Is Organic the Better Option?

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For more than a decade there has been an ongoing debate arguing that organic products are better than non-organic.  Both products have their pros and cons, but the biggest concern with consumers is the cost.  While your organic red apple may be as red and blemish free as your non-organic red apple, the non-organic is probably cheaper, and may have a shinier, more perfect shape. 

Organic foods are labeled in accordance to how the produce is grown and processed.  Usually organic products use more man power with weeding, tilling, crop rotation.  These products use natural manure for fertilization and are grown without pesticides and bioengineered genes. This can increase the cost.  Non-organic products use fertilizers and pesticides as their main source of man power, growing the products faster and keeping costs down.  Different ranges of organic products can occur, such as 100%, 95% or 70% organic products.  The lower percentage organic foods may have added a non-synthetic substance for purposes of storage, which typically occurs during the trip from the field to the grocery store. 

The overall consensus is that fruits and vegetables have the most nutritional benefits over the processed grain products found in the center aisles of a grocery store.  More research is needed to fully understand the effects of the difference in nutrients in organic food and non-organic food.  My recommendation to you, as the consumer, is to purchase what is affordable over what is trendy.

Read labels carefully to understand what you are buying is organic and not just ‘naturally’.  The ‘USDA Organic’ seal should be displayed.  Whether organic or not, be sure to properly wash products and with organic meat, cook appropriately.

Patrick Nemechek, D.O.

Patrick Nemechek, D.O.

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