow-organic-foods

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