Grocery shopping? When to buy organic

By: Stephanie Collins Email
By: Stephanie Collins Email

Eating organic often means spending a little more at the grocery store, but does the added cost of organic food have an added benefit to your health? Well it could depend on the type of food you’re buying.

“The difference between organic vegetables and conventionally raised vegetables is there are a number of different processes that it goes through. For one thing with conventional vegetables they use a lot of chemical fertilizers,” says P.J. Larson, the Produce Manager at the Vitamin Cottage in Grand Junction.

Are these chemicals really harmful for us? Dr. Louis DePalma, the Internal Health Specialist at DePalma Chiropractic and Health in the Redlands, says they could stress your body out, “Anything that is extra and not natural, the body has to deal with those extra toxins, and the body has to filter the toxins out which puts more stress on the body.”

If you are trying to save money it might not be practical to eat all organic but experts say there are some foods you shouldn't stray from, “Strawberries are really big on the list and peaches. Those are a couple of the fruits that are notorious for really soaking in pesticides,” says Larson.

Other foods where you consume the peel, such as apples, tomatoes, bell peppers, lettuce and spinach are also best organic. Larson says you can’t really wash all of the chemicals off.

Milk makes your bones strong but according to Dr. DePalma it can be better for your body if you buy organic, “Milk, organic, because of the hormones that are in it, hormones and antibiotics, that affects the body.”

As for your little ones Dr. DePalma also says you should start them off with organic, “Baby foods should be eaten organic because babies are more susceptible to the toxins and the pesticides.”

When it comes to foods like bananas, avocados, onions and grape fruits you don't necessarily need to reach for the organic says Dr. DePalma, “Oranges and stuff that has a thick skin that you can peel off, not as crucial to worry about eating organic.”

As for meat the answer isn’t as clear. Meat that isn’t organic is produced with extra hormones and antibiotics. So if it is important to you to avoid those things then choose organic.

Experts say you can also save some money by avoiding organic pastas and cereals. They are so processed that organic really doesn’t mean anything for those foods.

Whether you buy organic or not, the choice is ultimately up to you, just remember to wash before you eat.

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