Thread: Are Organic Foods Really Better for You?

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  1. #1 Are Organic Foods Really Better for You? 
    Administrator SaintLouieWoman's Avatar
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    Diet and Nutrition

    Ask Charles Platkin, the Diet Detective
    Are Organic Foods Really Better?

    Q: These days, there's so much hype about eating organic foods. What are the benefits of an organic diet? Are these foods really worth the cost?

    A: And so the organic food debate continues! Many people in favor of certified organic foods (which contain little to no pesticide residues, antibiotics, or growth hormones) claim that they are more healthful and safer than foods grown in more conventional ways. And the truth is, if you want to reduce the pesticides and chemicals you and your family are exposed to, it makes sense to switch to organic.
    But you should first ask yourself if you prefer to err on the side of caution. Because of the lack of proof demonstrating that conventionally grown foods should be considered dangerous, some health experts aren't convinced that humans ingest enough agricultural chemicals from non-organic foods to threaten their health. Of course, just because we don't have all the evidence to explain the danger doesn't mean the danger isn't there. So eating organic food is certainly a way to play it safe.

    The downside to choosing organic foods is that doing so can be expensive. The average family of four might spend between 50 to 300 percent more to be completely organic. If you're on a tight budget, keep in mind that eating any fruits and vegetables is better than eating none at all.

    If you do choose to go organic (or partially organic), use these cost-saving tips:

    Prioritize purchases. Be selective about the organic foods you buy. According to an analysis by the USDA, the following foods (nicknamed the "dirty dozen") were found to contain the highest pesticide levels:
    • Apples
    • Bell peppers
    • Celery
    • Cherries
    • Grapes (imported varieties)
    • Nectarines
    • Peaches
    • Pears
    • Potatoes
    • Raspberries
    • Spinach
    • Strawberries
    To see where your favorite fruits and vegetables rank in terms of pesticide loads, go to www.foodnews.org, the Web site of the Environmental Working Group.
    Search online for coupons. Many major organic brands (including Stonyfield Farm, Organic Valley, Earthbound Farm, and Health Valley) offer coupons on their Web sites.
    Comparison shop. Shop at discount stores and compare prices for specific items. Large discount chains like Sam's Club, Costco, Walmart, and Target now carry organic products.
    Join a food co-op. These independent grocery stores sell local and organic foods to members at a discount. Some have a membership fee; others may require members to volunteer at the co-op for a few hours each month. To find a co-op near you, go to www.localharvest.org/food-coops or www.coopdirectory.org.
    A final note: Be sure to thoroughly wash all fruits and vegetables you buy, organic and non-organic alike. It's best to rinse produce for 30 seconds, soak for 15 seconds, and then rinse a final time.
    Learn more in the Everyday Health Diet and Nutrition Center.



    Last Updated: 11/16/2009
    Last edited by SaintLouieWoman; 09-26-2011 at 07:43 PM.
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    I've seen similar articles. It's the new wave of common sense and meeting in the middle.

    Basically, the idea is that anything which you are going to peel, you don't have to spend organic money on. No point in paying twice as much for avocados or bananas.

    Now while the health food store is now a budget item for me, I am not a devotee of spending money I don't have to spend. I am not a Vegan nor am I a political health food freak. I'm just trying to do what's right for me. And I like organic bananas better. I also like Thai bananas and god know what they spray on them.

    I paid $1.42 for one organic apple yesterday, and it simply wasn't worth the extra money. I had bought a similar apple at Save A Lot and it was delicious for half the price.

    I will say this categorically: Organic breads from the health food store are better than any of the breads sold in the grocery store and well worth the extra buck or three. I can't understand why Sweetbay and Publix carry all those new organics in some departments, but only offer the same old brands of bread.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Novaheart View Post
    I've seen similar articles. It's the new wave of common sense and meeting in the middle.

    Basically, the idea is that anything which you are going to peel, you don't have to spend organic money on. No point in paying twice as much for avocados or bananas.

    Now while the health food store is now a budget item for me, I am not a devotee of spending money I don't have to spend. I am not a Vegan nor am I a political health food freak. I'm just trying to do what's right for me. And I like organic bananas better. I also like Thai bananas and god know what they spray on them.

    I paid $1.42 for one organic apple yesterday, and it simply wasn't worth the extra money. I had bought a similar apple at Save A Lot and it was delicious for half the price.

    I will say this categorically: Organic breads from the health food store are better than any of the breads sold in the grocery store and well worth the extra buck or three. I can't understand why Sweetbay and Publix carry all those new organics in some departments, but only offer the same old brands of bread.
    The breads here just aren't as good as elsewhere. The Whole Foods in St Louis baked their own bread. The stuff at Whole Foods in Sarasota (a much smaller store) is something brought in and not as fresh. I have a tough time finding good whole grain breads.

    I agree that it isn't worth paying for organic for stuff that has to be peeled. I'll admit that somehow the organic potatoes tht I used to get somehow tasted better. I don't notice the difference so much with some other products.

    It's probably a matter of getting local produce, which is fresher. The tomatoes and avacados that I get at the local Amish places are delicious. I wash the tomatoes very thoroughly.

    Since eating so many veggies, admit that I feel so much better. My health #'s are improving, too. And also not a vegan or vegetarian.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SaintLouieWoman View Post
    The breads here just aren't as good as elsewhere. The Whole Foods in St Louis baked their own bread. The stuff at Whole Foods in Sarasota (a much smaller store) is something brought in and not as fresh. I have a tough time finding good whole grain breads.

    I agree that it isn't worth paying for organic for stuff that has to be peeled. I'll admit that somehow the organic potatoes tht I used to get somehow tasted better. I don't notice the difference so much with some other products.

    It's probably a matter of getting local produce, which is fresher. The tomatoes and avacados that I get at the local Amish places are delicious. I wash the tomatoes very thoroughly.

    Since eating so many veggies, admit that I feel so much better. My health #'s are improving, too. And also not a vegan or vegetarian.
    We grind our own wheat and amaranth to make bread, get with the program!:D
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    Not according to the FDA.

    I can only find stories from the British version of the FDA, but they stated back in 2009 that "organic" food had no greater nutritional value that other types.
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    I've bought organic produce and fruits through the years, I didn't taste the difference...but the point is not taste, they supposedly use less pesticide and growth hormones....which means they have more bugs.:D


    I do shop at Whole Foods now and then, especially when I am craving their hot food bar (I like their indian dishes)..and will pick up organic food every now and then.

    When my daughter was younger, I fed her organic baby food....but now, she eats what we eat.
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    Best Bounty Hunter in the Forums fettpett's Avatar
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    my wife has been working on an organic farm this summer (only 8hrs), getting a bushel of veggies for her efforts, which is pretty cool and the food is fantastic. They do taste better. the major reason why organic cost so much more is because to be able to use that label it cost around $17,000 and they have to adhere to a very VERY strict structure of what they can and can't grow and what they can and can't use for fertilization and pest control.

    If you want to eat that way, find local producers that grow organically but don't have the label, you'll be surprised how much you can find that are that way.
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  8. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by fettpett View Post
    If you want to eat that way, find local producers that grow organically but don't have the label, you'll be surprised how much you can find that are that way.
    Here in south Florida, I have about 3-4 local farmer's market that I go to...they don't list "organic" on their food, but it's picked and sold. Can't get fresher than that, unless you have your own garden.
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    Best Bounty Hunter in the Forums fettpett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawkgirl View Post
    I've bought organic produce and fruits through the years, I didn't taste the difference...but the point is not taste, they supposedly use less pesticide and growth hormones....which means they have more bugs.:D


    I do shop at Whole Foods now and then, especially when I am craving their hot food bar (I like their indian dishes)..and will pick up organic food every now and then.

    When my daughter was younger, I fed her organic baby food....but now, she eats what we eat.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hawkgirl View Post
    Here in south Florida, I have about 3-4 local farmer's market that I go to...they don't list "organic" on their food, but it's picked and sold. Can't get fresher than that, unless you have your own garden.
    true, but you can ask if they grow it organically, they can't call it organic if they don't have the certification at any level, whether it's farmer's market or grocery store
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  10. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by fettpett View Post
    true, but you can ask if they grow it organically, they can't call it organic if they don't have the certification at any level, whether it's farmer's market or grocery store
    I don't think they have anything listed as "organic".....but it's fresher than buying at the supermarket. I peel everything, even peaches and nectarines, apples...etc.
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