Your Healthy Family

Mar 21, 2013 12:07 PM by Marissa Torres

When is organic the right choice?

Are the health benefits of organic produce worth the high price tag? Farmers say it's more expensive to produce organic food and that's why they cost more.

Courtenay Smith is Executive Editor of Reader's Digest, she's also editor of the newly updated book: "Foods that Harm, Foods that heal," which researched organic foods, including the recent report from Stanford University-- a review of two hundred studies.

"So the conclusion right now is the nutrition benefits and the health benefits aren't proven yet."

Courtenay says certain populations- namely children and pregnant women-- may be more vulnerable to man-made pesticides.

"When kids stop eating conventional produce, and switch to organic, they can measure in their urine levels that there is a dramatically lower level of pesticides in just five days. You know, so again, I can't point to a health benefit to that, but my instincts tell me that's a good thing."

If you choose to go green, buying only certain organic foods-- the so-called "dirty dozen"-- may save you money. They're called dirty because these foods tend to have high levels of pesticide residue.

"Things like strawberries, apples, potatoes, celery. I mean these are things that kids eat a lot of."

So where can you consider going non-organic?

"If it has a peel that you take off and eat it, you probably don't need to buy the organic version. You're probably getting a lower exposure to pesticides from things like bananas, oranges, grapefruits, watermelon."

"The higher the fat levels in the milk, the higher the estrogen content was in the milk. This is true in both organic and non-organic."

And if organic foods are just too expensive for your budget, don't worry because experts say as long as you feed your family fruits, veggies and lean meats, you are doing their health a huge favor.



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