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Bootcamp Q & A

Should I Go Organic?

Q: I always see organic foods when I’m at my local supermarkets or the farmers’ market. What’s so special about them? And please tell me — are they really worth all that money? For the prices I’ve seen, they should be made out of gold!A: To buy or not to buy organic, that is the question. The answer: Like all reliable things in life, it depends. The word organic refers to the way farmers grow and process fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy products, and meat — organic farmers do it in a way that conserves soil and water and reduces pollution. For example, they’ll use natural fertilizers to feed soil and plants and won’t spray insecticides. Organic farmers give animals organic feed and clean housing and allow them access to the outdoors to minimize disease. So there are ecological reasons to buy organic, but do they justify dropping all your dough on everything organic? Not necessarily.
In my opinion, there is no evidence that organic foods are more nutritious than conventionally grown food; they meet the same quality and safety standards as conventional foods. Some claim organic foods taste better, but, as you know from taking your mom gown shopping, taste is totally subjective and everyone is different.
If you do want to splurge on organic, get the best bang for your buck with the “dirty dozen” — 12 fruits and vegetables for which buying organic can make a real difference in pesticide levels: apples, cherries, grapes (imported), nectarines, peaches, pears, raspberries, strawberries, bell peppers, celery, potatoes, and spinach. Conventional versions of these produce tend to have higher levels of pesticides than other fruits and veggies. Other organic foods to invest in include milk, poultry, and beef.
Save money by comparison shopping, hitting the local farmers’ markets, joining a local co-op or ordering by mail if possible. Oh, and buyers beware — read labels and ask questions. If a food bears the USDA Organic label, you can trust that at least 95 percent of the food’s ingredients were organically produced. Other terms to look for are “100 percent organic” and “made with organic ingredients.” Labels such as “all-natural,” “free-range,” and “hormone-free” are not the same. (Don’t get me started…)

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About EdR

Tant que les lions n’auront pas leurs propres historiens, les histoires de chasse continueront de glorifier le chasseur. (proverbe africain)

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