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Organic Food: Healthier or Hype?

How’s your New Year going?  Many of us have set resolutions in motion to get in shape, lose weight and get healthier. 

Display of fresh vegetables
Display of fresh vegetables (YouTube)

Sometimes, we set lofty goals that are difficult to obtain.  Here’s a question for you:  can you eat healthy if you go with non-organic food?  The health experts say yes and believe it or not, organic isn’t necessarily better.

Once a staple of specialty stores and health food shops, organic produce, meats, milk and even boxed meals now plague those supermarket shelves.  But is there really a benefit?  Dietitian Dr. Felicia Stoler says the organic seal indicates the food wasn’t genetically engineered and doesn’t contain pesticides, but it doesn’t mean they’re necessarily healthier than their counterparts.

Stoler explains “when it comes to organic, there are some benefits on how it was handled.  There are really trace amounts of pesticides in regular fruits and vegetables – it’s minimal.  Organic is good for when things are out of season.  I would still urge you to go with locally grown produce instead.”

One problem with organic food is the cost.  Stoler explains “a bag of apples with the organic label may cost a dollar or two more.  It is cost prohibitive for many of us.”

Stoler, who shops for a family of five, normally opts for regular food instead of organic.  If given the choice, she would rather go to a local farmer’s market stand.

Stoler adds “get plenty of exercise and if you eat more fruits and veggies, you’ll be healthier whether or not the food has a green sticker on it.”

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