Buying Organic: Is it really worth it?

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We’ve all heard of the new health craze: eating organic foods. Is it really worth the extra money needed to purchase organic meats and produce?

It turns out, it isn’t what is on the inside that makes organic foods beneficial over conventionally grown foods. The Annals of Internal Medicine found that there is no vitamin or nutritional benefit of organically grown foods. The difference is on the outside.

Conventionally grown foods are, however, more likely to contain an array of synthetic or potentially hazardous compounds. Take meats for example- due to the strict requirements of what qualifies as “organic,” organically raised and processed meats cannot contain synthetic materials in the animal’s feed. This is also true of antibiotics. For produce, it is the presence of pesticides and chemical additives that can cause harm, as many of these chemicals have been linked to health detriments. It is important to note that organic produce isn’t completely free of pesticides, but its use is limited.

It is also worth noting that organically grown produce promotes sustainable farming, and often times organic meats are also “cage free” or “free roaming.” Whether these issues are of any importance is completely up to you.

So, do these chemicals come in large enough volumes to actually affect your health? Well, no one knows that yet. But, if it is of significant concern, and you wish to limit your exposure to potentially hazardous chemicals? Then, it may be worth the extra cost for you to purchase organic.

If you wish to start eating organic but are on a budget, prioritize your purchases. It is more important to purchase organic produce for which you will be eating the skin; so strawberries, apples, peppers, etc. If you will peel the produce, it isn’t as imperative, so a potato for instance.

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