nutrition wellness

Is Buying Organic Produce Worth the Cost?

Aug 17, 2020
organic produce

When you head to the grocery store, shopping for products like eggs, meat, fish, milk, and produce can be very tricky. Signs are posted everywhere labeling food as natural, organic, and a number of other things, but what’s the difference, really? Learning what specific names mean can help you decide if you should shell out extra money on a product, whether the nutrition value is better or if it is simply a marketing ploy.

Natural Foods

Natural is a term associated with a number of fruit and vegetable product. Typically, this is simple a marketing ploy to convince you to buy the product. After all, all fruits and vegetables are natural, right? Unless it’s a new kind of food that has been developed and processed, the product is natural.

Organic Foods

Organic foods are grown without chemical pesticides and fertilizers. There are two main benefits to organic foods. Firstly, you are helping the environment as chemicals are not being introduced into nature. Secondly, you are avoiding ingesting chemicals and are therefore benefitting by eating a healthier food.

However, organic products are usually more expensive. If you’re on a budget, skip over organic fruits and vegetables that you can peel, like oranges and bananas. However, keep in mind that chemicals can leech through the skin into the actual fruit itself. Opt for organic items like apples, where you eat the peel. No matter what you buy, however, make sure that you rinse off the food when you get home.

"No Hormones Added"

Another tricky label you will see is “no hormones.” This is usually in regards to milk or meat products and is false, since all animals naturally produce hormones. Hormones are what helps an animal (even a human) regulate body organs, have young, and otherwise function. All meat products have hormones. What the labels really mean is that no hormones were unnaturally given to the animal. This is sometimes done to increase milk production.

"Cage Free, "Free Range"

Lastly, a label on eggs and meat can indicate if the animal was caged or penned. This does not make a difference in the quality or nutritional value of the meat, but is simply a matter of animal rights. These products may be a bit more expensive, but if you want to make human decisions, that is the way to go.

Reading the label and making healthy choices can sometimes be difficult. However, learning how to do so can help you make the best choices for you diet.

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