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The Organic Option: Is It Worth The Cost?

The Organic Option:  Is It Worth The Cost?

Choosing fruits and veggies over sugars and fats is a great way to stay healthy, but not always easy.  What can make staying healthy even more difficult is buying organic fruits and vegetables.  Of course organic sounds better to just about every consumer.  Who wants to eat chemically altered food?  But the price we pay for organic food can be a lot more than we budget for.

A recent article from Time magazine weighs in on the food debate and asks whether it is worth it to purchase organically grown goods.  When we are faced with the choice between purchasing a $6 bottle of organic milk or a $3.50 bottle of conventional milk, many of us dig deeper into our pocketbooks in an attempt to make our families healthier.  The same goes for organic fruits and veggies which go for 13 to 36 cents more per pound than the conventionally grown produce.  

Many were shocked to read results from a 2009 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that found little difference in vitamin content of organic food and the non-organic goods.  This was surprising to many food purists who believed using chemical fertilizers depletes the nutritional value of food.  

But there are other things to consider besides vitamin content.  A recent multicenter study shows that girls as young as 7-years-old are entering puberty at double the rate they were in the late 1990’s.  It is being theorized that this could be due to the increasing obesity rate as well as added hormones we ingest in our diets.  After all, the beef now being raised in industrial farming conditions are given hormones to boost their growth which leaves these chemicals swimming in the milk we drink and the meat we eat.

We may also be doing our bodies another service by eating organic food.  The Organic Center, a non-profit group in Denver, found that organic produce contains 25 percent more phenolic acids and antioxidants than the non-organic.  Charles Benbrook, the group’s lead scientist, remarks, “It’s these components that are deficient in American diets, so that makes this finding especially significant.”

What do you think of the benefits of eating organic foods?

Do you think it is worth it to pay more for organic food?

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  • oh_nerdy By oh_nerdy
    08.29.10  

    Yes! It is worth it! It does not always have to cost more either....Green Giant carrots and Wild Harvest carrots are same price, but taste test them and Wild Harvest wins. They are sweet and the other ones taste like windex after you compare them side by side. Start taste testing and you will see what you are missing in "real food" flavor!

  • darnold14 By darnold14
    08.29.10  

    It is worth it. I have been doing this about two years now. We buy from local farmers markets. I have actually started canning. Or freezing so we have it during the winter. I buy fresh eggs from organic farmers also. If you watch you can find good sales and stock up. Some things such as dry goods you can buy in bulk.

  • Jrc3168 By Jrc3168
    08.30.10  

    I do think that it is worth it in some cases. It is not the nutritional value of the food that I am concerned with when buying organic; it is more the checmicals that non-organic food expose me to.

  • JEM4612 By JEM4612
    08.30.10  

    I buy organic when I get a deal on it. Costco, for example, offers a lot of organic food for the same price as non-organic at my local grocery store.

  • msfriendly By msfriendly
    08.30.10  

    Yes, I think it's worth it. We are putting too many chemicals into our body when we eat. And, yes, it DOES taste different/ better!

  • MadHatter By MadHatter
    08.30.10  

    it is way worth it, however i grow some of my own veggies in my own back yard and my neighbors are no stranger to sharing their abundant figs with the family since they have a fig tree! eat healthy, live long and strong!

  • drie313 By drie313
    08.31.10  

    My daughter is lactose intolerant and has celiacs .. So I find that she can only do organic foods safely. My whole family has made the adaptation to our diets and it has paid off. It may cost a little more, but, you know what you are putting into your kids bodies. The fruits and veggies are so delicious!!!! If you have a Whole Foods Market, they have almost everything you can find at a "regular" grocery store at comparable prices.

  • drie313 By drie313
    08.31.10  

    Also, you have to do your research... Soy is full of horomones. In fact, instead of estrogen, doctors are recommending that menopausal women use soy. So, Moms with kids be careful!!!!

  • rinaincali By rinaincali
    09.01.10  

    Yes, organic food is often more expensive, but is truly a better option. I believe that the hormones and antibiotics they use in animals to help them develop more quickly and grow larger are horrible! They put us all in more risk to develop cancer and other diseases. I only buy organic milk and eggs along with most fruits and veggies. Anything with a thick skin that you don't eat, for example a watermelon, doesn't absorb chemicals like other fruits. I bought the DVD, FOOD Inc. and encourage everyone to watch it. It will change the way you think about our food and where it comes from. Besides, stores like Costco and Fresh and Easy have made buying organic food more affordable and accessible.

  • wvmommyX By wvmommyX
    09.02.10  

    I think it depends on your income honestly. If you have disposable income and can afford it, yes. If you are barely making ends meet, any produce is better than paying more for organic. I live in an area where a lot of people garden, but there is very little organic produce available in the grocery store. I buy it on occasion, but I am more concerned with preservatives and limiting high fructose corn syrup for my children. We just don't have the money to buy exclusively organic (in our state it is a lot more money). There are no Trader Joe's, Whole foods or Costco any where in my state, so you make your priorities where you can.

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