The Organic Option: Is It Worth The Cost?

   By drodriguez  Aug 28, 2010

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?

Make a Comment

josmommy by josmommy | toledo, OH
Oct 24, 2010

I would have to say yes.I dont always buy organic but am much more comfortable with the idea of food being food,not drenched in chemicals.I also heard a study recently that adhd is being linked in children to some pesticides on fruits and veggies....scary what we are doing to our children isnt it.I think organic should be the norm and the chemical drenched stuff become a thing of the past maybe then organic could be cheaper for us normal folks to buy.

mazo77 by mazo77 | Ayer, MA
Sep 29, 2010

after watching Food, Inc, I definitely think organic is the most healthiest food we can eat! I wish we could afford to eat all organic (at least our kids), but it's just impossible because of the expense!

ljhfike by ljhfike | McDonald, PA
Sep 28, 2010

We do not buy organic for a few reasons. One being the expense. You don't have to buy organic to eat healthy. (By the way, how is over priced organic clothing better for you??) A lot of people hawk the chemicals in "regular" food as a reason to buy organic. I subscribe to the theory of , I have turned out just fine not eating organic. I'm very healthy. I do not have any extra limbs, I have perfect vision, etc. People are way to concerned about things these days. We coddle our bodies and don't give it a chance to show us what it can really do.

sanvis by sanvis | SAINT PAUL, MN
Sep 28, 2010

I try to buy almost all organic food..definitely tastes better and most of all i feel happy giving my children organic milk, eggs etc. Though when you eat out you dont always find organic so thats ok too.

purpleflower by purpleflower | BRIGHTON, MI
Sep 28, 2010

If anyone is interested, please visit my blog: where I provide some background on the organic food industry and why people choose to spend the extra money.

MyEmptyCanvas by MyEmptyCanvas | KOSCIUSKO, MS
Sep 24, 2010

To be quite honest, I don't have enough money to 100% buy all of my foods organic grown. Buying a small bag of $5 "organic grapes" compared to buying a medium sized $3 non-organic bag appeals more to me and I get more with the left over money. The organic stuff does need to be cheaper - heck they're not even using chemicals so it's not like that's an out of pocket expense for those farmers, etc. Somethings gotta give.

summerchaser by summerchaser | saddleriver, NJ
Sep 21, 2010

gimmic............ organic........ the word is over used....... and an example is i see above....... eggs....... the same farm is producing both..... hello...... best not to eat them if you feel that way....... very little organic is actually....... organic..... meaning grown.... raised without chemicals and or antibotics... ect...... they all use the same water........ they all grow in the same air.... so..... no organic is a gimmic.........for the boomer........s.........

misspassion89 by misspassion89 | Corunna, MI
Sep 10, 2010

When buying eggs, milk, or beef I think going organic is best. With all of the antibiotics and hormones they feed cows we wonder why these young girls enter into puberty so soon. Eating organic eggs is better for you and the animal as well. It is insane how some of those animals are treated. Fruits and vegetables of course are better without chemicals, but organic or not they still have the same nutritional value.

crisabell by crisabell | RUGBY, ND
Sep 08, 2010

I definitely think so! May be pricey but worth it all the way!

kellenmom by kellenmom | OMAHA, NE
Sep 06, 2010

Definitely worth it for many items but not worth it for many more items.

chipperscaninecrunchables by chipperscaninecrunchables | WATERVILLE, OH
Sep 06, 2010

I definitely think it's worth it!

momyart by momyart | kansas city, MO
Sep 03, 2010

Not only do the chemicals used hurt our bodies, they hurt our environment. Organic is always the better option! Price may be a lil higher on average I spend only $20 more on my grocery bill when I shop an organic store compared to what I call a factory store. The key is not buying prepackaged foods, rather making things yourself. For ex. don't buy a box of mac'n cheese, buy the noodles seperately and the cheese seperately. Making things from scratch is alot better for you and ultimately alot cheaper.

wvmommyX by wvmommyX | Huntington, WV
Sep 02, 2010

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.

rinaincali by rinaincali | Fresno, CA
Sep 01, 2010

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.

drie313 by drie313 | Brighton, MI
Aug 31, 2010

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!!!!