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?