Organic Food Facts

Are you confused about the benefits of buying organic? Well, you’re not alone. Fortunately, a 2012 study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine dispels some myths with a scientific case study. In this study, researchers compared organic and organic foods (both produce and meat) to determine whether organic foods are actually better for your health.

The study found that while there are numerous benefits to buying organic; a key benefit may be the cleanliness of the food. According to this study, with produce, it all comes down to your desire to avoid pesticide residues. Conventional produce carries a 30 percent greater chance of being contaminated than organic. With meat, it’s all about exposure to antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Conventionally raised chicken or pork carry a 33 percent higher chance of being contaminated with this type of bacteria than their organic counterparts.

Personally, these reasons to buy organic are enough for me. Call me crazy, but I’d rather not ingest pesticides or be infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Still, buying organic foods can be hard on the budget.

Here are some tips to buy organic without breaking the bank:

1. Shop at farmers’ markets – My personal favorite. The local farmers’ market is probably the best place to get your hands on in-season organic produce. Just keep in mind that your local farmer may not have the budget to get USDA certified, so instead of being a stickler for the seal, ask about his or her farming practices.

2. Join a CSA – Have you heard about CSAs? It stands for Community Supported Agriculture. When you join one of these programs, you end up paying a portion of a local farmer’s expenses in exchange for weekly boxes of fresh fruit and vegetables from the farm. Some farmers will accept monthly payments, but the norm is to pay upfront. The cost for an entire season might be about $300 to $400.

3. Stock up in season – It’s no secret that produce is cheaper when it’s in season. So, stock up on things you can freeze and use throughout the year. Fresh herbs can be kept in the freezer all year long. Fruit can be frozen and used to make smoothies at any time. You can also buy a bushel of tomatoes and make sauce for jarring.


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