Are organic foods worth the price?


| 5 Comments

All organic foods look and taste the same, maybe with the exception of packaging. I'm sure some of you have jumped on the organic bandwagon- I know I have. But with my groceries seeming ridiculously expensive, I thought I'd do more research into what I was actually buying. The term organic actually refers to the way that the produce is farmed. According to the Mayo Clinic, organic farming reduced the use of soil and water and reduces pollution.

Conventional farming uses chemical fertilizers, synthetic insectices, synthetic herbicides and give animals antibiotics and medications to make them grow. Organic farmers use natural fertilizers (like manure), pesticides from natural sources, rotate crops, and allow the animals to go outside and feed them organically.  

A recent study shows that eating organically isnt necessarily "healthier". While it can lower exposure to pesticides, conventially grown produce uses its products within safety limits anyway. It was found that antibiotics can be a bigger danger in non organic meats, but the government is working on changing the way antibiotics are used on farms. Organic and conventially grown foods have all the same nutritional values, and that's where the debate is.

Personally, I think it's worth it to buy organic meats as well as fruits and vegetables that are hard to wash. I think exposing our bodies to those chemicals can be dangerous. My aunt works for the nutritiom department here, and she has emphasized to me over and over that buying organic is worth it. However, I am a poor college student, and I'm finding myself being less picky about what I purchase. It

if your questioning whether or not your food is organic, it should have a USDA organic seal on it to make sure. In fact, foods can be labeled organic when they are only 95% organic. Are organic foods worth the price? that's for you to decide.

 

Sources:

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/organic-food/NU00255

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-204_162-57505328/organic-food-hardly-healthier-study-suggests/

http://www.123rf.com/photo_11095090_fresh-fruit.html

5 Comments

Emily,
My mom has always bought organic food and pretty much swears by it, so I understand when you stress the importance choosing USDA. However, one night at dinner recently, my family was discussing this exact topic and my sister brought up an interesting fact. She is a student at the University of Maryland, and mentioned that she learned in her class that there is no point of buying organic bananas because the peel of the banana is so thick that pesticides couldn't even get through if they tried. I was pretty taken back by this and actually looked into the issue in this article. Turns out, she was wrong. What I'm sure her teacher didn't explain to the class is that the pesticides have a way of making it into the soil and into the inside of the fruit! So, I guess no matter how thick and protective the peel is, eating non-organic is always the worse choice.

I have been looking on the nutritional specifications of organic foods because I was curious and luckily someone posted on it. this is very informative and clarifies the myths about "organic" products. that NY Times article offers more detail about this controversial issue. I am sure organic is better but like you said its more costly especially for college students.

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/04/organic-food-vs-conventional-food/

With environmentally friendly groups emerging and the whole "go green" perspective of our generation organic foods have skyrocketed. You're right, Emily, it is a bandwagon. But, at least it's a good one! I personally do not go out of my way to buy organic foods. My mom is an excellent cook so she always bought fresh fruits and veggies (not canned) and meat from a local butcher, but she doesn't go to a special organic market to buy our food. In some cases, I feel like "being organic" is more of a trend than a health conscious decision.

A trend that producers are banking on and consumers are literally eating up.

You bring up a good point in being a poor college student and finding it more and more difficult to buy organic. Unfortunately, a lot of this country falls into the "poor college student" category, except they aren't college students. Quite simply, they're poor. HBO has recently aired a ground-breaking documentary series on obesity in this country, and why organic food costs so much more. If in the inner city, an organic salad costs $5, but 2 cheeseburgers costs $2, the consumer is going to try to save money. So why is organic food so expensive? How can we cater healthier food to the poorer population?

http://www.cdc.gov/features/weightofthenation/

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